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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:53 pm 

+Lakini+
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Yes, as I understand, this sort of happened everywhere. Only Belgium had a very high attendance. In Romania there was something around 20% voter attendance at national level. I think it's unfortunate that this is happening though.

What I found interesting is that far-right parties seem to have been quite unexpectedly successful this time. A lot of people have commented that this is because the economic crisis.

 
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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:04 pm 

lynx
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+Lakini+ wrote:
Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies

OK, I thought this was a bit intriguing to discuss. Feel free to skip if you're not interested.

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a German girl about nursery rhymes, and we reached the conclusion that they are invariably either scary or depressing as hell. We only used English, German and Romanian examples in the conversation, because those were the most accessible at the time.

First I have to tell you, Romanian nursery rhymes are generally reasonable (although we have two particular ones I will tell you about in a minute)
Strangely enough, I don't know many English/American ones, but if they're along the lines of 'Rock-a-by Baby', then they're not very cheerful. After this conversation I learned a lot about German nursery rhymes, and the ones this girl mentioned (Maikäfer flieg, Guten Abend, Gut Nacht, Bi-ba-butzemann) are so depressing!

I remember that in my first year of school (I was 6 and attended a German school) one of the first things they taught us was Hoppe Hoppe Reiter, by way of trying to teach us German, and when they gave us the translation, everyone in class was Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

Some of the lyrics are

Hop, hop, rider
If he falls he will be crying.
If he falls into the ditch,
Then the ravens will eat him.


(Interestingly enough, many years later I discovered that Rammstein use this little rhyme in Spielhur, which is oddly appropriate: Hoppe hoppe Reiter/mein Herz schlägt nicht mehr weiter - Hop hop, rider/My heart doesn't beat anymore)

As for Romanian ones, there are two in particular I always found scary/sad:

One is about a fox who steals a goose and the approximate translation would be:

Fox, you've stolen my goose,
Give it back, give it back,
Or I will fetch my gun
And three hound dogs

Or I will hunt you down
And shoot a hole in you
Your fur stained with blood
You will be dead.


Well, something like that. The other one is actually written by a reasonably famous poet, and it's longer and harder to translate. But the general idea is that a little boy has caught a bug and wants to crush it, and the bug tries to plead for his life, saying he's got a family too, and his parents and brother will be heartbroken if he dies... And then the boy crushes it anyway, and goes home and feels sorry for a while. And that's all.

So my questions are:

1. What are some famous nursery rhymes in your own language? (I'd actually be quite interested in this part)
2. Why do you think some of them are so sad? Andrei has this theory that you can sing anything to a baby as long as you do it in a reasonably cheerful voice.


not that i mean to interrupt the political discussion, i just found this and i think it's quite interesting Smile
it's true about the sad stuff in songs, and i think i heard something similar in bg about the boy and the bug
one reason, may be that people in the old times were supersticious... and i dunno, singing about it's-all-good stuff could bring bad luck...
and yeah, i think you can sing pretty much anything to a baby, and so, maybe some people just used them to share whatever they had in their mind (like the fox Very Happy ) on the other hand, maybe they were trying to teach children morals on subconscious level Laughing

i'll try to think or find some bg werid songs Smile

 
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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:05 am 

LittleBird
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Hey I hadn't seen this post either! Interesting indeed!

I agree with Maya. I guess mothers sang to their babies whatever they had on their mind, and life was usually not cheerful Rolling Eyes I can't think of any lithuanian or russian lullabies at the moment... Actually I don't sing many of them to Laurie, just a few... Oh, remembered one. Russian. It says something like, Sleep, sleep, don't lie on the edge of the bed, a wolf will come and snatch you and take you to the forest, and lay you under a bush... Pretty scary if you ask me Yes

But ok, let's say babies don't understand the text and they are fine with these songs. But what about fairytales? Cruelty all over Confusion

 
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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:28 am 

+Lakini+
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Thanks for the response, girls. Actually, this is a lot more interesting than elections Laughing Laughing

Anna, you're right about fairy tales. Most of the ones children have access to these days have been pretty much sugar-coated, most of them by Walt Disney. I recently ran into an old Grimm's Fairy Tales book I've had since I was a child and read through it (for some illustration inspiration) The end of Cinderella, for example, is quite bloody and cruel, nothing at all like the animation.

But here's something interesting: there's a Romanian fairy tale I've always found absolutely unique and quite frightening from a certain point of view.

It's called 'Youth Without Age, Life Without Death' and it starts like any other fairy tale with a young prince leaving his homeland in search of his fortune and battles assorted monsters in forests until he comes to a magnificent palace. There he meets three young women who invite him to live with them. He marries the youngest one and lives there happily for a while until he loses track of time. The women tell him he is allowed to go anywhere he likes, but he is to avoid a place called the Valley of Tears, because if he sets foot there, he will die.

One day the prince goes out for a hunt and chases a rabbit down a gorge and kills it. When he returns, his wife and sisters-in-law become frightened and tell him he's been in the Valley of Tears. The prince says, 'How is that possible? I am still alive, so that can't be true'. But they insist, and send him away, saying they can't live with a dead man.

