Glossary

Pahana

Small earthenware oil lamp, traditionally filled with coconut oil.

Origin:

Sinhalese

By |August 19th, 2013||Comments Off

Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is an organization created in 1964 with the purpose of creating an independent state of Palestine. Their primary goal was the destruction of the state of Israel. It consisted of different factions, all of whom believed they knew the best way to achieve liberation for the Palestinians. While each of these factions were independently controlled, they all remained more-or-less under the umbrella of the PLO.

Origin:

English

By |September 11th, 2013||Comments Off

Pāli

Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan language and was indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. It is a Prakit language that is widely studied because it is the language of many of the earliest Buddhist scriptures and is the classical language of Theravada Buddhism.

Origin:

Prakit, Sanskrit

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Pallu

The loose end of a sari

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Panang kottai

Seed of the Palmyra palm. The term is used as a pejorative for Tamils from Jaffna. It can be shortened to kottai.

Origin:

Tamil

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Phalange

Refer Kata’ib

Origin:

Arabic

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Pirith

Collection of Buddhist prayers chanted in Pāli

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Pirith nula

When Buddhist monks chant the text of the chosen pirith, a white thread or string is held by all those present. On completion of the ceremony, the string is cut into smaller pieces and tied around the necks or wrists of those present.

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Pita

Outside

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Pita kottuwa

Outside the fort. Also the name for the Colombo commercial suburb of Pettah next to the harbour.

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Podian

Young boy. Children and teenagers between the ages of eight and eighteen, made up the bulk of the Tamil Tigers and were known as ‘podians’ or ‘the boys’ by locals in the north.

Origin:

Tamil

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Pol

Coconut

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Pol sambol

Coconut sambol is a traditional Sri Lankan dish made of grated coconut, red chilli powder, maldive fish, chopped onions and lime juice. Yumm!

Origin:

Sinhalese

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Poson

Poson poya, the full moon day in the lunar month of Poson (in June). Poson commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Mahinda at Mihintale in the third century BC.

There are twelve or thirteen poya days per year. Their names correspond to the Buddhist lunar months of the same name. They are VesākPosonEsalaNikiniBinaraVapIllUnduvapDuruthuNavamMedin and Bak.

If a month has two full moon days, the name of the second one is preceded by Adhi (meaning extra in Sinhala) as in Adhi Poson poya, etc.

Origin:

Pali, Sanskrit, Sinhalese

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Poya

Is the name given to a Buddhist holiday which occurs every day of a full moon. The full moon is important to Buddhists who have adopted the lunar calendar for their religious observances.  The term poya is derived from the Pali and Sanskrit work uposatha primarily signifying ‘day of fasting’. Shops and businesses are closed on Poya days and the sale of alcohol and meat is forbidden.

There are twelve or thirteen poya days per year. Their names correspond to the Buddhist lunar months of the same name. They are VesākPosonEsalaNikiniBinaraVapIllUnduvapDuruthuNavamMedin and Bak.

If a month has two full moon days, the name of the second one is preceded by Adhi (meaning extra in Sinhala) as in Adhi Poson poya, etc.

Origin:

Pali, Sanskrit, Sinhalese

By |September 3rd, 2013||Comments Off