You’ve heard the expressions ‘sacred cow’ and ‘holy cow’. As I walk amongst hundreds of free-roaming, sacred bovine in the streets of India, I’ve created a few more in my silly mind, such as Alle-MOO-ia’ and the ‘Holy Moo-dras’. I can’t help myself, it’s how my brain works.
Have you ever given much thought to the origin of the expression? I enjoy learning more about word origins as much as I do cultures. I’ve heard the term Sacred Cow used for someone that is so important to a group that they are almost worshipped. Holy Cow is often used as an expression that denotes astonishment and awe.
Digging deeper for why we say these things, you’ll find that many world religions honor and respect the cow as a selfless mother to humanity. She gives of herself without expectation of anything in return. Her milk nourishes her calves and flows for anyone who is in need. She doesn’t discriminate. She provides for everyone.
In India, I observe how many people honor, respect and adorn bovine with smudge and necklaces. As a sacred gift, families create a special meal made with ghee and flour for the cow to eat before they feed themselves. After all, their cow gives milk that makes vital ghee and yogurt for the family, so it’s a sign of respect to give to her first. She is a part of the family and no harm will ever come to her.
So, the next time you see a cow, perhaps you’ll see her differently. You will see her as a selfless and loving mother.
Now I just thought of another word. ‘Moo-ma’. That was an a-MOO-sing one. Ok, I will stop now, or maybe just keep moo-ving.