U is for Urdu: In the world of Gossamer Steel the inhabitants of Bhārata (India sub-continent) speak predominantly Urdu and Hindi, although there are other languages native to the enclave, such as Dravidian languages, like Tamil.
Wikipedia says, “Urdu… or more precisely Modern Standard Urdu, is a standardized register of the Hindustani language. Urdu is historically associated with the Muslims of the region of Hindustan. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, and an official language of five Indian states and one of the 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India. Apart from specialized vocabulary, Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi, which is associated with the Hindu community. Since the end of the Mughal period in the nineteenth century, varieties of Hindustani have been the lingua franca for much of South Asia.
Urdu and Hindi are nearly identical in basic structure and grammar, and at a colloquial level also in vocabulary and phonology. If considered the same language, the population of Hindi-Urdu speakers is the fourth largest of the languages of the world, after Mandarin Chinese, English and Spanish.”
Footnote to map: Although Hindi is the official language in four of the Southern states of India, Tamil is one of the official language of Sri Lanka.
U is also for the Vedic texts called The Upanishads, and for Unicorns, one of which stars in a Gossamer Steel novella. For many in my world there is power in the Uroboros, a symbol of eternity and cosmic unity, a snake with the end of its tail in its mouth, like Jörmungandr or the Midgard Serpent in Norse mythology.
PREVIOUS A TO Z POSTS:
A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts ~ P is for Punk ~ Q is for Quisling ~ R is for Ragnarök ~ S is for Seiðr ~ T is for Technology
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.
My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.