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Saturday, May 09, 2020

Chp 813. To cum or not to cum

As of 5th May 2020, in Mizoram, you can no longer eat at cum restaurants.

I mean, what? Cum again?

:D :P

Well, let me get straight to the point, like a sperm swimming straight to an egg (couldn't help with that joke, and there will be many more in this post :P )

Recently, the Government of Mizoram, Tourism Department, issued a directive that the usage of the word "cum" is no longer permitted for all hotels and restaurants in Mizoram. Hence, "Hotel-cum-Restaurant" will now be known as "Hotel & Restaurant".

Here is the notification that the department circulated.

A bold directive indeed. So basically, if you want to eat at such restaurants, you can go there, but you cannot come there :P Reminds me of the Russell Peters joke, "Oh I'm arriving, I'm arriving!" :P :D

All jokes aside though, I do have a few questions. Now I'm not criticizing anybody in particular, so if you're one of the people involved with the Tourism department of Mizoram, please don't take this the wrong way.

First of all, as stated in the above official notification about the usage of the suffix "cum" not permitted anymore, well, "cum" is actually not a suffix (nor a prefix for that matter) as it lies in-between two words. It is a preposition to be precise. :)

Secondly… the usage of the word "motel". Urrghh. I mean it is not incorrect per se, but personally, I find it a bit weird and awkward to see a word of American origin on an official government circular in Mizoram. And "motel" is a pretty specific term too, I mean are we also going to point out Resorts, Inns, Guest houses, Lodges, Bed & Breakfasts, Service apartments, Boatels, Rotels etc while we're at it?

And finally, the most important point of all - there is absolutely nothing wrong in using the word "cum".

Ooopsie. :)

Sorry, Department of Tourism, but that is a fact.

Yup, cum is a perfectly legitimate word. I'm sure everybody at the Tourism department already knows this, but I'll just briefly explain the meaning of "cum" for everyone's benefit. The word is taken from Latin and it means "with". It is used to join two nouns, usually a profession or a characteristic of a person. Example, John is a plumber-cum-electrician. Mary is an alcoholic-cum-kleptomaniac.

It is also used to join two things or locations. Like for example, during this lockdown period, this room has become my bedroom-cum-office, or, I can't meet anybody because of the lockdown, so my computer has become my playmate-cum-girlfriend.

Ok that last sentence came out wrong on so many levels :D but nonetheless, it is a legit sentence structure.

Hence it is totally fine and correct to say such and such a place is a hotel-cum-restaurant. It just means that it is a hotel as well as a restaurant. If you travel by road across Mizoram, you'll find plenty of these signboards everywhere at the roadside, and they usually serve the best Mizo traditional cuisines.

Now, why did our Tourism Department suddenly object to the use of the word "cum"? 

If the reason was something valid, like for example they wanted to apply a uniform code of description for all establishments across Mizoram, then I would totally understand.

However, there is no standardized definition of a "hotel". The minimum number of rooms along with various amenities required to constitute a "hotel" differ not just from place to place but across different countries as well. Some hotels provide food, while others don't. Some have attached bathrooms and even Jacuzzis while others don't even have televisions or room-services.

In fact, various governing bodies and umbrella organizations across the world like the HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe), WTO (World Tourism Organization), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), IUOTO (International Union of Official Travel Organizations), Paris based IH&RA (International Hotel & Restaurant Association), India's HRACC (Hotel and Restaurant Association Classification Committee), CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) etc., ALL have different definitions and rating systems for a "hotel".

Hence, the very word "hotel" is generic and ambiguous. The only facility they seem to provide and have in common with each other, is that they all provide lodging.

Simple as that.

So what could be the reason behind this latest directive?

Well, if you take a look at the conversation between twitter user "Mizo zeitgeist" and the official Mizoram Tourism twitter handle as well as the Director of Mizoram Tourism, you might be able to make out why. :)


The reason is exactly what you and I were thinking. :D

Because "cum" is also a slang for semen, and it can also be used to describe the sexual climaxing of both men and women, that is apparently the reason why the word is now prohibited! :D

I mean, seriously?

