Monday, March 11, 2013

Mere Coincidences?

My university mate Dr Chong Sze San, a physicist, wrote this to share with friends:

Mere coincidences?

We live in a weird world.  I have come across a few things which I will now share with you.  It is up to you to assess whether these are mere coincidences or whether there are simple explanations.

I just watched a documentary film about Socotra.  This is an island to the southeast of Yemen and near it are several smaller islands.  These islands are controlled by Yemen but the inhabitants, the Socotrans, are NOT Arabs.  The Yemenis teach the Socotrans ONLY Yemeni Arabic in order to make them assimilate into Yemeni society.  We are familiar with how the Arabs greet one another.  The Malays copied the Arabs, and we have seen it all.  HOWEVER, the Socotrans do NOT greet one another like the Arabs.  They move towards each other and allow their noses to touch and rub each others nose.  Where did they learn this form of greeting?  It may sound strange to you, BUT EVEN TODAY, the Maoris of New Zealand, greet each other by touching and rubbing each other’s nose, NOT with their hands, but with one nose touching and rubbing the other’s nose!  But then NZ is so far away from Socotra!  So how did these 2 peoples who did not have contact with each other, learnt to greet each other like this?

Socotra is a very unusual, ISOLATED place.  The plants and trees that grow there are found NO WHERE else on Earth! The people there rear goats and cure themselves with herbs and medicinal plants.

I have also watched documentary films on the natives of Brazil living in the Amazon jungle.  They go about hunting in the forest using blowpipes and poison darts.  They are doing the SAME thing as the Orang Aslis of Malaysia! Only the poisons used are different.  How did the Indians of Brazil and the Orang Aslis get the SAME idea of using blowpipes?  They are so FAR apart and certainly did NOT come into contact with each other long ago.

Now we look at languages.

In French, a dog is called chien, and in both Hakka and Mandarin, it is, quan, which is also pronounced chien.

In French, a road is called rue, and in both Hakka and Mandarin, it is , lu.

In English,  we have ‘park’ as in we park a car. And in Mandarin, it is , bo, which means to moor or to berth,

In English we have ‘mien’ which in Malay is rendered as ‘air muka’. In Hakka, it is , mian, or face.

In English, we have ‘seat’.  In Mandarin, it is , xi which is seat.

Then, there is ‘sold’ which in Mandarin is , shou, as in 有售, i.e., ’is sold here’.

So are these mere coincidences, or do they point to a past when humans had a common language?

However, it should be pointed out that recent developments in languages are wanton ‘stealing’, e.g. Malay has adopted many words from Sanskrit and Hindi and incorporated them to form Malay words.  Malays can’t pronounce the ‘dh’ sound in Hindi.  So all the ‘dh’ sounds become ‘d’, e.g., bendhi becomes bendi, dhobi becomes dobi, etc.

And, borrowing from Arabic, Malays can’t quite pronounce ‘th’ and they become ‘s’, e.g. ithnin becomes Isnin, thalatha becomes selasa, etc.

We see it also when words are stolen from English: thesis becomes tesis, Mathematics becomes matematik, etc.

In the case of the Japanese, their entire writing system is an adaptation of Han characters, and many of their words are from Han Chinese with the sounds TWISTED to fit into their syllabary or pronunciation system.

In classical Japanese, one has to say ‘Shochi shimasu.’ Or ‘Kashiko mairimashita.’ If one wants to say ‘Yes.’  What a cumbersome way of saying ‘yes.’! So, when the Japs invaded Hong Kong during World War 2, they learnt from the people there to just say , hai, when they want to say’ yes.’

In return, Cantonese people have stolen a whole Japanese sentence and used it in their daily conversation without realizing it at all! I’m sure you have heard Cantonese speakers saying ‘Ma ma de.’, when they mean ‘So-so’. Ask them to write it down in Chinese, and they can’t do it.  Well, that is because what they said is NOT Mandarin BUT Japanese! It is ‘Ma ma desu.’ And with the last u in desu silent, you have it -- Cantonese speakers stealing from the Japanese and don’t even know it!

