In Rhodian, a language spoken on Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece the word “ktílos” or “κτίλος” means peaceful, tame, docile, gentle and domesticated as if those who are peaceful must also be docile.
In English, the words “tame” and “peaceful” seem pretty different but in other languages tame is a synonym for peace. And while the words tame and calm can seem more similar, a tame animal, for example, is not always calm and a calm animal is not always tame. A lion resting after eating a wildebeest would not be considered tame. She might be calm but not tame. A black bear cub might rest peacefully after munching on black berries but he is not tame.
In Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book,” The Little Prince,” the fox explains the meaning of tame to the little prince.
“Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”
“I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I am not tamed.”
“What does that mean ‘tame’?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”
Think for a moment about the relationship between peace (both world peace and inner peace) and establishing ties or a relationship, a trust or bond with another person or an animal.
Here are some languages where the same word is translated as peace and as tame.
In a language of India and of Bangladesh
“sānti”, “sainta”, “shanti”, “shaan-ti” mean peace
“abirōdha” translates as harmony, peace, accord
agreement, amity and friendliness
in Bengali or Bangla
Another Bengali word holds all this and more
“sānta” means cool, quiet and calm
peaceful, still and tranquil
composed, tame and soft
as well as collected, orderly, and laid-back
feel into the words
does tame feel the same as laid-back?
With a long “A” sound, “shaant” holds within its letter
a host of meanings including calm and tranquil
quiet, serene and sober
placid, still, and smooth
soft, gentle and tame
in Hindi another language of India
what do you think of when you think
of soft, gentle and tame?
Takia Peace and Tameness
A world away in Takia “dagom” means both
peace and tameness
“dagoman” is peaceful
“maŋ dagoman” means we are peaceful or at peace
on two volcanic islands
Karkar and Bagabag
in Madang Province of Papua New Guinea
Wise and Tame in Iceland
Across the sea
the people of Iceland have a word for peace
“friður” with the “ð” pronounced like a “th” sound
a different word means tame
“spakur” and also wise
as if those who tame their hearts
and forge strong bonds
are tame and wise
and all the while at peace
Assuming you are not a lion tamer, consider for a moment, expand your perspective on peace, forge new connections in the brain as you think about the relationship between “peace” and “tame”. Who or what have you created ties and connections with?
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