Sunday, December 16, 2012

How Canada got its name.

Anglia, Hochelaga, Norland, Superior and Victorialand were some of the names considered before some wise men chose Canada as their country's name in February 1867. Wikipedia adds that the name Canada originated around 1535 from the Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word Kanata meaning "village", "settlement", or "land"; another contemporary translation was "cluster of dwellings".

To me, Canada has always sounded like an Indian word. The Wiki explanation kind of solved an old puzzle in my head. However, I do wish to draw your attention to a remarkable coincidence. The Sanskrit word 'Kanda' which means 'branch, chapter or cluster' seems totally synonymous with the Iroquoian 'Kanata'. Kanda is of vedic vintage and has been in currency since god-knows-when. The Indian sub-continent was often referred to as Bharata Kanda. So is it possible that Kanda gave rise to Kanata which in turn gave us 'Canada'? Me thinks, YES. As the 'Kanda' usage somehow feels more appropriate than the small land mass sense conveyed by 'Kanata'.

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