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  • Writer's pictureZia Khoshsirat

Exclamation? Gilaki əj əj and Tamil ayyo

I don't look at word as combination of letters and sounds. Specially, when some people/scholars say "this word does not mean something", I cannot understand them. Right or wrong, for me, even onomatopoeic words are not generated by accident. I think words have their history, they are interwoven to many pictures, something that I've coined a term for it 10 years ago: "ear of words" (like ear of rice/wheat/corn). In Gilaki (at least in Gilan and Mazandaran), there is an exclamation word which is used in wedding ceremony, dancing, singing and other situations, əj əj . This word, əj əj, expresses joy and happiness. I was always asking myself what is this word, Is it a onomatopoeic word, or an exclamation? It could be everything. Years later, I found a beautiful word in Sanskrit and Tamil which reminded me about əj əj. In Tamil, a Dravidian language, ayyo means 'extreme happiness', and in Sanskrit some sort of excitement or exclamation. In the video I uploaded here you hear əj əj. This video is part of an old Gilanian tradition called

läfənd bäzɪ 'tightrope walking'.

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