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The Punjabi poem "Chhanna, the Metal Bowl" is about a "flat-bottom metal bowl" which is apparently some kind of family heirloom, "filled with memories". What's so special about a metal bowl? Is it only because it's been in the family for a long time, or is there some special cultural significance attached to it, perhaps some Punjabi tradition? What is "the chhayapatra hovering in a nook", and why is this word untranslated?

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    I really can't in all conscience post this as an answer, because there is nothing i can add to it, but this link explains both terms. As to why it isn't translated, I'd guess that's because the author is writing in Indian English, where that would not be necessary. – Spagirl Jun 6 at 10:38
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    @Spagirl: In the poem, chhana is explained quite clearly to be a metal bowl. And chhayapatra is not translated because there isn't an equivalent practice in Western culture, so whatever word you used in the translation would fall flat. – Peter Shor Jun 7 at 15:35
  • From the link in your question : "The Sanskrit word chhanna is both a noun meaning a bronze bowl with its rim inclined inward and an adjective meaning hidden, mysterious, secret. According to Indian astrology, a chhanna is used for chhayadan, a practice—believed to negate the debilitating influences of malefic planets—in which the donor looks at his or her reflection in the mustard oil contained in an alms vessel before dropping a coin into it. That is why the vessel is also called chhayapatra, meaning, literally, "reflection vessel." " – tryin Jul 8 at 11:09
  • I'm Indian but not Punjabi, and from what I know channa = chickpea(s). Today I learned, I guess – tryin Jul 8 at 11:10

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