Most people will not laugh at that word or find it derogatory, only juvenile delinquents will do so, you know, people like me! My mentality level has stopped maturing since the age of 16 and I still laugh when I see words like "penis" and "boobs", but that's not how most people are.

And I am pretty sure somebody, say, U Liana from Keitum village or Pi Ṭhuami from Tongkolong who run their own "Hotel-cum-restaurant" outlets aren't even aware of the English slang meaning of the word "cum".

Well, congratulations, now they will. :D

Because now they're definitely going to ask why they are being told to change the names of their establishments. They probably spent a lot of money putting up those signboards too. I would loveeee to be around while the Tourism department people are trying to explain the reason to them! :D

By trying to erase the word "cum", has the Tourism department unnecessarily landed itself in a… sticky situation? :D It must be a pretty heavy load to unburden. :D Will they succeed in doing this, or will they just be… shooting blanks? :D Man I can't stop with the puns, I told you I'm such a juvenile :D

But I agree with what "Mizo zeitgeist" said in the above tweetversation.

I was brought up outside Mizoram and I spent most of my life roaming across India. I had seen MANY establishments that used the word "-cum-" too, and even though I didn't take any photos then (because I never thought the day I defend the word "cum" would actually arrive), here are a few results from a quick google image search:

Here's the typical Hotel cum Restaurant.

There's even a Family hotel cum Restaurant.

Then we have the Restaurant cum Bar.

A Bar cum Family restaurant.

Even a California Restaurant cum Bar :P

A Dhaba restaurant cum bar.

A Classic bar cum restaurant.

A Restaurant cum Lounge bar.

And so on…

Suppose I open a restaurant and name it "Cu", and later I add a bar attached to the restaurant, does it become a… Cu-cum-bar? :D :P :P

So yeah, it is quite common elsewhere to see establishments using the word "cum".

Now for argument's sake, let us open the floor up to some questions you might have. Some of the comments I have seen my friends make are:

Yes, the word may be correct, but other places around the world do not use it.

Well, I haven't travelled around the world to know this, but even if it is true, why change it to fit into a norm? The beauty of travelling and exploring new places is to see new cultures and practices, things you don't see at your own home town. Let these tourists come and see the unique concept of "cum" in our state, which will make it even more interesting for them. :)

True, but some tourists laugh when they see such signboards.

So what? Let them laugh. It simply means that they have something unique to remember our state by. And by the way, if we're going to cater to the whims and fancies of a minority of our tourists, what about the majority of our tourists who want alcohol to start selling in Mizoram again, are we going to change that for them as well? *badumtsss* :D

Ok but, many of these hotel-cum-restaurant places in Mizoram do not even have places of lodging, so the inclusion of the word "hotel" is misleading.

I agree, and that is something the Tourism department can look into. However, I would also like to add that there are many restaurants across India with the prefix "hotel" which is actually just a restaurant. Hotel Saravana Bhavan is one such example, it was one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants back when I was studying in Tamil Nadu. There are now more than 100 Hotel Saravana Bhavan outlets around the world, with a revenue of INR 2,978.24 crores (USD 430 million) in 2017, and yes, Hotel Saravana Bhavan is just a restaurant, not an actual hotel.

Likewise, in some of the remote places in Mizoram, according to people who had travelled there, they said that an outlet with a "Hotel" signboard simply means the place serve "meals" whereas an outlet with a "restaurant" signboard means it serves afternoon tea snacks, and so an outlet with a "Hotel-cum-Restaurant" signboard is a place that serves both meals and snacks. Interesting huh? :)

And so, these are the few pointers I wanted to say regarding this matter.

