View Full Version : Around the Campfire


allhailIndia
Feb 02, 2002, 09:01 AM
There are over 11000 Civfanatics and represent atleast a 100 different cultures. Every civilization has its own myth and legend designed to inrpire morality, bravery or any Good chracteristic. It is my wish that we all share one story from our culture with each other. Try to make it concise, but do not missthe point of the Story. I shall go first.


THis story is set in the Mahabharata when the Pandavas are in exile for 12 years. After a long and tiring hunt, they stop and take a drink from a nearby pool. The eldest Pandava, Yudhishtir asks his brother Nakul to locate a pond from a tree. Nakul spots one and quickly makes his towards it. As he is about to drink the water, a voice echoes from the Jungle.
"I am the spirit of this pool. Do not drink this water or you shall die".
Nakul lost in his invinciblity, drink the water and falls motionless.

Worried about the absence of Nakul, Yudhishtir sends Nakul's twin, Sahadev,to hurry up Nakul and get the water. Sahadev is stunned by the motionless body of Nakul and immediately sets to investigate, when the same voice addresses him,
"Do not be as foolish as your brother. Answer my questions and I shall let you drink". Sahadev too ignores the warning and meets the same fate.

Yudhisthir worried about the absence of his younger brothers sends his other brothers, Arjun and Bhim, one after the other. Yet these mighty warriors make the same mistake as their younger brothers and are struck down by the spirit.
Finally Yudhishtir, the wisest of the brothers, sets out himself. Upon reaching the pool, he sees the motionless bodies of his brothers and his overcome with grief. He too hears the same voice.

"Do not be as arrogant as your brothers. Answer my questions and I shall let you live." Yidhisthir quickly realizes that this is a divine being he is speaking to and proceeds to answer the questions.

In the actual story, the Yaksha or divine being, asks Yudhishtira 120 questions. he answers them all patiently and correctly. I shall narrate only ten of the important questions.

Yaksha:What is that which is more Sustaining than the Earth?
Yudhishthira:It is the Mother who cares for a child.

Ya:By the loss of what does a man become richer?
Yu:By the loss of anger a man becomes richer.

Ya:What is greater than the Sky?
Yu:The Father, who should always be respected and obeyed, is greater than the Sky.

Ya:Who is a real Bramhana(a man of high caste)?
Yu:Birth alone does not determine a Bramhana. It is his behaviour, manners and learning that makes a Bramhana.

Ya:What travels faster than the wind?
Yu:The human mind is faster than any wind.

Ya:Through the loss of what does a man win more friends?
Yu:The loss of anger endears a man to his friends.

Ya:What rescues a man in danger?
Yu:Only courage rescues a man in Danger.

ya:What befriends a traveller?
YU:Learning.

YaWho is the friend of one who stays at home?
Yu:His wife.

Ya:What is the greatest wonder if the world?
YU:Every day, men se creatures depart from this world, yet those who live, live as though they live forever. This is the greatest wonder of the World.

The Yaksha was so pleased that he was willing to grant the life of one of the Pandavas. Yudhisthira wanted Nakula to live. When the Yaksha, asked why Nakula when he could have revived either one of his Great warrior brothers, Arjun or Bhima, Yudhisthira replied that since his father had 5 children from 2 wives, he being the son of Kunti, it was only fair that a son of Madri, the other wife, be revived. The yaksha was so happy with his answer that he granted the lives of all his brothers and bade them good forutne in their trials yet to come.

damunzy
Feb 03, 2002, 02:39 AM
Wow, good story. I can't think of any American stories besides Paul Bunyon (sp?) and I can't even remember how it went exactly.
I do remember the story about a man named Jed though. Poor Mountiner bare kept his family fed. One day.....For those of you that know this I will spare you, for those of you that don't I will explain. What I wrote was part of a song to an old America Sit-Com (Situational Comedy) that was on TV back when Black and White was standard.

allhailIndia
Feb 07, 2002, 08:37 AM
I am sorry I could not speak about the moral of this story. So here goes. Here it shown by Yudhisthir that when everything is lost , the only facility that can save a man is his toungue and his wisdom. Wisdom does not come about by reading a lot of books or by being top of the class. It comes only when one has realised that moral living and a sinless character is more important than anything. Also, we are all bound by duty. For in the final analysis, it is how much you have done for your fellow man that counts.

PS I am a bit disappointed that no other contribution has been made.

