‘Khanjar’ is a term most Indians are familiar with. In literal translation, it means a dagger. This word came into the language of India during the times of the Mughals. Originally, this term belongs to Arabic language and the ‘Khanjar’ has its home in the Middle East. Like how the Sikh men carry ‘kirpans’ the men of the Middle East used to carry ‘khanjars’. Men of the Middle East still carry Khanjars, but their numbers are fast decreasing.
I understood a bit more about the Khanjar during my recent trip to the sultanate of Oman. The ‘Omani Khanjar’ holds iconic status here. Every luxury tourist wants to carry a rare bejeweled piece back home. Even the Sultan of Oman in his public appearances and in his photos across the country is known to carry a royal looking khanjar on his hip. Omani men do carry it in the country side, but most of them carry on when they present themselves for traditional events. Like most such tools, the Khanjar was also historically used for self-protection, providing its worth as a tool in cutting, sharpening, etc. and also a status symbol.