Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hanuman Dhoka: XYZ

Dhoka means gate, and Hanuman is an important Hindu deity with the form of a monkey. Hanuman Dhoka refers to Durbar Square, the ancient royal temple complex, but I believe the actual Hanuman Gate is this:

This is the gate. In the center you can see the red statue of Hanuman, dated to 1672.

This is all background information for a story about what happened to me right before I left for Kathmandu last week. My host brother came up to me as I was leaving and told me "Hanuman Dhoka kholdaichha" - "The Hanuman Dhoka is opening."

It took me some time to figure out that this is the Nepali equivalent of "your barn door's open." My fly was down. I find this saying hilarious and awesome. It is interesting to me how similar these two phrases are in terms of imagery. I wonder if any other cultures make a comparison between zippers and barriers holding back beasts or monkey gods.

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