Monday, May 04, 2009

Music Monday 26 :: What Does "Jai Ho" Mean?

written by guest blogger Ifelicious
freelance writer/blogger living in Columbus, OH

Grabbing an 2009 Oscar for Best Song, "Jai Ho" by A.R. Rahman from the blockbuster hit "Slumdog Millionaire" is a catchy Bollywood style dance anthem that has been topping pop charts worldwide. Here in the US, A.R. Rahman teamed up with the Pussycat Dolls for an English version remake that was another slam dunk. Watching the Pussycat Dolls perform "Jai Ho" over at Value City Arena (aka "The Schott") in Columbus, Ohio last Thursday as they closed out their performance before Britney took the stage, I fell in love with the song all over again.

But what does 'Jai ho' mean?

The version by the Pussycat Dolls often has "You Are My Destiny" in parentheses right next to the song title. Their version, however, is not a direct translation of the song rather an English adaptation borrowing the name for the hook 'Jai ho' and associating it with "You Are My Destiny."

After checking around on the internet, I did manage to find a few posts that offered translation. The following is the most descriptive, in depth translation that I could find. It was a reply posted on the blog NightHawk.

'Jai' is derived from the word 'Vijay' which means 'Victory'. 'Jai ho' in a simple way means (as been said earlier) let you be victorious.

Its a term usually used either for praise, or to buck up during competition.

In early times when the king used to arrive in his 'darbar' (a place where he used to discuss the political affairs of his kingdom and other affairs with his ministers and also interact with the public), people used to shout slogans like "Maharajadhiraj (your highness) ki Jai Ho" meaning let our king be victorious.

Even our God's are praised with slogans like 'Jai ho' to symbolize that the Holy Lord always wins i.e. triumph of good over evil."

Furthermore, wikipedia clarifies that the original version of "Jai Ho" include elements of Hindu, Urdu, Punjabi, and Spanish in the lyrics.

Now that we're all the wiser, enjoy a listen to A.R. Rahman's "Jai Ho."

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