The prince is sad, but decides to return home to his father, judging that only a few years have passed since his departure. As he makes his way back though, he discovers everything has changed, the cities and people are quite different from what he remembers, and he can't find the way to his father's kingdom anymore. So he asks an old man about it, but the old man says, 'I've only heard of such a kingdom from my great-grandfather, and he has only heard about it from his ancestors. You are insane.'

As he walks further, the cities begin to disappear slowly, and soon the prince is walking through ruins and he discovers he's grown old and tired. Finally, when he reaches the place where his father's palace should be, he finds nothing gut crumbled walls and pillars, and an old wooden chest, a bony hand comes up from inside and strikes him. As he feels his strength leave him, the prince sees Death smiling at him from the chest and saying 'I'm glad you finally arrived. I would have died myself waiting for you for so long.'

And that's that. I've read and had a lot of stories read to me when I was little, but never anything so unusual. It might sound uninteresting they way I told it, but the original story had such chilling descriptions it's hardly forgettable.

 
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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:42 pm 

LittleBird
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Well the way you told it was enough to impress me already Surprised

 
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:36 am 

+Lakini+
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Have you ever heard about Sorcova?

It's a tradition that starts around winter holidays. Typically, it should happen in the week between Christmas and New Year, but it seems to happen randomly these days, and I was reminded of it yesterday, when I recieved it from a beggar girl in the subway.

'Sorcova' is a New Year blessing usually offered by children to grown ups. The child who gives it carries a little rod (it can be anything from a little stick to something ornate - this is called Sorcova) They pat the person they're blessing on the shoulder lightly with it and they sing:

'Happy Sorcova,
May you live, may you grow old,
Like an apple tree, like a pear tree,
Like a rose flower.
Hard as stone and quick as an arrow,
Hard as iron and strong as steel.
Happy New Year!'

(It may not make a lot of sense. It sounds more beautiful in my langoage, I'm afraid Laughing)

The child is supposed to recieve a little gift in exchange - usually sweets or some trinket. In the countryside, small children travel together through the village and give the blessing to each house in exchange for cakes or freshly baked bagles.
In the city, it tends to run among families and friends. But nowadays, a lot of beggars do it and ask for money in return. I hate it, especially since they don't even say it correctly, mostly they tend to mumble.

I don't know if there's something similar anywhere else.

 
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 PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:24 pm 

lynx
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We have the same thing Smile
It's called Survakane, end the road is - Survachka Wink
And yeah, it is most beautiful in little villages, when they go from house to house and sing and wear traditional coats and hats. And the songs here are mostly about peace and health in the house and abundance.


 
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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:16 pm 

+Lakini+
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Happy Easter to those celebrating it!

 
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:05 pm 

LittleBird
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What do you guys think about Halloween? How is it in your countries? Here traditionally this day is the day for remembering the dead relatives and friends and visiting their graves, ligting candles there... Nothing to do with what Halloween is about. But lately they have Halloween themes on TV on that day, in the clubs and stuff. I personally don't like it at all Rolling Eyes

 
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:52 pm 

Ed
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Nothing at all

 
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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:16 pm 

+Lakini+
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LittleBird wrote:
What do you guys think about Halloween? How is it in your countries? Here traditionally this day is the day for remembering the dead relatives and friends and visiting their graves, ligting candles there... Nothing to do with what Halloween is about. But lately they have Halloween themes on TV on that day, in the clubs and stuff. I personally don't like it at all Rolling Eyes


In Romania we have St. Andrew's Night on November 30, which was traditionally considered a time when the dead could return to visit their living families, and all sorts of spirits and magical creatures would walk openly in the human world. It's also considered to be the time when wolves gather and hold council, and if a human happens to be around, they can understand what the wolves are saying.

St. Andrew (dude from the Bible, dusciple of Jesus and actually, the patron saint of Romania) replaced a pagan deity who was called Undrea and was the protector of wolves. So this is the sort of tradition we have.

Here in Finland there's also an all saints' day that's celebrated this Sunday and it's apparently exactly like Anna described.

I don't care much for Halloween, but I find it funny that it was popularized all over the world as an American holiday, when in fact it comes from Britain. In British pagan traditions it coincodes with an old Gaelic holiday called Samhain. And even today, Samhain is still sometimes called the Witches' New Year. It's interesting.

But otherwise, I hate the commercial side of Halloween, it's quite stupid. And some Finns seem to be really into it Rolling Eyes

 
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 PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 am 

Heropsychosacha
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I for one love Halloween, but we don't really celebrate it here. I'd also love the Dia de los muertes thing they have in Mexico, but we Dutchies aren't that traditional when it comes to remembering the dead people. We actually have a thing called Allerheiligen on November 1st but that is something really catholic, a day for all the saints and stuff. November 2nd is called Allerzielen. That day is meant to remember the ones who died, but when you ask the people on the streets, nobody actually knows what it is about. Crying or Very sad

 
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 PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:43 pm 

Thunderbird
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Hey guys, will the world end in 2012?

 
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 PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:24 pm 

Echo
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No.

 
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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:40 am 

LittleBird
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No way Wink

 
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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:41 am 

LittleBird
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Btw, we have survived one in 2000 already, remember? Laughing

 
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