Etymology of Malay berhala

Christopher Sundita csundita at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jan 22 02:30:33 UTC 2009

Hi Geoff,
My post may be totally useless, but it reminds me of Tagalog "bahala" which is used to mean something like "suit yourself" or simpy responsibility.  From my understanding, it refers to "bhattara" (my spelling is off), which refers to a deity of some sort in pre-Christian times.

--- On Wed, 1/21/09, Geoffrey Wade <geoffrey.wade at> wrote:

From: Geoffrey Wade <geoffrey.wade at>
Subject: [An-lang] Etymology of Malay berhala
To: an-lang at
Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 8:34 AM

Dear AN-Lang list members,
A colleague is seeking  ideas as to the etymology of  the Malay term "berhala", a term used for "idol, image". Wilkinson provides no etymology.

He has proferred the possibility of derivation from Sanskrit/Pali "vihara" and would appreciate any comments on the phonetic feasibility of this suggestion, and/or the occurrence of the term "berhala" in other Austronesian languages.
Many thanks
Geoff Wade
geoffrey.wade at _______________________________________________
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