Monday, 16 September 2019

Bridal suicide

A very beautiful, strange and sad ritual wedding song from Gali─Źnik, Macedonia. 


Original song from the Journal of the Ethnographic museum in Belgrade, book 1, published in 1926.Serbian, Cyrilic




It was sang by the groom during the erection of the flag on top of his family house, the day before he goes to pick the bride... 

Originally, according to the ethnographic records from 1926, this flag was some kind of family flag. At 1920's it was more and more replaced by the Serbian flag (when this area became part of Southern Serbia after WW1) and now it's Macedonian flag (as this is now part of Macedonia, since the WW2)...



To me, the strangest thing about this wedding song, is not that groom sings about bridal suicide the day before he goes to pick up the bride ­čÖé. The strangest thing about this song is that the runaway bride does not jump into Vardar (the biggest river in Macedonia) or any river that flows near Gali─Źnik. She runs 600km away and jumps into Danube...



And she calls the people living along Danube "her brothers", and begs them to instruct her family not to cut wood or cut grass growing along Danube or draw water from Danube...


Did this song actually originate much much further up north, somewhere along Danube? 

I believe that this is quite possible as another song, which is sang by girls during the dressing of the groom goes like this:



Original song from the Journal of the Ethnographic museum in Belgrade, book 6, published in 1931. Serbian, Cyrilic


This songs doesn't talk about going to Skopje, the biggest city in Macedonia, or any other town or village in the ares to get the girl. It talks about going to Budim (the oldest part of today's Hungarian capital Budapest), to get a Budim girl!!! 


This is over 900km up north!!!



So were did the people who originally composed these wedding songs live? And when did they move down to Gali─Źnik? 

1 comment:

  1. West Slavs (e.g. Poles) and East Slavs also sing about Dunaj (Danube) in their ritual songs. I can imagine three possible explanations: 1) Dunaj~Dunav was originally a generic name for a large rivers 2) Slavs are from the Danube area 3) Dunaj~Dunav originally referred to another large river.

    Zbigniew Go┼é─ůb, a prominent Polish linguist, claimed (3) - Dunaj was the Slavic name for the Dnieper (Dnieper is an Iranian name).

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