The Spanish people say ‘Si’ when they want to say ‘yes.’  BUT this is Teochiu for , or ‘yes’.  Is this just another coincidence?

A pal told me that he heard from a Tamil speaking student who went to study in Japan that there are many Tamil words in Japanese.  Not knowing enough Tamil words myself, I cannot comment much on this other than to speculate that that may have come about when Buddhism spread to Japan.

So, was there a time when people DID ‘fly’ from one continent to another ere the re-invention of the airplane? After all, the Ramayana, DOES mention air travel by virmana!

Was that factual? How else are we to explain all the coincidences above?

Written by Dr. Chong, Sze San 2013 02 28

I responded with this email:

1.      The so-called Big Bang was not the first and only big Bang. It was the LATEST big Bang in a series of big Bangs that is occurring in a perpetual circle, argued a Princeton physicist. I read this chap's book a couple of years ago; it is somewhere in my store room.

2.      The Earth is 4 - 5 billion years old; there might be already several civilisations in between?

3.      Some argue that the Out of Africa theory Eve is rubbish. There might be four strains of independent and spontaneous human developments?

4.      Hokkien was apparently the court dialect of the Tang Dynasty. It was in Tang Dynasty that Buddhism spread rapidly to Korea and thence to Japan. I sometimes join my wife when she watches Korean DVDs; within a couple of days, I picked up these terms, and don’t they sound Hokkien (Ming-nan Fujian):

Missing - sic-chong
Skill - kit-soot
Complicated - fork-chap
Heart - sim-cheong
Princess - kong-ju
Bridegroom - sin-nang
Poisonous snake - tok-se
Student - hup-seng
Take part - cham-kar
Pis's feet - chu-kar
Sincerely - chin-sim

5.      I visited Russia in the late 1980s. It was a cold winter. The lady Russian officer, who was assigned to accompany us around, exclaimed when she looked out the window: how-ren-ah! I asked her what was she saying. She said it meant "so damn very cold". Isn't this also Chinese?

6.      If Finland, a lady told me her surname, I thought it sounded totally Chinese. I cannot remember what it is though.

7.      I saw a cookery book in South Africa. The picture of the author looks so much like Hussein Onn's wife. Someone told me she was Cape Malay!

Our span of 'civilisation' represents only a snap shot in the whole endless Korean series!!!

Dr Chong lost no time in offering me this rejoinder:

Someone in an online article said that the scientists are right about the age of the Earth s they based their estimates on carbon-dating and other radioactive techniques.  So, he said that the ONLY way to explain the much SHORTER age of our Earth according to the Bible, is that we all must have MISINTERPRETED what the Bible said.  He said the Genesis in the Bible does NOT talk about the ORIGINAL CREATION of the Earth, BUT the REHABILITATION of the Earth after the Earth was destroyed in a nuclear holocaust.

I watched a document on the archaeological excavations of Mohenjo Daro & Harrapa, two ancient cities in present day Pakistan.  They found glass beads deep underground.  The archaeologists said the only way to explain this is that there was a nuclear explosion there and the EXTREME amount of heat produced by the explosion had FUSED the sand underground to become glass beads!

So, it is possible that MANY civilizations came and went, and that many of the ‘new’ inventions that we have, e.g., the airplane, are actually RE-INVENTIONS!  Just as we have refugees now, some books have mentioned survivors of the sinking Atlantis starting their new lives in Egypt, & it is the Atlanteans who built all the pyramids etc using their superior knowledge.

It is entirely possible that there were a few big Bangs in the history of the universe.

Last night, 2013 03 01, I watched a document produced by the BBC in the UK.  The title is ‘What is reality?’

In it, a few things were mentioned and they are SHOCKING!

