An art project by a Mumbai-based designer is celebrating unique words in Indian and foreign languages in a set of 100 water-colour paintings. The project features words from languages such as Greek, Japanese, Swedish, Hindi and Bengali, many of them used to express elusive and indescribable feelings and situations.
Rituparna Sarkar started the '100 days of discovering words' project when she was reading a book titled The Little Book Hygge, and came across the words, tokka and tsundoko. Hygge is a Danish word for a sense of comfort and togetherness, the Finnish word tokka refers to a large herd of reindeer, while the Japanese word tsundoko is the all too familiar condition of acquiring books without reading them.
"There was a world of unique and interesting words which existed in every culture, including our own, waiting to be discovered," Sarkar told Huffpost India in an email. "What's better than re-discovering words in today's emoji infested grammar-less world!? (Yes, I'm old school like that.) Hence I decided on my theme, #100daysofdiscoveringwords."
The project focuses on untranslatable words from various foreign languages, unique regional Indian words, archaic English words that have been forgotten, contemporary urban lingo, and newly-coined slang. There's the Hindi word gaganchumbi (tall enough to kiss the sky), the Bengali bhaat-ghoom (the rice-induced afternoon siesta that is common in Bengal), as well as the German word waldeinsamkeit (the feeling of solitude and peace one feels in a forest). There's even a nod to farrago, made famous by Shashi Tharoor just a few weeks ago.