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2016 | 40 | 177-195

Article title

Trespassing spaces or some intercultural walks


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The purpose of the article is to discuss, based on chosen examples, whether the intercultural understanding is possible and what are the limits of it. Firstly, in a short introduction, the tools which the Europeans elaborated in order to understand Indian texts, which were mainly grammars and dictionaries, are discussed. Then, the Sanskrit terms such as “dharma,” used to express the most important ideas of Indian culture, are analyzed. This discussion is followed by the analyse of the noun “vana.” Its most typical English equivalent used in translations is “forest.” However, after deeper consideration, it appears that the understanding of this term differs depending on particular cultural roots. The next noun to be discussed is “lotus” as used in the European texts in which these Indian flowers are shown. In Sanskrit works of literature the European word “lotus” has more than one equivalent and the differences among Indian lotuses are of importance in the process of creating appropriate poetic images. One more example of potential “intercultural walks” described in the article is the presentation and comparison of the reception of two versions, an Indian and a European one, of the Mahabharata epic as arranged and received in modern times.



  • Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland


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