The assumption that "cum" is an embarrassing word to use is wrong. It is a… wrong conception :D  We need to… impregnate our mind with better thoughts, penetrate it with more tolerance. The Tourism department might have reacted too quickly, probably a… premature ejaculation of opinion :D  (Jizz, I think I just broke my record for the most number of puns used in a single post)

Only immature and childish people like me will joke about it or make a meme out of it. For example, my dear friend Darliansanga runs his own restaurant called "Uncle's Diner" at Mel 3, near Zampuimanga Thlân, Lunglei road.

Since he himself cooks the food in his restaurant, and suppose he tastes them before serving it to the customers, does that make him a… cook-cum-taster? :D

See, I make stupid jokes like that all the time. But this should not be taken seriously by the Department of Tourism. Serious people do not even consider it as a joke.

In fact if you graduate from some of the top Universities with good marks, you'll be a magna-cum-laude which means "with great honour" or a summa-cum-laude which means "with highest honour". Some might find these words to be funny, especially "cum laude" in Hindi :P but then, they don't care if anybody laughs at them for that. And nobody is banning the use of those words.

So yes, as my final cum puns, I'd just like to say, just as how some people practice the withdrawal  method before they cum, maybe it is not too late for the Department of Tourism to withdraw this directive too? :)

Because at the end of the day, making people in the hospitality sector change their name when their business is already suffering due to the lockdown would be quite an… anti climax.

Just my thought. Like I said, these are just my personal opinion and if you're a part of the Tourism department, please don't take this personally.

Until my next update then, cheers everyone.

*exits blog to the soundtrack of The Beatles song… Cum together… right now… over me… ewwww* :D :P


Ron Fânai said...

Cum khi preposition ni lovin conjunction tih zawk tur niawm tak a ni

Mizohican said...

Conjuction chu sentence pahnih emaw clause te zawm dun na a nia, example: and, because, but, as, tih te ho. Preposition chu word pahnih, a bikin noun emaw pronoun pahnih zawmna an ni thung, example: with, in, across, through, tih te. "cum" khi "with" tihna a nih avangin preposition form a la e, sirji.

avena said...

may be..ask the commissioner/secretary to change ..designation into commissioner cum secretary or just "secretary to govt" as they did in all mainland states in the country. commissioner an tih ho hi chu Head of dept , supertime scale ho hi an ni si a...mizoram ah secy leh director(HOD) post an chelh kawp tir bawk si lova tourism.dept ah 😂

Mercy said...

Rightly said. Totally agreed. Cum just means "with" or a slang for come/climax, and slang words should not supersede original words. If we are against the word cum, it means that we are anti-cum..Haha..

Zosang said...

Kan hotel/restaurant ah hian bowl lian in chawhmeh an lo chhawp thin a ei bang hi chhung let leh mai lo hian, kan ei khawp lek te hi bowl te ah chhawp ni se a bang hi paih ni thin se. Mi hrang hrang ei kan ni si

Mizohican said...

Yes sir, you are correct. Company vel a designation leh politics ah phei hi chuan "cum" hi an hmang uar leh zual "and" ai in, hei pawh Press Release tih vel a a buai loh nan. Entirnan kan Chief Minister hi Sports Minister lo ni bawk se, Delhi ah a zin chuan "The Chief Minister cum Sports Minister travelled to Delhi" tih hian a sawi fel hneh em em a ni. The Chief Minister and Sports Minister travelled to Delhi ti ta se chu an portfolio hrelo tan chuan mi hran pahnih an zin a mi a tih theih hial a.

Mizohican said...

Aw hetiang hi chu a tam. Entirnan UK ah chuan cigarette hi "fag" an tia, USA ah chuan slang meaning dang daih a nei a, mahse UK lam in fag tih chu an ban phah chuanglo, ram danga slang a nih vang ringawt chuan.

Mizohican said...

Haha, nia, ni ve bawk khawp mai :D

Unknown said...

Hei hi chu a dept anga thuchhuah bur bur lova, in zirtir melh melh chi ava nih zAwk hmel ve.