Broadly DK

Words About Love in Other Languages That Should Exist in English

These may come in handy next time emojis fail you.
April 12, 2017, 3:38am

In ancient India, the architects of the Sanskrit language came up with almost 100 different words to describe various states of romance, affection and desire. The sexed-up ancient Greeks had a catalogue of at least six concepts to choose from, and the Arabs defined different forms of love through a spectrum of eleven stages.

Yet the emotionally-stunted Anglophone tradition has left us with just one catch-all term—"love"—to describe our feelings toward our mother, paramour, and cat. The following concepts from other cultural traditions may come in handy next time emojis fail you.

"Shringara" – rapture and beauty

Though not averse to some casual hanky-panky, Hindu philosophers also recognised that sex without intimacy could leave you feeling hollow (hello, Sunday morning) and so developed a vocabulary of terms for the different romantic feelings that could enrich physical union. Among these, "Shringara" suggests the enjoyment of a partner in a warm and fuzzy, long-walks-on-the-beach type atmosphere—one created through attention to charming manners, stylish dress, artistic settings, beauty and good behaviour.

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