Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Syai "culturally modified" version of The Lord's Prayer.

Overshadowing the Maori language are the anglo-european language and culture. Maori was better than the English language for description and function in Aotea NZ before the country became drastically changed by anglo-european mass-settlement (added to now by settlers from Asian cultures). To survive, a language's culture must assume dominance and success. It could well be that a fictional culture that has the luxury of assuming success, and has a well-defined separate purpose, is in a better position to last than some of the "real" languages and cultures that are today so submerged in the globally prevailing languages and cultures.

Placing Syai alongside Maori would be a false comparison, but there's a point to emphasise about the mention of both together. Any language, real or imaginary, derives its authenticity and vigour from the culture it belongs to. If you were able to go to Feishoafeis or any other planet with a human-like civilization, you would hardly be likely to find anything that much resembled our Western and Middle-Eastern culture of Christendom and its related God-religions. Some similarities, perhaps, would be found in basic moral precepts, but the claim that Christianity is a universally valid bulwark of good social behaviour is bogus, well disproved by  history. Christianity and related religions "inform" our culture and language because of their long traditional monopoly of symbol and myth.  There is no high moral ground for one established religion over another. Everything depends on how it is interpreted and modified through historic changes, and subsequently practised by its adherents.

A direct translation of The Lord's Prayer, therefore, would make little sense to the Syai world of listeners or readers. What I present here is The Lord's Prayer modified to give it affinity with the Syai culture. It then has correspondence while at the same time expressing something very different at its spiritual foundation. It is a little like the Chinese on being pressed to convert to Christianity having no suitable word in their language for 'God'. You may have the material and missionary power to impose a faith-system that suits you, but it only ends up damaging the psyches of those you impose it on.

To make the point and to allow visitors to this blog to view a page of 'native' Syai writing, I have pictured such a page at the top of this blog, and will now translate this "Lord's Prayer" as it would be appreciated in the Syai world of myth-religious ceremony and seasonal festivals:

" Divine First, sacred beginning of everything.
Let-be that the sign of the divine One shows ever in our skies.
Let-be that the holy grand-children of the divine One bless the lives of us all, and let-be that our small planet-world simulates the great twilight-land of The Sacred Mountain.
Let-not-be that there would be destitution and hunger; but let-be that we, children of the Great Quaternary, always give and receive the bounty of the world with generosity and forgiveness.
Being-as-thankful we should be, that the the Great Quaternary sacrificed easy return to Its sacred homeland for-to make a worldly home in our bodies."

1 comment:

  1. As with any language, a writer in Syai could do with an editor. There are two mistakes in the last sentence of the 'Prayer'. Beginning the last sentence is the word "thankfully" that should be in the opposite gender. Then there is "quaternary" which means a group of four, not five. E.E.