Monday, 8 October 2018

Quandary.



Imagine you are a non-English speaking Arabic tourist, visiting London for the first time. Before you leave, to return to your native Saudi Arabia, you visit Camden Market and buy a souvenir in the form of a poster saying 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON'; although you, yourself, have no idea what it says.

You return home, find a suitable frame for your souvenir, then hang it upside down.

Well, that is a bit how I feel about the above. I bought it many moons ago and it has been hanging-up ever since, but I've never known which way up it should hang. I imagine that the 'squiggles' in the middle do actually say something; possibly of religious significance.

I have no idea of its origin, but imagine it is either Indian or Arabic. So, if you are an Indian or Arab scholar, and have the answer, I'd love to hear it. If you have no idea at all, yet have a humorous suggestion, I'd also like to hear that too.

Answers on a postcard please....



32 comments:

  1. Ok, this is a simple one. It should be rotated 90 degrees clockwise. It is not words, it is just decoration. It's the Punjabi equivalent of this: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/three-flying-ducks.html

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    1. I had wondered if it had something to do with Moses's bronze serpent up a pole (in triplicate), but you could be right.

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  2. Kate's right, it's definitely three ducks.

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  3. Well that's it then. You might as well write another post.

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  4. Instead of taking it down why not just turn it around?

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  5. My aunt had similar above the fireplace. Hers were much posher and made of painted plaster.

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  6. Around the edge it says 'Salisbury is a nice place to visit'.

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    1. Do you think it was 'code' for something?

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  7. A Japanese friend of mine was once shown a tattoo on the arm of one of her students. It was a Japanese word and the student asked if she liked it. She answered saying she thought it was very nice, but did not translate. It read, 'egg fried rice' or something straight off a menu.

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    1. I'm sure there are a lot of those about. If I was a tattoo artist, I'd be very tempted!

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  8. just turn it 90 degrees clockwise, as Kate said...its nice work, even if it does equate to flying ducks!

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    1. They'd look even more like Ducks if I did that.

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  9. Maybe it's supposed to be on the floor?

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    1. I have no idea. You can't see from the photo, but it's made with a lot of silver thread.

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    2. its good that it is silver thread, gold would mean that it was a tourist piece. Gold is seen as flaunting and if you had that type of money you should be giving more to the poor. It also indicates that it was made for a man. If it is silk this is because men are prohibited from wearing gold or silk in Islam. Only women adorn themselves with gold or silk. Men were allowed to wear silver. and you wouldnt put Quranic verses on the floor, as people would walk on them. It wouldnt be seen as respectful. some would also say that having verses on the wall is also against the rules as it is the goal to be able to recite all of the Koran and the hadiths like reciting poetry. I find this all super interesting. if it is old, it could be quite valuable. I would be quite interested if you do get anyone to look at it. It looks like all of those books I have read and a little research have somehow penetrated the grey matter and stuck there.

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  10. Allah is merciful and the name of the prophet Mohammed under it? the straight downs slashes are aliff A in the alphabet.

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    1. Also known as the Basmala. Thanks; I just checked in reverse.

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    2. Sorry I am unsure of the words in the pomegranates. It could be really old and be Kufic writing and I think the rug type is referred to as Esfahan. As it is light in colour and square rather than oblong, so will not be a prayer mat.

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  11. I am late in commenting, and I see that your question has been answered. (My iPad suddenly is not letting me comment, but my computer that my husband sits in front of all day, does). I couldn't have helped anyway, but I do think it is a pretty rug.

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    1. Actually, I'm amazed that anyone knew the answer. I shall attach a piece of paper to the back explaining. Having looked-up Sol's answer, I also see it's the right way up!

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  12. PS I hope no-one thought I was being serious. I'm glad you found out the real meaning Cro. I'm not sure why Chloe ... ?

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    1. Don't worry, Chloe just loves to be unpleasant, and has absolutely no sense of humour.

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  13. Have a bob each way and hang it diagonally.

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    1. As I said above, 'amazingly' I've managed to have it the right way up just by chance. Maybe it just looked right.

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  14. My father nicked a porcelain plaque (naughty lad) from a Japanese train back in 1947 when he was in the army. We eventually found out it said 'Do not pull the chain while the train is in the station'.

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    1. I hope it's now hanging somewhere appropriate.

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