Simon Darkshade
Feb 07, 2002, 09:17 AM
Well, as one who considers himself as having some knowledge of his own culture, I can quite frankly say that there is no such equivalent in Australia, save perhaps the story of the Kelly Gang, Hawky breaking the beer sculling world record at Oxford, and this little piece:

Waltzing Matilda - Banjo Patterson, c.1895


Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

REFRAIN:Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Down came a jumbuck to dri-ink at that billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee
And he sang as he stuffed that jumbuck in his tucker-bag
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred
Up rode the troopers, one, two, three
"Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker-bag?"
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into that billabong
"You'll never take me alive!", said he
And his ghost may be heard as you pa-ass by that billabong
You'll come a-waltzing matilda with me

Sodak
Feb 07, 2002, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by allhailIndia
PS I am a bit disappointed that no other contribution has been made.
I was looking forward to more, too. In the US, there is a general lack of myth. Those known to most are borrowed from the Greeks and Germans. So when you ask for such a story, the Grimm fairy tales immediately come to mind. They have been ruined by Disney, but the original stories are all dark lessons in morality and behavior.

Many of the indian (n.american) stories that have survived the obliteration of cultures have lost much of their subtelty and meaning. The context is gone, sadly. :( However, I suppose you seek stories that are more independent of context.

FredLC
Feb 08, 2002, 10:23 AM
Agreed. I was looking foward to see this topic grow as well. The original proposition is very interesting.

And i share the same problem that you. Altough I can't claim that I have a very good knowledge of Brazil's culture, Like Simon about Australia, I don't recall any storie that resembles the topic requirements, in terms of simplicity, morality and presentation.

All i can think of are the books from one of our greatest writers, Monteiro Lobato.

But, pretty much like what happened to the Grimm Brothers, much of his work were ruined in the TV adaptations.

Too bad.

Regards :) .

allhailIndia
Feb 08, 2002, 10:36 AM
Well my intention was not just morality , simplicity, etc. but to help us understand, get to know other cultures as well and not to grow with the stereotypes the media presents. Any story which brings out the beauty, history or greatness of a culture is A-okay:goodjob:

Flatlander Fox
Feb 08, 2002, 11:50 AM
A slightly negative look at a big part of American culture...

It's a folk song, by Bob Dylan, and it is a great story...

As the true American stories are whispers in the wind, all we have is our pop-culture...

This is a great thread, and I wanted to contribute something.:)

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin' around mysteriously.
"I didn't do it," he says, and he throws up his hands
"I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand.
I saw them leavin'," he says, and he stops
"One of us had better call up the cops."
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin'
In the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda **** was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that.
In Paterson that's just the way things go.
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops.
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin' around
He said, "I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates."
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head.
Cop said, "Wait a minute, boys, this one's not dead"
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye
Says, "Wha'd you bring him in here for? He ain't the guy!"
Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame,
Rubin's in South America, fightin' for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley's still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame.
"Remember that murder that happened in a bar?"
"Remember you said you saw the getaway car?"
"You think you'd like to play ball with the law?"
"Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin' that night?"
"Don't forget that you are white."

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, "I'm really not sure."
Cops said, "A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we're talkin' to your friend Bello
Now you don't wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow.
You'll be doin' society a favor.
That sonofa***** is brave and gettin' braver.
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim."

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail.
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance.
The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy .
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder "one," guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride.
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
That's the story of the Hurricane,
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

DingBat
Feb 08, 2002, 12:19 PM
Hello out there we're on the air, it's hockey night tonight
The whistle blows & the tension grows and the puck goes down the ice
The goalie jumps and the players bump & the fans all goes insane
Someone roars Bobby scores at the good old hockey game

Chorus:
Oh the good old hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best name you can name is the good old hockey game

2nd Period

Where players dance with skates that flash the home team trails behind
But they grab the puck & go bursting up & they're down across the line
They storm the creese like bumble bees they travel like a burning flame
We see them slide the puck inside it's a one one hockey game

Chorus

3rd Period Last game of the playoffs too!

Oh take me where those hockey players face off down the rink
And the Stanley cup is all filled up for the champs who win the drink
Now the final flick of a hockey stick and one gigantic scream
The puck is in the home team wins the good old hockey game

Chorus
Chorus
Chorus

Heads up... He shoots he scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


/bruce

FredLC
Feb 08, 2002, 01:45 PM
Ok, if THAT's your intention, i think that there is something i can add to this Thread.

