Friday, April 29, 2011


Båsta di umuriyan guma' / sa' un gatcha i tinanom;
yanggen maolek hao na taotao / guåha potta para un hålom.

Stop hanging around outside the house / for you will step on the plants;
if you are a good person / there is a door you can enter.

Can you hear the mother of the young maiden telling this to the startled young man who didn't see mama looking through the window?  In those days, the sottero (single man) and the sottera (single lady) had a hard time finding the time and the place to even speak to each other.  Every move of the sottera was closely watched by nåna (the mother), and nånan biha (grandma) and the aunts if they could help it.  As soon as a girl came of child-bearing age, she was yanked out of school, as well, in many families.

So the young suitor resorted to loitering outside the house, hoping to speak to the girl undetected through the window.

But the mother is not all bad.  She just wants the young man to prove his worth and honor, and knock on the door and present himself in a forthright manner to the girl's family.

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