Physicists now have the mathematics and the theory to describe quantum mechanics, BUT nobody can UNDERSTAND what it all means! i.e., they KNOW that the theory is correct in that the theory CAN predict e.g. the existence of subatomic particles etc, but HOW and why the sub-ATOMIC world is the way it is, is NOT understood at present.

One aspect was mentioned.  It is what is called ‘The double slit experiment.’  In the experiment, a scientist sends a SINGLE PHOTON, i.e. a light particle, towards the double slit and after the double slit, there is a detector.  We all expect to see only two bands at the detector since the photon should go through either of the two slits.  BUT the scientist found three bands!  So, how did the 3rd band come about?  The scientist then put detectors BEFORE the double slits i.e. alongside the path of the photon to TRY to find out what happened.  But once this is done, i.e., with the detectors watching the travel of the photon, the behaviour becomes NORMAL again, i.e., ONLY two bands were formed at the detector AFTER the double slits.  SO, the photons don’t like being observed.  And they KNOW when they are being observed!  So the scientists ask, ‘What is going on?’ ‘What is reality?’

What you mentioned about Korean is CERTAINLY very interesting.  I read that at one time, Korean was written ENTIRELY using Chinese characters. So only Korean scholars could communicate using written Korean.  Then a Korean King decided that there should be a Korean alphabet that is easy to learn so that EVERY Korean can write Korean.  The King asked a group of Korean scholars to invent the Korean alphabet and these Korean letters r in use now. Like the Japanese, the Koreans had a LOT of influence from China.  So, I am NOT SURPRISED at all that there are so many Chinese words in Korean. The ONLY thing that prevents us from spotting the words the Koreans have adopted from Chinese is the Korean script which makes them not easily recognizable.  [Dr Chong migh have missed my point here; I was referring to the Ming-nan (southern Hokkien) pronunciation in many of the Korean terms. It is entirely correct that Koreans began to devise their own ‘alphabets’ some five hundred or so years ago. But many Chinese characters are still being retained, like Latin in English, for exact definitions.]

Vietnamese have many words that are Cantonese! E.g. ‘tet’ is actually , i.e., ‘festival,

‘Dac biet ‘ is 特別, i.e. ‘special’.

And is written phouc in Vietnamese.  The sound is of course, ‘fook’ but it looks like ‘phouc’ because the FRENCH designed the Vietnamese alphabet using the FRENCH way of pronouncing letters!

Tamils say ‘ni’ to mean ‘you’, but that is EXACTLY the Mandarin ! Tamils say ‘en’ to mean ‘I’ and that is the SAME in one Hakka dialect!

The Jews in Israel, call their father ‘abba’, but that is also what Hakkas call their dad: 阿爸.

Hakkas also call their dad 阿爺, and the Malays call ‘ayah’ (EXACTLY the same sound as in Hakka).

Tamils call their mum ‘amma’, which in Malay, gets corrupted to become ‘emak’.

In France, they write ‘Attencion’ =’Attention’ at the top of a sign to warn people of danger.  One Chinese friend claims that it comes from the Mandarin, ‘啊當心!’ which means ‘Berhati-hati’! Note this Malay word. Was it Chinese in the first place? The English say, ‘Watch out’ or ‘Be careful’. NOT referring to the heart at all.

Yes, there are many Malays in South Africa. Are they the descendants of fishermen whose boats drifted across the Indian Ocean, and who didn’t know how to get back to S E Asia?  There are also many Indians in S Africa. Mahatma Gandhi spent a part of his life there,

One document said many Indians along the west coast of India have African blood.  This was confirmed by DNA studies.  Was it the result of trade alone? Or was it because long ago, India was joined to the African continent ere it broke up with India drifting north to smash into Asia, thus creating the Himalayas?

Life gets a lot more interesting when we share our knowledge.  Best wishes.  2013 03 02.

Dr Chong's rejoinder reminded me of the need for me to revisit a book a book I bought in 2006 – Before The Dawn, Recovering the lost history of our ancestors, by Nicholas Wade. Readers may want to take a read of it to hear Wade’s explanation in many of the things said above.

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