Here in Brazil, we don’t have much the culture of painting ourselves as heroes. I mean, we don’t have series of Brazilian cops that single-handed destroys crime empires or defeats alien invasions. With the exception of the book “Guarani”, that pictures a native Indian as a heroic warrior, I don’t really recall anything following that line.

In fact, that sort of approach sounds a little ridiculous if applied to a national character, even with American movies and Tom Clancy’s books being hits in here too. To avoid being unfair to Americans and make them sound like they are the only ones, even the original story of AllhailIndia speaks of heroes and presumably invincible warriors…

… And I love the books “Les Miserables”, Frankenstein and everything from Arthur Conan Doyle in “Sherlock Holmes” (and as a kid I also liked some Japanese series, like Spectro-man).

So, we don’t have a problem to conceive “heroes”, we just don’t picture us that way.

We much more have the culture of the anti-hero; characters that have obvious flaws of personality and even questionable attitudes, but that can, ultimately, achieve great things. It’s on the air, in our biggest TV network, a series that tells a tale about the last days of Portuguese rule over Brazil, and of Pedro, our only prince trough history.

The Portuguese nobles are all shown as vicious or lazy or sex-horny freaks. Pedro is not all that smart and less than interested in reining. And the Brazilian characters aren’t that much better.

So, as you see, we are much more into destroying the images than of making them myths. Instead of hiding imperfections, we tend to enhance them and even create others. (Perhaps it’s sick, but no more sick than the Hollywood taste for blowing the world every year :) ).

When we speak of Brazil, we have to keep in mind that there are two very different realities to look after. One of those is the modern, Urban Country of south. The other, very different, is of the inner, poor villages of the north and northeast. I think that two stories, one for each, will give a very comprehensive view of how the Brazilian person sees himself.

The last movie from Brazil to seriously run for an Oscar prize was “Central Station”. Fairly good, didn’t stand a chance against “Life is beautiful, that year winner”. And one of the main characters was a woman that made a living out of writing letters to the ones that couldn’t spell in the Central Train Station. She charged a little more to post the letters, something that the poor analphabets paid with glee for.

Well, she never actually posted them. She used to destroy the letters and keep the money. Eventually, she wrote a letter to the single mother of an 11 years old boy, wanting to send him to his father. After that, that woman dies, hit by a car. She gets her boy and sells him to criminals, in order to get the money to buy I new TV (so far you hate her, huh? So did I. But read on).

She rationalized that the kid was to be sold to “adoption” in a foreign country and would end having a better life. But she just couldn’t help the regrets, as she knew that it was more likely that they would kill him for his organs. So she faced the criminals and got the boy back.

Having the bad guys after her, she had to leave town. As she had the father’s boy address (a very distant small city), she decided that she should personally deliver the boy and the letter (because she had no place else to go anyway).

As they traveled together and begin to know each other’s dreams and hopes, she starts to love him. Feel sorry for him, with a dead mother and a absent father. And we find out that she was a widow and a former teacher, that after 30 years of hard work, didn’t had a decent retirement and had to live the way she used to. In order to be able to even eat.

And that’s why she was so bad. She was bitter with life until the love for the boy made she begin to care again. After a few adventures (I lack a better world to describe it) they manage to get there, but than, they find out that the father’s boy is dead. They get desperate, since they didn’t have any more money to even leave town. That’s when someone tells them that the kid has an older brother also living there.

The father’s boy, instead of what she assumed, hadn’t “left” him; he went away to try to make a living for the family. And he was successful. Even not being anything near wealthy, he had a small carpentry workshop and a decent house, now the boy’s and his brother heritage, so his future is assured.

The brother, a good person, invites the woman to stay. She is tempted by the promise of a decent life. But she can’t forget what she almost had done to him. Feels guilty, and don’t accept it. And leave them to their happiness and go meet her destiny on the road.

I have read that in Europe, people saw the main character as a mere criminal. She sure had skeletons in her closet. But I think it was the fact that she was a generally good person, that was squeezed to a lifestyle that wasn’t truly her’s, but she had to embrace, what the story tries to show.

The second one is a personal favorite, and I think it’s one of the finest pieces of our literature. It’s called “O auto da Compadecida” (it’s impossible to really translate that, but a free attempt perhaps would sound like “Ceremony for the Compassionated”), from Ariano Suassuna.

Though it’s plot is really intricate, it tells the tale of a hillbilly called “João Grilo” and his best friend, ”Xicor”. The first one amazingly smart, the second, very beautiful, they use their features to make their living in a extremely poor village in the deserted regions of the northeast (just picture any of the poorest afghan village you’ve seen in CNN and know that it is not any worse than theirs).

