Author Topic: A Rose by any other Name  (Read 3647 times)

Jessie Fong

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A Rose by any other Name
« on: April 25, 2013, 01:48:28 PM »
Thailand was previously known as Siam,
Myanmar was Burma
China was Cathay
Sri Lanka was Ceylon {Seilan}

Buddha was also known by different names in those countries, e.g.

Chinese "FO"
Japanses "XACA"

It was only at the end of the 17th century that someone figured out that they represented the same person.

More detailed reading at :

What do the following words have in common? Jaca, Fohi, Bedou, Sejatoba, Phutta, Goodam, Somona Codom, Daybot, Xekia, Budsdo, Mahamony, Sagamoni Borcan.

For a 21st century reader, they mean nothing. It is not even clear what languages they come from or how they should be pronounced. However, a 17th-century European reader, especially one well versed in the dozens of reports sent back by travelers to the Orient, would recognize them as the names of some of the many idols worshipped by the pagans of Asia, in distant lands called Siam, Pegu, Cathay, Tartary, Barantola, Giapan and Seilan.

In the centuries since, these lands have taken on more familiar names: Siam is Thailand, Pegu is Burma (or more recently, Myanmar), Cathay is China, Tartary (or at least part of it) is Mongolia, Barantola is Tibet, Giapan is Japan, Seilan is Sri Lanka. The idols worshipped in those lands also have different names today. Or, to be more precise, the idols worshipped in those lands have one name, very familiar to us and easy to pronounce -- we call those idols the Buddha.