Sunday, August 29, 2010

Clean dancing

There is in Poland the small town of Nowy Sacz and the even smaller town of Stary Sacz.
Nowy Sacz means “New” Sacz and Stary Sacz means “Old’ Sacz.
But legend has it that the new town is in fact older than the one saying with its name it is the oldest.

So what, many fervent and loyal blog readers would lead the majority of the world population to have as an opinion about this issue.
And that’s right.
Who cares?

In Stary Sacz is a traditional restaurant where the family likes to go and have dinner.
This they do at 4 p.m.
That’s Polish dinner time.

The border with the country of Slovakia is only 10 kilometers (6 miles) away from Stary Sacz and that deep in Eastern Europe the menu of a restaurant is filled with cross border dishes.
Polish dishes, Hungarian dishes and Slovakian dishes.
Like, as an appetizer, herring with puszta sauce.
Or a fried trout with horseradish sauce.
Good, exotic and tasty food, although on the heavy side.

On the market square of Stary Sacz was the annual fair.
Called in the Polish language “Jarmark”.
Obviously a deviation from the German word “Jahrmarkt”.

There were many stands selling local handicraft and on a large stage a traditionally dressed band played old regional music.
Until a group of dancers appeared on the scene.
Dressed in traditional Polish costumes.
Doing dances from times long forgotten.

And these dancers, all very young people, had so much fun.
Looked so happy and elated to dance as their forefathers and mothers did for centuries.

It gave an opportunity to reflect on the times we are living now.
It is not so common anymore that nowadays people are interested and enjoying seeing traditional dancing.
Most annual fairs have “middle of the road” music and if a band plays it is contemporary tearjerking music.

Tradition is less and less guarded.
Honored and celebrated.
Probably because the value and importance of traditions are not recognized anymore.
Traditions had as one of its functions to transmit important knowledge over time.
When traditional Polish dancing is observed for example, one can learn a lot about how the relationship between men and women can be organized.
The way they interact, touch and are in unison.
A spectator could take it as instructions.
Getting the message of the dancing that respect for each other is rule one.

Another important observation one can make when seeing traditional Polish dancing is that it is high speed, dynamic and full of happy energy.
The dancers must be in good shape and must have a good memory to remember all the many steps that must be taken together right at the same time.

But it is especially the happiness that one strongly feels radiating from the dancers.
They are obviously in an elation when dancing.
And isn’t that a wonderful and hopeful message coming to us from the past?
Once we were happy and we can still be?


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