Basically, they get a few crappy jobs and sometimes they win bets and play smart over the village cheap baker, his sluttish wife, corrupted cleric members (a priest and a bishop) and a powerful land owner that controls the village with tyranny.

It’s a comedy, filled with really funny situations of all sorts. I’ll avoid describing them, as I couldn’t getting even close to be successful doing that. But it reaches a point where the village is attacked by a random group of barbarians called “cangaçeiros” (such group really existed). They kill many people, including the baker, his wife and the clerics, but the “João Grilo” outsmart their leader and manages to get him killed. He dies right after (“Xicor” escapes).

They all meet after death, and the Devil shows up to take them to hell. “João” requests the presence of Jesus, but Jesus is fair and recognizes that they all had a few sins to answer for. He than begs for the mercy of the Virgin Mary (the compassionate of the title), and she advocates their cause.

Surprisingly, the barbarian leader is sent straight to heaven. We find out that he went crazy with the violent death of his parents in his tender childhood, was not responsible for his acts, and lived only as an instrument of God’s “harvest”.

In the dying moment, the baker’s wife asks for forgiveness for all the times that she cheated on him. He forgives her. And, as they share a moment of true, complete love, they are saved and sent to purgatory instead of hell.

Both the clerics had forgiven their murderers while they were doing it, And, for following the example of Christ, they too are redeemed and sent to purgatory.

As for “João Grilo”, who lived a life of lies and deceiving, he cannot be forgiven because he didn’t have a glorious death (he dyed because he tried to get the money that the barbarian had stolen, otherwise he would have escaped). But, since he was the one that called for Mary and avoided that the devil get them all, he gets another chance to live, under the promise that he would be honest from there on.

When he goes back to his body, he finds out that his friend, “Xicor”, that had ended up with all the stolen money of the barbarian, had promised it all to the Virgin Mary if “João” could somehow live again.

Well, half of the money was his (they shared all 50-50%), and he didn’t have promised anything. He seriously considered keeping the money. But he had learned his lesson and ended up fulfilling all of his duties with the Virgin, and donate all his money to charity, and go back to his miserable life.

----------------------------------

I think that hose two shows the image we have on ourselves. That we, Brazilians, are this brave, suffering people, that are much less than perfect, but that, given the chance, can become generous and caring and try to make this world a better place.

Also, that we believe that regardless the image or even some of the acts of a person, what is important is that such person’s heart stay in the right place, since the living a hard struggle and sometimes even good people does bad things. It’s a human paradox that our culture doesn’t try to deny.

Well, I hope you guys have liked the stories. I just don’t imagine you going to look for the books and movies, since you guys now know how they end.

Regards :) .

allhailIndia
Feb 09, 2002, 09:16 AM
It is nice to know that there is a country where the people do not try to escape their demons, but face them and try to make the best out of a situation. About the characters of the Mahabharata, of which this story is an episode, they are extremely human falliable people who are trying to fight for fairness and justice. At the end of the story, each one, even the purest and noblest of them, Yudhisthir, has to suffer hell for a while for their sins on earth. I would suggest, if one of you have the time, to pick up the unabridged version of the Mahabharata(it is printed in a lot of languages) and read it for a better understanding of the story .

MCdread
Feb 11, 2002, 03:00 PM
Here's a small contibution.
Portugal was founded in the XII century and although I can't remember of any story like yours, allhailIndia, we have many stories with real historical figures, where the legend surpasses the reality. What I have in mind are legends that probably did not happen, but still are remembered as real episodes.
So, here goes:

The portuguese state as it is today has it's origins in the end of the XI century. By then, half of the Iberian Peninsula was occupied by muslin states and the in northern part there were the christian kingdoms of Lion, Castille, Navarra and the Spanish Mark (I don't know if this is the way to say it in english). Portucale (modern Oporto) was a city in the western part of the kingdom of Lion, and was dangerously close to the muslin lands. The king offered these lands and his daughter's hand to a frankish noble, count Henrique. His duties were to expand to the south and pay homage to the king. However is aim was to form an independent Kingdom, Portugal. He died without making it. His wife took control of the county and the policy she assumed was very tending towards the interests of the king of Lion and Castille (the Emperor of All the Spains as he liked to be called). This displeased the nobles of the County of Portucale, who suported the young Afonso Henriques to rebel against his mother. So he did and with the victory he became the ruler of the country and continued his father's policy of expanding to the south and confrontation against the king to gain his independence.

