Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day O: Owls and their undeserving unpopularity

This April, I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, writing about the A to Z of Iraqi Culture. Do give in your own two cents in the comments below and let me know if you have anything to add or something similar to share from your own culture.


Booma- a word in Iraqi dialect meaning owl

Also a word that Iraqi mothers use to cuss their kids whenever they are doing something stupid, silly, unintelligent, inappropriate, or any other behaviour that calls for criticism.

Boomas are very cute, wise, harmless birds that command respect with their glory and prestige. I don't understand at what point and under what basis they became an offense. This is a fragment of my culture that will always be beyond me.



  1. I've always associated owls with being a "smart" bird, for some reason. Maybe because they know how to pull all-nighters, I suppose!

  2. Ahaha, yeah, I still love owls anyhow. And Booma... I feel like using that as a name in a story. Interesting stuff ^_^

  3. Wise old owls, different cultures different meanings. This was interesting.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  4. In the western world an owl is considered to be an intelligent bird. I remember in India a lot of employers call their servants "OOLU" meaning owl when they make a mistake.

  5. Your blog is colorful, but all the movement and things flipping over is hard to see and read and you can't tell what post is what or where the one for today is. I started clicking to see if I could get the movement stopped. Clicked on flipcard I think and then it to stop. Just thought I'd mention it. I'm sure part of it is older eyes; but wow....made me wonder if people pass your blog by because they can't figure out how to find what they're looking for? Interesting post about the birds, does seem odd that it has such a nasty/negative meaning now.


  6. My mother used to say an owl was bad luck. Our roots were the Middle East a long time ago (seventh century) so perhaps that is where she brought it from. Munir - two comments earlier, has reminded me about "Oolu" so in India we think of the bird as stupid. Anyone who grew up on a fare of English novels would've heard of the wise old owl. Makes me wonder how we handled all those contrary messages but we did. And now, my husband loves birds, the flying kind, and owls are his favourites.

    Am really enjoying your A to Z tidbits on Iraq.

  7. Maybe it's the scary eyes and flat face of the bird? I don't know, but I love owls anyhow!


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