Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Iktsuarpok and Irusu

When I was a kid, we didn’t often have family coming over. We lived rather far away from the main railway station and the airport, and so most family members, especially those from out-of-state, would prefer to stay at my aunt’s place, as her home was more centrally located.

On the rare occasion that someone announced that they would drop by at our place, Mum and Dad would invite them to share a meal with us. Mum would tell me of the impending visit when I returned home from school. I would be filled with excitement at the prospect of meeting an aunt or uncle or my cousins, with whom I got along fabulously.

At such times, I would keep going to the door or the window to try and see if they had arrived. Mum would tell me to take it easy. She would say that when our visitors arrived, they would knock and call out to us. But patience didn’t come easy to me back then.

That attitude of mine, I’ve discovered, has a name. It is called Iktsuarpok, and though people all over the world experience it, only the Inuit languages thought of coining a special word for it.

Simply put, the word describes the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, and how one keeps checking to see if they have arrived.

My kids exhibit humongous amounts of Iktsuarpok but only when they are expecting a cousin or their grandparents or aunts and uncles that they are fond of. I have some dear friends who, when they promise to drop in, also elicit a lively display of Iktsuarpok on our part.

Have you ever experienced Iktsuarpok?




Of course, I can’t be counted on to drum up enthusiasm for any caller.

So often I am home, just the kids and I, having the time of our lives, and the security guy of our apartment complex buzzes us to say that we have a visitor, somebody we don’t know or don’t particularly want to see then (you know what I mean). At such times, I wish I had a butler, one that would announce to the visitor that I am not home.

Clearly, having grown up I have outgrown Iktsuarpok.

Today my dominant mood is Irusu, the Japanese word for pretending to be out when someone knocks at your door.

Of course, mere wishing that the visitor turn on his/her heels and head home has no effect. And since I don’t have a butler who might lie for me, I am forced to suddenly scramble around, tidying the hurricane that La Nina and El Nino inevitably manage to conjure up around the house, in the few seconds we have before the visitor rings our doorbell.

So what’s your dominant mood when visitors come a-calling?


Iktsuarpok or Irusu?


22 comments:

  1. Generally, I do not succumb to Irusu (altho' I have a friend who draws the blinds when eating a meal she doesn't want to have to share ;-p) but is there a word for having your heart sink when unexpected company stops by, because you are looking like you've been dragged backwards through a hedge?
    Cuz I have that a lot...

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    1. Ah, Jz, that being dragged backwards through a hedge thing? That's me too on any given day when I'm home and I don't have to look presentable. I could happily live in my pajamas all through the day.

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  2. Iktsuarpok for the most part which could occasionally switch to Irusu!

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    1. We all sway between the two, don't we, Anjali, depending on who's at the door.

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  3. Irusu definitely when the house is a mess or no one at home has taken a bath and it is already evening(Sunday special)..
    Celebrating 'Women & their work' all April: Husband’s Role in Women’s Work

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    1. Some days one likes wallow in a mess, right, Namratha?

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  4. Learnt two new words today! And yes my kids too display Iktsuarpok in abundance
    www.nehatambe.com

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    1. Their innocence causes them to welcome others, I guess. Thanks for stopping by, Neha.

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  5. What an interesting post! I think I'm more Irusu, mainly because I really don't like surprise visitors, it's the sort of thing I have to mentally prepare myself for :P
    Over on ElenaSquareEyes I is for my favourite band - Imagine Dragons

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    1. So true, Elena. Surprise visitors are not my favourite either. That's when I am Irusu.

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  6. Very useful words again! I think my mood goes more with iktsuarpok than with irusu. But it depends on the visitors, of course!

    ----------

    Eva

    Mail Adventures

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    1. I agree, Eva. When good friends offer to drop in, we can't wait to see them. But not for other kinds of visitors.

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  7. Depends on who it is - Iktsuarpok for some and Irusu for others. And definitely Irusu when the house is a mess.

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    1. My house is always a mess, Suzy. So with me, it is always Irusu, unless I've had time to clean.

      Happy the woman whose visitors won't judge her mess. I'd be Iktsuarpok for those visitors.

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  8. Hi Cynthia - I'm both ... I'm more relaxed now- but there's usually papers everywhere, and papers on the floor -as that's my urgent pending pile - and people have a habit of picking them up!! Such is life ... So Iktsuarpok and Irusu - defines me ... I'd rather be neat and tidy, but so often am not if taken by surprise!

    Cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/i-is-for-ice-age-art.html

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    1. Hilary, I think some amount of mess is inevitable. It is a sign that someone lives and breathes in this space.
      There was a time when I used to apologise profusely for the mess whenever a guest showed. Now I try to refrain from apologising. My space is my own. It's not a pigsty, but we have better things to do than clean up all the time.

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  9. Iktsuarpok is such an adorable word. I'm always in this mood if I KNOW someone is coming.

    If someone knocked unexpectedly, then I am definitely Irusu! I have been known to dive from the sofa and run for cover so that they don't spot me through the windows!

    Believe In Fairy Stories: Theme - Folklore & Fairy Tales

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    1. Jodie, you too? I thought I was the only one.
      There have been times when I've been tempted to remain perfectly still and silent in the hope that whoever is at the door will go away.
      As Irusu as they come.

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  10. Haha, I have experienced both :D I tend towards anticipation, but sometimes I definitely see the value in pretending not to be home... :D

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

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    1. Zalka, you have the best of both worlds. It all depends on the caller, after all.

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  11. I wish we had equivalents for these in English - both wonderful and very useful words. I'm definitely more Irusu, though, especially as I've invariably got a mess. And then we have to deal with the dogs, whereas if it's planned we can have that sorted... yep, definitely prefer planned visits!

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    1. Thank you, Nick, for stopping by. Planned visits are always preferable, but what if the person who plans to drop in isn't your favourite caller. What then? I'd turn Irusu.

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