Monday, 25 April 2011

₪ What Malaka means?

Warning: This article might contain strong, coarse, and foul language among other profanities and politically incorrect remarks. 
If you are easily offended, you should drink some vinegar and bite your thumb click away on the Bright Side of the Internet.

"Cupid the Honey Thief"
Albrecht Dürer
One of the things that always attracted me the most in past cultures and civilizations is their Cosmogony; the mythological story of how the cosmos began, and how people first came to inhabit it. The cosmology of each great civilization is very indicative of how these people saw the world around them; how their societies were structured, their cults and customs, and what moved their thoughts and actions. I've always been attracted to mythology and it was imperative for me to put things down, start creating family trees and hierarchise deities; in order to see who was the "first", by whom it all began.
it all began.

  In the Egyptian Heliopolitan Ennead Cosmogony, the creation was attributed to Atum, a self-engendered god, and the source of all the elements and forces in the world. Atum brought the air god Shu and his sister Tefnut into life by sneezing and spitting the two from his own face, respectively. The fascinating part of this myth is that the story describes how Atum gets his phallus on his hands, comes into orgasm, and thus; creating the first gods. Yes, you read right, it all started with a wank, and nobody blinked an eye about it until our Lord the Savior and his siblings, came into the game.

    Every time someone calls me from Greece, my wife looks at me with a joyful anticipation and waits until I drop the M-Word, ..and smiles when I spread my Greekness all over the house, by gracefully calling my good friends Malaka. Many would wonder; isn't this supposed to be a curse word or something like that‽ Well; the answer is yes; at least this is what most people know. The term became popularised through the Greek omogenia that immigrated at the eve and mid 20th century and settled mostly in Great Britain, Australia, Germany and the United States. Those people worked in the industrial branch or held self-owned restaurants, and because of their interaction with colleagues and customers, the word quickly got introduced and eventually recognised. In some neighbourhoods in New York, Munich, Melbourne, and Toronto; the word is actually used by the native people respectively.

"La Lacedemonienne"
Louis Jean Francois Lagrenée
 Malakas literally means masturbator but has a vast plethora of alternative meanings depending the situation. The idiom finds its root in Μαλθακός  /malthakós/ which is ancient Greek for soft, and a metaphor for the character of a person.
 Most people in the western world know the term, but very few actually know what exactly it means and where the word comes from. The noun is in use since antiquity, and would target men that fled from battle, or avoided it completely because of their scarcity in bravery and moral strength, thus; calling out cowardice and desertion. The expression would keep its initial meaning until late 12th century when the Byzantine society would redefine the idiom, and inextricably associate it with the act masturbation. The reason for above is that a "soft" person in character, would lack the required aggression to claim sexual intercourse, therefore; masturbate out of necessity. The above-mentioned, in combination with the adolescents' natural urge for masturbation due to their higher amount of hormones, created a stereotype for juveniles and became synonym to the most characteristic features of young boys; ignorance, naivety, lack of experience and sophistication, and immaturity; resulting ultimately in the metaphorical meaning of being an idiot.

 Fast forward to present day, the expression has kept its initial denotation in some cases but has seen the addition of plenty other meanings, that most of them have a negative use. In praxis; the word is used very rarely as "masturbator", because of the social prejudice in modern-day Greece; sexual stimulation of one's own genitals and other taboos regarding sexuality are a big no-no; so the word is being used in all its other variants. The most common applications of both noun and adjective, are in situations that show clumsiness, naivety, stupidity, being difficult to get along with, or a bad character.
Here; is important to mention that the Greeks, give great importance to logic, reason, and intelligence as vertues; and criticize in a strict tone people's sayings and acts, that indicate their absence. To understand of the gravity of the above for the Hellenic world; is good enough to mention that the worst possible curse words or insults that someone can say to a Greek; would be to call him silly, stupid, or doubt his intelligence. This is a trait since Hellenic antiquity, where the worst of all insults that someone could do, was to indicate someone as a moron, coward, or -Gods forbid- call him "non-Greek"; thus, an uncivilised brute barbarian altogether, and this is exactly why the word has such popularity in the ordinary Greek life.

    Those who have been more familiar with the Greeks and the way they interact with each other; have surely noticed that the word has sometimes a friendly overtone when used amongst acquaintances. Reason to that; is that the last three decades it has been so overused that became a simple daily slang, especially in the big cities and amongst the youth; resulting into such excessive use, that the term came to almost mean "man" and "hello" for those who call each other friends.

"La Mort de Sardanapale"
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix
The closest example to that; is the way that African Americans many times greet each other by calling themselves "nigger"; a vulgar and racist word of enormous profanity, yet totally acceptable amongst them. It is necessary to note how important is for all non-Greeks, to be very careful of what they think is a friendly word to address people with. Greeting an elder in any small village in Greece, with the phrase "yia su maláka" / "hello malaka"; most likely is going to send you for a visit to the dentist; as in places like Crete or Spartan Mani, you'll possibly get yourself shot or stabbed. On the other hand, if the same takes place in Athens -or other big cities- the most probable outcome would be provoking the laughter of the person that you'll address, and treat you more friendly and welcoming.
Not because he will appreciate your friendly efforts, but because you will automatically be considered as a moron. 


❖ Moron

a.3 ∴ Moron ‣ Latin ∴
a.2 ∵ Moron ‣ Euboean Hellenic ∵
a.1 ≝ Μωρόν  ΜΩΡΟΝ /ˈmɔːɹɒn/ ‣ Hellenic Koine ∵ ☛ "foolish", "dull", "stupid"

 Literally "baby"

"Venere di Urbino"
Tiziano Vecelli

☛ Tip: Most Greeks, from ancient times to date, never had ethnic feelings to Hellas as a country on its whole; but were, and still are sectionalists; loving only their city. 
The meaning of "barbarian" would come after the sound of foreign languages (var-var), something that to the sensitive on linguistic issues Hellenes, would seem as lack of lingual elegance, hence uncivilised. The Greeks always had great hostility amongst them, and would insult each other as the rest as non-Greeks.