The Cebu-India Connection

The Cebu-India connection

Why an Indian showcase on Gabii sa Kabilin? Because, believe it or not -there’s more than a little bit of Indian in our Cebuano heritage…

Did you know that the Rajahnate of /Kaharian sa Cebu was established by Sri Lumay who was half-Tamil and half-Malay? 

We are quite familiar with the Malay people.But for many of us who don’t know about the Tamil people here’s a little about them:
The Tamil people are an ethnic group from South Asia. They have a written history of more than 2,000 years. Traditionally, they have been living in the southern parts of India, and the northeastern parts of Sri Lanka.

Why did Sri Lumay come to establish a Kingdom?

Sri Lumay or Rajamuda Lumaya was a minor prince (regional governor)  of the Chola dynasty (a long-ruling dynasty in the history of southern India) which occupied Sumatra.  He was sent by the Maharajah to establish a base for expeditionary forces, but he rebelled and established his own independent rajahnate.

Was Rajah Humabon related to Sri Lumay?

Rajah Humabon, later baptized as Don Carlos, was the Rajah of Cebu at the time of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in the Philippines in 1521. He was the son of Sri Bantug (youngest son of Sri Lumay). Therefore, Rajah Humabon was  the grandson of Sri Lumay. ” (Read more)

 

“Sri Lumay was succeeded by the youngest of his sons, Sri Bantug, who ruled from a region known as Singhapala, which is now Mabolo of Cebu City. He died of disease. Sri Bantug had a brother called Sri Parang who was originally slated to succeed Sri Bantug. But he was a cripple and could not govern his polity because of his infirmity. Parang handed his throne to Sri Bantug’s son and his nephew, Sri Humabon (also spelled Sri Hamabar), who became the Rajah of Cebu in his stead.” (Read more)

So, now we know — we Cebuanos are more connected with India, having been established as a kingdom by Sri Lumay who was sent by India’s Chola Dynasty,and if that’s not enough of a connection check out this partial list of Sanskrit-loaned words in the Cebuano-Bisayan language: (*ancient language in Hinduism)

For sure the seafaring merchants from India did not only bring their wares to our shores but also their language and culture. And Sri Lumay ,the  half-Tamil & half-Malay who established the Kingdom of Cebu must have some part in this linguistic influence as well.

Religion:

Skt. : bhattara, “noble lord”
C. Bis : bathala’,  “God Almighty”; also Balahala, “deity” (old form)

Skt. : devā  devatā,  ‘deity deities”
C. Bis. : diwa diwata “spirit, worship of spirits”

Skt. : upavasa,  “a day of fasting ” also “fasting”
C. Bis. : pu’asa,  “fast”

Skt. : vāçā, “sacred text, holy words”
C. Bis. : basa, “to read” (root of pagbasa)
Relations

Skt. : tata, “Father” (informal address)
C. Bis. : Tatay “Father” also Tatang (informal address)

Skt. : nanã, “Mother”
C. Bis : nanay “Mother”

Skt. : vamsa, “lineage, race”
C. Bis. : bansa, “state”
Also : bansagon, “family name”


Food

Skt. : patola, “a gourd,” Tricosanthes dioeca
C. Bis : patola, Luffa cylindrica Linn.

Skt. : māmsa, “flesh meat”
C. Bis : mamsa, “a kind of large fish”

Skt. : tapa, “to scorch, burn”
C. Bis. : tapa,  ‘‘to cook by smoking or roast­ ing” (root)

Skt. : çukra, “vinegar”
C. Bis. : suka’,  ‘‘vinegar’


Household

Skt. : karpasa, “cotton ” Gossypium herbaceum (sci.name)
C. Bis : gapas “cotton,” Gossypium herbaceum (sci.name)


Other matters

Skt. :  bhānda,  “goods”
C. Bis. : bahandi,  “property, wealth”

Skt.:  dhāra, “bearing”
C. Bis. : dalà, “to bear, to carry”

Skt. : mutya, “pearl”
C. Bis. : mutya, “a gem, a pearl”

Skt. : vānija, “merchant”
C. Bis : baligya,  “goods, ware” baligja (Bohol-Leyte variant)
Also :  banyaga,  “scoundrel” which seem to suggest an antipathy to­ wards traders          and foreigners

Skt. : sankha, “conch shell used as a trumpet”
C. Bis : sungka, “a mancala game of the Bisayans and other Philippine ethnic groups in which cowrie shells are usually used’

Skt. : lala, “saliva”
C. Bis : lala, “venom from the sting of an animal or serpent ’ also lawa-lawa. “spider,” laway “saliva”
Note: More often Bisayans pronounce the word as laa.

Skt. : chāya, “shade luster, reflected image”
C. Bis : hayag “bright” usually— kahayag: “brightness”

Skt. : mantra, “sacred text, formula, charm’’
C. Bis. : mantala’ “root of pagmantala^ “to announce” also mantalaan “newspaper “

Skt. : buddhi “intellectual faculty, design”
C. Bis : bùdhi  “to betray” (root of pag- budhi)

Skt. : bhaya, “danger of all kinds”
C. Bis. : baya’ “an expression warning some­ body of danger, also as a word of emphasis”

Skt. : sāksī, “witness”
C. Bis. : saksi, “witness

Skt. : sajja, “ready”
C. Bis. : sadya “cheerful, merry”

Skt. : sama, “the same, equal, like”
C. Bis. : sama, “the same, equal, like”

Skt. : lagna “horoscope”
C. Bis. : tagna’ root of pagtagna’’ “to guess, to foretell”
              Also:  manalagna’, “fortuneteller”

Skt. : mahā, “great”
C.Bis. : mahal, “expensive, beloved, exalted, noble”

Skt. : vrtta, “an incident”
C. Bis. : balita “news report”

Skt. : pandya, “learned, wise”
C. Bis. : panday, “a carpenter, blacksmith”

Skt. : lambita, “hanging down”
C. Bis. : bitay, “to hang” (root)
              Also:  kumbitay, “to cling” (root)


Weather /Climate

Skt. : vāha, “stream, river”
C. Bis. : baha,  “flood, overflowing of a river”

Skt. : vāyu, “wind”
C. Bis. : bag’yo, “a tempest, storm”

Animals

Skt. : pasū, “cattle”
C. Bis : pasung, “manger, stable” also pasungan “stable”

Skt. : pārāpātī, “turtle dove”
C. Bis : salampati “dove”

Skt. : hamsa,  “goose”
C. Bis : gansa,  “goose”

Skt. : srnga, “horn”
C. Bis : sungay “horn”
Also : sungag “to gore” (root)
sungu, “beak”
sunganga “to direct something against” (root)

Source:
The Sanskrit Loan-Words in the Cebuano-Bisayan Language
by Jose G. Kuizon, 1964
University of San Carlos Cebu City
(may be viewed on-line:
https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/646)

11- Yasha and Paulina

Celebrating our Cebu-India Connection (and heritage!) at the Museum of NaÏve Art during Gabii sa Kabilin. Photo shows: (L) Indian artist Yasha Dabas and (R) Cebuana artist Paulina Constancia in front of West Gorordo Hotel –thank you folks for dropping by the MoNA!

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