Costa Rica Coffee Guide

What is the Best Way to Translate Grisi Siknis?

September 11, 2009

Dear Tico Times:

I read your article about “grisi siknis” with great interest (“Miskito Village Beats Grisi Siknis,” NT, Aug. 7).

I wish that you were allowed more space to explain some of the sociological explanations for the phenomenon.

Though I’m not certain, I believe that your article mistakes the origin of the word “grisi siknis.” In the article, you said that the term comes from a Miskito word.

However, while working with a Miskito group, I was told several times that the term comes from the English.

Hence, “grisi siknis” is a mispronunciation of the English term “crazy sickness.”

I could be wrong, of course. Since then, I’ve also read that “grisi siknis” translated to English means “jungle madness.”

Matthew Blair

Santa Barbara, Heredia, Costa Rica

 

Editor’s Note: ‘Grisi Siknis’ is a Miskito word that translates directly as ‘crazy sickness,’but it is more of an adaptation of English words rather than a mispronunciation. In Miskito language, which has taken several words from English, ‘grisi’ means crazy and ‘siknis’ means sickness.

For more information about this mysterious cultural-bound syndrom and a more in-depth explanation of Grisi Siknis, see “Grisi Siknis Outbreak Pits Town Against Evil Spirits, NT, April 3, 2009.

You may be interested

U.S. Southern Command delivers hygiene supplies to Costa Rica’s Education Ministry
Costa Rica
3731 views
Costa Rica
3731 views

U.S. Southern Command delivers hygiene supplies to Costa Rica’s Education Ministry

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 24, 2020

The United States Southern Command delivered a significant donation of hygiene supplies to Costa Rica's Education Ministry (MEP) in a…

Costa Rica begins new dialogue in search of solution to serious fiscal crisis
Costa Rica
22042 views
Costa Rica
22042 views

Costa Rica begins new dialogue in search of solution to serious fiscal crisis

AFP - October 24, 2020

Costa Rica on Friday opened a dialogue with many sectors of the country in search of an agreement to overcome…

‘Hasta siempre, doctor Solís’: Costa Rica mourns doctor’s death
Costa Rica
15701 views
Costa Rica
15701 views

‘Hasta siempre, doctor Solís’: Costa Rica mourns doctor’s death

The Tico Times - October 23, 2020

Jaime Solís, a 54-year-old doctor who worked for the Costa Rican Social Security System, is among the more than 1,200…