Lexember Day 18: “This Barley Grows Here.”

Today we get a phrase!

“This barley grows here.”


barley, toppot
-zhu, -this

here, ikiek

toor, to grow

in- currently, presently

-anan conjugating a verb to a plural useful subject

toppotzhu ikiek intooranan

This means somewhere between “that was then, this is now” and “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” with maybe a bit of “que sera, sera.” The Calenyena, who began life as a herding culture, use this phrase to answer changes in environment that they cannot alter.

It colors their attitude towards food and crops: this is the food we can grow here. It also informs the way they look at gods; these are the gods we have now.

It’s a philosophy, and, of course, not everyone always adheres to it. Sometimes it’s just the phrase a parent uses to answer complaints by a child. “You can’t always have what you want; this barley grows here.”

It’s useful to note that most Calenyena use barley, toppot, to loosely describe all cereal grains.

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