A Healthy Obsession, Ctd.
The blog received an excellent comment yesterday from “Movie-ing Maniac” in response to my post about health in Azerbaijan a few days ago. Read it in full here. There are a few things MM brings up, particularly with my reading too much into the words used by Azerbaijanis related to health. MM expanded on my understandings of sağ and salamat, chiming in:
The word “sag” does not mean just health. In Azerbaijani, the word sag also means “right” (right as opposed to left and right as opposed to wrong). So when people say to you “sag ol” it also means be right or follow the right path…The word salamat has two connotation: 1) well-being, 2) peace. When people say to you salamat they wish to you – by implication – peace, well-being, and health.
Absolutely. Sağ pulls those meanings in, too. Yet, I don’t think in saying thanks that sağ ol would ever mean “be to the right (of left)”. The second possibility, following the right path, sounds like an interesting meaning. Though, it sounds rather hubristic to say that to someone when you are thanking them. That said, MM is right, sağ can mean those things too. And it sounds like he’s more in the know about these sayings than I am. Another good point:
Also, I would not agree with statement that frequent use of words related to health as farewell words or whatever means people are obsessively concerned with their health.
Fair. Yet, I don’t necessarily find this a compelling argument. While standing alone the words commonly used in a language may not lead to a direct relationship with particular concerns. However, I’ve found in my experiences here that most people really are fairly obsessed with health, more than I’m used to, and things like commonly used words only serve to buttress the effect.
I’m intrigued by MM’s comment, and will do some more research. I don’t have all of the insights, and there is a strong notion of being “inside” a culture that I will never have here. My view is only from the outside. And I could be totally wrong about this health thing.