In the course of those actions, king Alphonse of Castille sieged the city of Guimarães, the early capital. According to the Chronicals, he did not conquer the city and retired with his army. We do not know why, but it seems that Afonso promised to go and pay homage to him later that year. Acording to the legend this is what happened:

Facing a desperate situation, he decided to present himself as vassal of king Alphonse and to do so he ordered Egas Moniz, who had been his perceptor and was one of the highest portuguese nobles, to go and meet the king outside the walls of the city. Egas Moniz got an agreement that said that the king would leave and in payment Afonso would go to his court to pay him homage untill the enf of the year.
But then, Afonso decided to ignore this and did not go. Sice Egas Moniz was a man that did not break his word, he fealt in dispair. To redeem himself he went to the royal court with his wife and children wearing the tunic of the convicts and a rope in their necks. He said:
- Since my master does not intend to come I present myself with my family and ask you to take our lives as payment for breaking my word.
The king was furious and ordered his men to kill them. But then, advised by his council-men and impressed by this act of courage and honour sent them away with commendations and even released Afonso from his promess.

The rest his History. In the battle of Ourique in 1139, the portuguese achieved a massive victory over the muslins and the army acclaimed Afonso Henriques as king. From then he started to use this title, which was recognised by the king Alphonse in the treaty of Zamora in 1143, thus creating the state that exists today. (For those of you in the Euroland, the symbols in the portuguese euro coins are the royal seals of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. He was the first european monarch to use a personal seal with the name of his country instead of his own).

The event of Egas Moniz may not have happened, but what would be of us if we had not this legends of brave men?

allhailIndia
Feb 14, 2002, 10:41 AM
What is a country, nation or culture without heroes or legends??
Do they not embody the very qualities that race aspires to imbibe??
So what if they are fictional, hell we need that break from reality every once in a while, now more than ever. The beauty of fiction is that it keeps our belief in the world, in fairness and justice and tells us that good guys finish first. Nice Story McDread!! :goodjob:

Simon Darkshade
Feb 14, 2002, 12:00 PM
Can't say we have heroes or legends here, of any fictional or even real variety. All we have that is vaguely equivalent is the ANZAC tradition, and our military heroes. Such is the lot of a young nation.

DingBat
Feb 14, 2002, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Simon Darkshade
Can't say we have heroes or legends here, of any fictional or even real variety. All we have that is vaguely equivalent is the ANZAC tradition, and our military heroes. Such is the lot of a young nation.

Nah. Canada is a young nation too and we have heroes (at least to me). You just have to think a little differently.

Some examples of Canadian heroes/stories:

- Most people, even in a world dominated by football, have heard of Wayne Gretzky. Or maybe not. :)

- One of our prime ministers basically invented peacekeeping (you may or may not think this is noteworthy).

- Our British forebears gave the White House it's name.

- A Canadian discovered insulin.

So, even in a young country there are heroes, if not a mythology.

/bruce

Simon Darkshade
Feb 14, 2002, 11:01 PM
I don't really go for sports players being labelled heroes, as they are just playing games they are good at, and getting truckloads for it.

You really are plumbing the depths if you need to include someone who named a building ;)

We have had scientists, physicians, humanitarians who are great role models, but I would be very careful with giving the label "hero", as it is handed out far too often these days. I could think of perhaps half a dozen individuals from my country who would have some sort of a case for being called such.

But my point is that we do not have the mythology, stories, heroes of older countries that are "designed to inrpire morality, bravery or any Good chracteristic."

We have the true stories of real people and real sacrifices that real lessons can be learnt from. That is more than sufficient.

DingBat
Feb 15, 2002, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Simon Darkshade

You really are plumbing the depths if you need to include someone who named a building ;)


Heh, it's not that they named it. It's how they named it. They burned it. :)

Yeah, I was being tongue-in-cheek. We make do with what we have. :)

/bruce

Sodak
Feb 15, 2002, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by allhailIndia
The beauty of fiction is that it keeps our belief in the world, in fairness and justice and tells us that good guys finish first.
This is not at all a universal quality of fiction! In Dutch literature, it is quite often the main character who suffers or dies as the result of the events that are being told. Instead of being held as an example for young listeners to emulate, he is often shown as an example of what not to be or do - Either when things go wrong, or when the wrong choices are made. It is a dark side to the same type of story. Instead of being commended for the proper choices, he suffers for making the wrong ones. Or just suffers in spite of making good choices. Rather morbid outlook, really. :(

Harleqin
Feb 15, 2002, 12:32 PM
Interesting topic. I'm quite knowledgable about Danish history working as a history teacher, but coming up with one specific myth that covers it all is virtually impossible. We've got loads of myth and tales. From back before the Vikings all the way up to the Danish-Preussian (and Austrian) war in 1864.
Well.... while mentioning 1864. May I just say we held out longer against the Huns than Austria and France did when they turned on them? :goodjob: Well.... we still got our ass kicked.

