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View Full Version : Sometimes, I just don't feel worthy.



Missus Akasha
05-19-2014, 04:50 PM
I have the mentality and attention span of a cat. I'll be playing with one story idea then suddenly a shiny new one pops up and I just have to have that one. However, this story idea is complicated.

For the most part, think Game of Thrones meets 1001 Arabic Nights meets Hamlet meets the Indian concept of Kumari Devi with some of Egyptian and other African cultures playing a heavy influence as well. In this fictional world, the main character is basically of African and Arabic descent (though those cultures will have different names).

I think the primary language I will use to describe the world and bring some life to it is Arabic. However, I've been doing research about the Arabic language and mythology and I am a little worried.

I have been seeking out the word for goddess in Arabic, but haven't found any luck. The words that I have found that mean goddess don't have a good reputation within the Arabian community because of the culture's religious belief that Allah is the only god. I don't want to offend anyone.

I would love to use Hindu mythology because that is where the story's idea originated from, but it's so complex that I feel that I am unworthy to use their terminology.

I would like to flesh out this plot, but I am kind of stuck on how to proceed with this. I truly don't want to offend anyone. Any advice?

FoamyRules
05-19-2014, 05:41 PM
Well my advice would be to do as much research as you can before proceeding. I think the story, although it may seem difficult, can be done properly.

Now from my understanding Arabic culture itself is diverse because it's divided into three main parts: Al-Hadar, Ar-Reef, and Al-Badow. Rural countries like like Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Syria and Yemen may be considered to have an Al-Hadar culture, whereas countries that are more urban like Lebanon, Algeria, Palestine, and Tunisia would be Ar-Reef. Now the major cities of all these countries may have an Ar-Reef culture, it just depends.

Now with the God/Goddess thing we're speaking more in terms of Islamic culture rather than Arabic culture. Yes, Arabs are Muslims and Muslims do practice Islam, but not all Arabs are Muslims. In fact the largest population of Muslims are in South Asia not the Middle East and North Africa.

Hope this helps

Paramite Pie
05-23-2014, 05:50 AM
What about other Middle Eastern religions such as Zoroastrianism? Basically Zoroastrianism can be traced back to a time before the split between Iranian and Indian cultures, so it shares many Vedic elements (the Vedic religion being the predecessor to Hinduism). It also heavily influenced the development of Abrahamic religions, serving as a bridge from polytheism to monotheism so it's got the best of both worlds. It's still practiced today so there is always the risk of offending someone but there are less terms/vocabulary to mix up.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/zoroastr.htm

The language associated with the religion is Farsi (modern form of Persian) but it is not related to Arabic. You could use a word from that language or try to find an ancient Persian word that's no longer recognizable to modern speakers. It's harder to offend someone if the word is obsolete or extinct.

Sumerian is an extinct language so no one will be offended by it's use. The Sumerian for a goddess is Ilati and a god is Ilu.

Arabic is a Semitic language, related to Hebrew and Amharic (an Ethiopian language) as well as many more. If you wish to use a language that echoes Arabic, then maybe one of the above may have a similar but sufficiently different vibe. However there is always the (small) risk of offending the speakers of those languages also.

Wilde_at_heart
05-23-2014, 04:50 PM
Well my advice would be to do as much research as you can before proceeding. I think the story, although it may seem difficult, can be done properly.

Now from my understanding Arabic culture itself is diverse because it's divided into three main parts: Al-Hadar, Ar-Reef, and Al-Badow. Rural countries like like Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Syria and Yemen may be considered to have an Al-Hadar culture, whereas countries that are more urban like Lebanon, Algeria, Palestine, and Tunisia would be Ar-Reef. Now the major cities of all these countries may have an Ar-Reef culture, it just depends.

Now with the God/Goddess thing we're speaking more in terms of Islamic culture rather than Arabic culture. Yes, Arabs are Muslims and Muslims do practice Islam, but not all Arabs are Muslims. In fact the largest population of Muslims are in South Asia not the Middle East and North Africa.

Hope this helps

Also keep in mind that apart from the southern end of the Saudi peninsula, most of that part of the world has been under an empire of some form, whether it be the Turks (Ottomans), Persians, Romans, etc.

As for finding anything 'pre-Islamic' (provided you can, that is) I don't understand why you'd worry about that being offensive. I doubt that any pre-existing society met with a peaceful end, let's say, if there's next to nothing left of them.

kuwisdelu
05-23-2014, 09:46 PM
Is this fictional world unconnected to this one?

If this is a secondary world fantasy, then why would you use Hindu or Middle Eastern mythologies directly?

If you're not actually writing about Arabic cultures or Hindu cultures, then I would recommend not using their terminology at all.

My suggestion would be to use the real-world mythologies as inspiration to create your own world's cultures with their own terminology.

Then people from those cultures can read them and see the similarities without having to worry about seeing inaccuracies and misrepresentations of their own myths and languages.

Kitty27
05-25-2014, 12:29 AM
Can I just say I love how y'all come up with topics and wonderful answers?


kuwisdelu advice is right on the money and I intend to take it as well.