Monday, February 06, 2006

The Janosic Koliba

There are many similar words to Persian over here in the High Tatras mountains. For example:

(what) is (chi) or (che) in Persian and they say (cho) .
(where) is (kojA) inPersian and they say (kde).
(woman) is (zan) in Persian and they say (Zhene).
The counting has many similarities too. (Jeden) is one, (Yek) in Persian, (dova) is two, (dow) in Persian and carrying on to 200 which is (divist) in Persian and (dovesto) in their language.

Another similar word is Koliba, a hut, what we call Kolbeh in Persian. There are many restaurants called Kolibehs in the middle of the mountains. They are literally, wooden huts where they serve food, while gypsies play a variety of folk music. They are absolutely gorgeous and cosey places to escape the cold, eat, drink and be merry. I just loved them. My favourite Kolibeh was named after the local hero, Janosic.

Much has been written about Janosic, from being a local Robin Hood, to a freedom fighter who joined the insurgents, with the motto, "Pro Liberate," emblazoned on their banner, to fight the feudal yoke when life became unbearable afer the death of the liberal monarch, "Matthew, the Just", right down to simply being an outlawed rebel who loved life as a free man and made love to as many women as he could.

I must say all versions about Janosic's life appealed to me.

Janosic was sentenced to death on March 18 in 1713, before a vast assembly of people. There the young rebel-chieftain was hanged on the gallows, and his lifeless body was buried beneath it as was the custom of that time.
According to popular legends, Janosic, though weighed down by his heavy shackles, danced the "hajduchy" (a lively folk dance) four times around the gallows, just before his death.

Another legendary story tells of a courier who came directly from the Emperor with his imperial pardon, but it was too late, for the daring youth, who had promised to recruit four regiments of soldiers for the Emperor , was already hanging on the rack. He refused the amnesty with the words, "Now that you have roasted me, you might as well devour me." He is said to have died after being suspended by his rib on the rack for three days.

All nature seemed to go into mourning for this youth, whose merry songs once resounded through the glen. The babbling brooks became silent, the animals in the forest ceased their activity momentarily in silent tribute to their departed hero. A sudden hush came over all, and his many friends, far and near, were overcome by sorrow at his passing.

That is the story in legendary accounts.

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