It’s interesting how words evolve. A culture finds a use for something and the language creates a word. Cultures that don’t eat caviar don’t need a word for it.
And then again a particular culture might evolve a word for an action or state of mind that the rest of us didn’t even begin to think about.
That’s what I felt when I encountered Faamiti, a Samoan word for the act of making a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or a child.
In India, there is one particular sound that is heard at crowded places almost all the time. It comes in handy when you don’t know someone’s name but you need to catch their eye, or at other times, when you do know someone’s name but don’t see why you should violate their privacy by letting everyone within shouting distance know it.
It sounds vaguely like puch-puch. For want of a better description, it sounds like a noisy kiss being blown.
Of course, I’ve never really liked this particular sound, and have hated it even more when someone has used it to catch my eye.
I don’t know if that is what the Samoans refer to as Faamiti. As I type this post, I have tried to suck air past my lips to see what kind of a sound would be generated. The sound I managed to squeak out hasn’t caught anyone’s attention, but the funny faces did. And so I abandoned the attempt, lest I be arrested for lewd conduct in a public place.
There ought to be a word for that. When you are trying out something perfectly innocent, and you are misunderstood by others.
Have you ever tried Faamiti?
On the other hand, Forelsket is a word that almost everyone on the planet has experienced at some point in their lives.
The interesting thing is that when you are in the throes of Forelsket , you think you are the only one. You can’t imagine that the tumult and joy running wild and crazy in your heart could ever have been felt by anyone else ever, in the history of the world. Nor could anyone else’s heart ever have thumped this loud.
Simply put, Forelsket is a Norwegian word that describes the euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.
You know how it is. Everything looks rosy, and beautiful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. The sensation passes. You can’t remain on your best behaviour all the time. Sooner or later, our Sunday best clothes must be hung up in the closet and we must wear what we feel comfortable in, even if it is well-worn.
The strongest Forelsket can’t withstand the behavioural equivalent of the Christmas lights being pulled down and stored in an old shoe box in the loft. Which is what happens to the best of beloveds.
Surely you remember your own experience of Forelsket?