Thursday, October 01, 2009

Funerals and Salt

I've noticed that the food we eat at funerals is not cooked with salt. One of my colleagues from Soweto says that this seems to be a Xhosa custom. But I think that the other meals that I have had are also without salt. I can't find anything on the internet. Exploration needed!

Xhosa word for the week. I know that Kulungile means 'it is good'. I asked someone how to say 'it is better'. He thought for a while and then was embarrassed and said that they sometimes borrow from the English and he couldn't think of a 'proper' Xhosa phrase. So the answer is 'kubettele'.

3 comments:

Steve Hayes said...

In Zulu there is "kulungile kakhulu", which means "very good" rather than better. I'm not a Zulu fundi, but there is a way of saying that A is good but B is better than A.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks Steve. It is the same in Xhosa. I was hoping that you might know something about the salt?

Thomas Scarborough said...

I once ministered in your parts. I called up candidates for Confirmation, then when they stood before me I said "Kulungile" -- thinking I was saying "OK, good" -- and they all dispersed! Methinks I missed some other meaning.