Friday, January 30, 2009

The Giubiana 2009

...E sicome la stabilìss la legg quaranta dal voccént-sesantòtt
che dopo 'l procèss gh'è la lugànega e 'l risòtt,
la sentenza a la fin la pö vess pronunziada:
la Giubiana, stasira, ca la sia brusada!

...And since law 49 of year 1868 decretes
that after the process there is the sausage and the risotto,
the sentence at the end can be pronounced:
let the Giubiana, tonite, be burnt!
(From the Sentence of the Process to Giubiana)

The Giubiana and the executioner
Also this year, as in the last, we went to the folk event of the Giubiana of Canzo, that happens every year on the last Thursday of January.

They stage a process for an old witch (the Giubiana) who symbolizes the evils of the past year. But there won't be any surprise in the sentence: at the end the Giubiana will be judged guilty and so condemned to the stake.
The ceremony opens with the parade of some characters of popular alpine tradition that in procession, brings the old woman to the main square. Once there, the process is celebrated in strict local dialect (so strict that, although a Lombard since several generations, I have a hard time understanding).

Mr. Bentley
Particularly worth mentioning are the words of the first witness for the defense. She asserts that the charges (year by year the bad news: this year the economy, the high rated loans, the increase of unemployment, the wars in the Middle East...) are not, strictly speaking, to be imputed to the Giubiana like a scapegoat, but to ourselves, as constituted matter of this society in which all those evils generated.
The spirit of the event is to accept the past and restart with optimism. The stake of the Giubiana is in fact a propitiatory rite for the year just begun, in the awareness that we are the authors of our own destiny.

The words of the final wills, written by the Giubiana, and read by a loyal friend, the gossip lady of the village, threaten evils also for the next year, and represent the consciousness that it won't be for the propitiatory rite that our future will ever change. So, the stake is the symbol of our acceptance of destiny, but also the commitment to improve. The Giubiana in fact promises to rise just after the stake, to reappear, in one year, as the renewed sacrificial lamb.

After the process, Maddie was excited, but Mr. Bentley (much more shy) was frightened for the confusion and noise. "Fajah, let's go home please" he tells me with that baritone voice (Mister Bentley speaks in American English, often mixed with some Hawaiian Pidgin expressions).
So we preferred to forgo the burning at the stake and the typical risotto with sausage and vin brülé (hot spicey wine) and we went back home.


Robert Lindsay said...

Hi, can you tell me, is there a Lombard dialect that you speak fluently or at least understand very well? Thx.

dario said...

Yes, i can speak fluently Lombard dialect (so i can also understand it) as a second mother-tongue.

Nevertheless there is no "official" Lombard dialect (that's what happens when a "language" is actually a "dialect"). So, i can pretty much understand any dialect spoken in Lombardy, but i can speak only the one spoken north-west of Milan.
There's also some differences between the dialect spoken today (contaminated by italian) and the one that my great-great-grandparents used to speak in the past. In that i could have some difficulties ;-)

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