To2borne, meaning may you bury me, is by far the funniest and the most Lebanese of expressions. Try explaining it to a non-speaking Arabic friend and you’ll understand how completely absurd it is. It’s a word of endearment from one loving person to another. Parents when talking to their children or about them, grandparents, and family members, most commonly use it. It is said to a loved one meaning you wish to die before them, thus them burying you so you never have to live a day without them.
This is how we love in Lebanon. We love with passion. We love with our hearts. We love to death. We love fully and to the grave. It’s one word that explains our culture, I think. We live in a parental society where the old and the young take care of each other, where their lives mesh together in an intertwining dance of loving and tending to the other’s needs. It’s a culture where the young bury the old in a ritual that’s been taking place for centuries. They do it in the name of respect and love to the other. Burying someone is the last act of affection and esteem you carry for someone you love. That’s how central that little macabre word of affection is.
Again being Lebanese, everything starts with a simple idea, and then tends to be magnified. Our not so simple To2borne has had many nouns and adjectives added to it, making it even more caricaturesque. I will mention a few here for the sake of their absurdity:
Yo2borne fossak (May your fart bury me)
To2borne tizak (may your ass bury me)
Yo2borne jamelo (may your beauty bury me)
Yo2borne rabbak (may your God bury me)
To2borne dohiktak (may your smile bury me)
To2borne Inshallah (may you bury God willing)
yo2borne fosso, shoo bihibo (may your fart bury me, i love you so much)
We are gruesome, gruesome people and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But on the other hand, on a more poetic side of things, it’s such a loving word that carries nothing but love in it. It reminds me of a phrase I read while I was reading Winnie the Pooh, not a long time ago, “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
Because I come from a culture that is all heart I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton
I even discovered we have a couple of songs on the subject, check them out if you are alone at home!