I've found this little peace that may explain something of the way we see our nation. It is the national anthem, but I've translated it so you can read it :goodjob:

A lovely land is ours

A lovely land is ours
With beeches green about her
Encircled by the sea
Her hills and vales are manifold
Her name, of old, is Denmark
And she is Freya's home

In days of long-ago
This land was home to heroes
From war they rested here
Then forth they went, to smite the foe
Now to their graves they've gone
Among the barrow-stones

This land is yet so fair
Her waters yet so blue
And green are still her leaves
And noble ladies, maidens fair,
And men and able lads
Still dwell on Danish soil

Hail Sovereign, hail Home!
Hail every Dane who labours
To do his very best
Our ancient Denmark shall abide,
While yet the waves reflect
The beeches in their blue


We actually have a second anthem as well. This one is known as the Kings anthem:

King Christian stood by the tall mast

King Christian stood by the lofty mast
In mist and smoke;
His sword was hammering so fast,
Through Gothic helm and brain it passed;
Then sank each hostile hulk and mast,
In mist and smoke.
"Fly!" shouted they, "fly, he who can!
|: Who braves of Denmark's Christian, :|
The stroke?"

Nils Juel gave heed to the tempest's roar,
Now is the hour!
He hoisted his blood-red flag once more,
And smote upon the foe full sore,
And shouted loud, through the tempest's roar,
"Now is the hour!"
"Fly!" shouted they, "for shelter fly!
|: Of Denmark's Juel who can defy, :|
The power?"

North Sea! a glimpse of Wessel rent
Thy murky sky!
Then champions to thine arms were sent;
Terror and Death glared where he went;
From the waves was heard a wail, that rent
Thy murky sky!
From Denmark thunders Tordenskiol',
|: Let each to Heaven commend his soul, :|
And fly!

Path of the Dane to fame and might!
Dark-rolling wave!
Receive thy friend, who, scorning flight,
Goes to meet danger with despite,
Proudly as thou the tempest's might,
Dark-rolling wave!
And amid pleasures and alarms,
|: And war and victory, be thine arms, :|
My grave!


Listen to the anthem here (http://www.countryreports.org/anthems/denmarktexte.htm)

allhailIndia
Feb 18, 2002, 02:49 AM
Whatever be the morsl or truth of the story I want more Civfanatics to share their stories. The Anthem sounded nice and it is okay even if the story ends morbidly for the Hero, I just want to know about a lot of cultures
:goodjob:

VoodooAce
Feb 19, 2002, 04:11 PM
How about this one: :D

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer that barely kept his family fed

Then one day he was shootin' at some food
And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude

Oil, that is
Black gold
Texas Tea

Next thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire
The kin folk said, "Jed, move away from there."

"Californy is the place you oughtta be."
So he loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly

Hills, that is
Swimming pools
Movie stars

Naaahhhhh....and I appologize to all of you who will now join me in singing this freakin' song in their head for the rest of the freakin' day! :mad: And what's sad is I remembered the whole damn song by heart despite not having heard it for years.

Actually, Americans do have our little stories....like George Washington copping to the cutting down of pops' cherry tree because he 'could not tell a lie'.

Nothing like the Indian legend, though.....at least that I can think of.

Padma
Feb 19, 2002, 09:11 PM
The USA is to young to have any real 'myths'. We do have what we call 'tall tales' however. Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, Mike Fink, John Henry....

Most Americans are very familiar with these tales, and dismiss them as children's stories. But they are the germ, the beginning of an American mythology. Maybe when I'm more awake I'll see about posting some, for the edification of readers from other cultures. But it's been too long a day, and I need to get to bed now.

allhailIndia
Feb 20, 2002, 09:41 AM
Tall tales are fine for entertainment and it also gives a brief idea as to what sort of heroes a culture subscribes to. So they are ok with me