Hindi Joke: Randi rona mat kar

Text: रंडी रोना मत कर

Romanization: Randi rona mat kar

Transliteration: randi → whore / rona mat kar → don’t cry

Transcription: Don’t cry, whore

Translation: Don’t cry, whore

Context: My informant – a 20-year-old international student from Kolkata, India – explained to me that this is a common Hindi phrase spoken in India. When translating it for me, he said that it means “a prostitute crying” and it is an inappropriate jab that he and his friends use towards each other. He has heard it most in North India and has described it as slang in Delhi and the Punjab region used in his age group. The jab is used when someone is perceived to be whining about something and the people around the whiner are fed up with it, so they call that person a whore and tell them not to cry. In recent years, he has also heard the phrase in the content of social media influencers, making it more widespread in his country.

Analysis: While prostitution is permitted in India, there is a large portion of the population that sees it as unethical and a violation of cultural values (Prostitution: Legality and Morality in India). In Hinduism, the dominant religion in India, marriage is believed to be a union made in Heaven, and when that marriage is completed on Earth, the marriage bond is believed to persist through seven lifetimes (Hindu Wedding Ceremony). Considering this, there are many who believe that prostitution is an insult to the sanctity of marriage, thus rendering the subject as taboo. In the phrase “randi rona mat kar,” you are explicitly calling someone a prostitute or a whore, pulling on language that is bound to reap discomfort given the perception of the profession in the culture. In the chapter “Jokes that Follow MassMediated Disasters in a Global Electronic Age” by Christie Davies, the author writes that “disaster jokes, like jokes about sex or race or, in some societies, religion or politics, are a way of playing with the forbidden for the sake of amusement” (32). Pulling on this analysis and the perception of prostitution in India, the utilization of “randi rona mat kar” is a way for young people to play with the sacredness of cultural values in an attempt to subvert or challenge traditional norms and beliefs. It serves as a medium for cultural defiance and pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in their society. Additionally, my informant was adamant about the phrase only being used in his age group, and he also mentioned it becoming more widespread due to the Internet. Davies also writes that the Internet “stimulates the invention of disaster jokes and of death-of-a-celebrity jokes by providing templates for, encouraging emulation among, and granting legitimacy to disaster joke-tellers” (33). With this, I believe that the proliferation of “randi rona mat kar” among younger generations is a product of the Internet’s ability to disseminate information at a faster rate, and with that comes a larger amount of young people playing with a taboo topic that is bound to reestablish cultural norms.


Davies, Christie. “Jokes that Follow MassMediated Disasters in a Global Electronic Age.” In Of Corpse: Death and Humor in Folklore and Popular Culture, edited by Peter Narvaez, 15-34. Utah State University Press, 2003.

Harsh, Garima. “Prostitution: Legality and Morality in India,” The Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/welfaremeasuresunderthefactoriesactacriticalappraisal/prostitution-legality-and-morality-in-india-55396/. 

“Hindu Wedding Ceremony,” Sikh and Dread Photography, https://www.sikhanddread.com/hindu-weddings#:~:text=In%20Hinduism%2C%20it%20is%20believed,life%20%E2%80%93%20the%20’Grihasthashram’.