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Thread: scandinavian christmas lore

  1. #1
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    ...multilingual phenomenon that I am...
    I would like to offer those 2 christmas poems I will recite as usual on christmas eve.

    The first one is an old "plattdeutsch" (low-German) poem:

    Wienachtsman büst du all dor

    Wienachtsman büst du all dor,
    mit dien groten packen?
    Vadder is noch gar nich kloar,
    Mudder is an't backen

    Wiehnachtsmann wat hett de seggt,
    kommst du ganz ut'm hebben?
    Hest du mi en Popp mitbrächt,
    magst mi di woll gebben.

    Oh kieck een mit helle Haar.
    Jau di mag ich lieden.
    Da kann de von't vorig johr,
    mien lütt söster kreegen

    Wiehnachstmann ick dank di fix,
    komm ick gev di n'seuten
    To den andern segg ich nix,
    bloss ick shall em greuten.

    Santa Claus are you there

    Santa Claus are you there,
    with your heavy package?
    Daddy isn't really ready,
    Mommy is at baking

    Santa Claus what have they said,
    are you really from the heaven?
    Have you brought a doll with you
    can you give it to me

    Oh, look one with fair hair
    yes I will like it
    Now the one from last year,
    will my little sister get

    Santa Claus, I thank you quick
    com'on I'll give you a peck
    To the others I won't say a thing,
    just that I should greet them


    The other one is also a little child christmas poem. This one is a danish poem:

    Ude I skoven sad Kæmper og nisser

    Ude i skoven
    sad nisser og kæmper
    og råbte in kor:
    det er jul i december

    Og da man kom
    til den firogtyvende
    så den mon himlen
    hvor sneen kom flyvende

    Så gik de ind
    i en nissebarak
    og spiste så meget
    at maverne sprak

    Og da de åbende
    pakken med gaverne
    lå der en æske
    med plaster til maverne

    Deep in the woods sat giants and pixies

    Deep in the woods
    sat pixies* and giants
    and chanted together:
    It is christmas in december

    And as they came
    to the twentyforth
    then they (looked) to heaven
    where snow came flying

    Then they went in
    in a pixieshed (barrack)
    and ate so much
    that their (maws) stomachs burst

    And as they opened
    the package with the gifts
    there lay a chest
    with plaster for (maws) stomachs


    * nisse are the danish house leprechauns. Children in Denmark believe that nisse bring the gifts and usually when the customary danish risegrød (rice pudding) has been eaten at christmas, they will put a little bowl of the leftover rice pudding in the kitchen for the nisse.

    [ 12-23-2005, 04:15 AM: Message edited by: martin schulz ]

  2. #2
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    That's good.

    Thanks, Martin.

    A Happy Christmas and a Healthy & Prosperous New Year to you & yours...

    Alan

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by martin schulz:

    I would like to offer those 2 christmas poems I will recite as usual on christmas eve.

    [i]Santa Claus are you there

    * nisse are the danish house leprechauns. Children in Denmark believe that nisse bring the gifts and usually when the customary danish risegrød (rice pudding) has been eaten at christmas, they will put a little bowl of the leftover rice pudding in the kitchen for the nisse.
    Heavens, everyone knows it's the Tomten that brings goodies for the children. (Seriously, what a wonderful custom you have!)

  4. #4
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    Actually The "Tomten" is a Swede

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomte

    But the Northen European Christmas tradition is a blend of many countrys tradition.

    And a Merry Christmas to you all

    Hans

    [ 12-22-2005, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: Hans Friedel ]

  5. #5
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    In Scandinavian folklore, a "household spirit" responsible for the care and prosperity of a farm. A nisse was usually described as a short man (under four feet tall) wearing a red cap with a tassel.

    Nisse While belief in guardian spirits is a very old tradition in Scandinavia, belief in nissar was prominent in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Denmark, southern Norway and southern Sweden. Many farms claimed to have their own nisse. The nisse took an active interest in the farm by performing chores such as grooming horses, carrying bales of hay, and other farm-related tasks. These chores were usually done much more efficiently and effectively than by their human counterparts.

    However, nissar were very temperamental, to say the least. If the household was not careful to keep its nisse satisfied (usually in the form of a single bowl of porridge* with butter in it left out on Christmas eve) the spirit could turn against its masters. In one story, a girl is instructed by her family to give the nisse his porridge, but decides to eat it herself. The nisse responds by forcing her to dance until she nearly dies. Sometimes the offering themselves could backfire: in another tale, a grateful farmer gives his nisse a pair of nice white boots, and afterward the nisse refuses to go out into the rain to stable the horses for fear of getting his new boots dirty.
    * that's not really correct, since the proper christmas meal during the day (to stuff everybody before the expensive christmas dinner is served) is risegrød (rice pudding) with butter and one single "stripped" almond in it. The one who gets the almond hides it in his mouth as long as possible and then will claim his almond-gift, which is usually a small practical thing.

  6. #6
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    When I was a little boy my parents lived in Stockholm, and I have retained a Scandinavian form of Christmas to some extent.

    But speaking of multculturalism my three year old came home from school singing, to the tune of "Frere Jaques"...

    "Father Christmas, Father Christmas
    He got stuck! He got stuck!
    Coming down the chimney, coming down the chimney
    What bad luck! What bad luck!"

  7. #7
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    The traditional Norwegian nisse. Not a big guy..


    And if you don't get any presents this Christmas, now you know why...

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Hans Friedel:
    Actually The "Tomten" is a Swede

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomte

    But the Northen European Christmas tradition is a blend of many countrys tradition.

    And a Merry Christmas to you all

    Hans
    Ja visst, svenska! God Jul fron Naples, Florida (sodra Sverige)

    oopsm eduted to korrect tge spelling of "Sverige", never coud spell either in Swedish or inglish!

    [ 12-23-2005, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Tristan ]

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