Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taylor and Mbense: "Red dogs and rotten mealies" (1995)

There is a number of quite interesting observations in Taylor and Mbense's article on the concept of anger in Zulu.

First of all, when you're angry, your heart can be squashed like one squashes something soft (p 197-98). This is conceptualized with the word xhifi as well as the word fithi. Both mean the same thing.

Also, they note that anger is associated with nausea in Zulu. One can thus vomit from anger and if you meet an annoying person, your heart says "sick" (p. 199).

Further, being black-hearted or having a black heart in Zulu has nothing to do with depression -- it means either having literal nausea or being annoyed and irritable (p. 200).

This comes from a folk theory according to which the cause of irritability is black bile. One can thus provoke someone by splashing him with bile (p. 200).

Lastly, in Zulu, as well as in Hungarian, extreme anger is associated with being brought to tears (p. 207)

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