06 April 2020

Video of the day -- Baltic dance

Song "Bērziņš" performed by the group Tautumeitas from Latvia.  I get a strong pagan feel from this.

Among the languages still spoken today, Latvian and its close cousin Lithuanian are the ones most similar to the proto-Indo-European root language of five thousand years ago which was ancestral to most of the modern languages of Europe and India, including English.  It's like a living fossil of speech.


Blogger Bruce said...

Once again I find that surely music is a universal language. I liked that right off, lyrical, harmonic....whatever, it made my toes tap, didn't yours?

06 April, 2020 17:38  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

It’s hypnotic, really. It does have an earthy, but ethereal feel to it.
Hopefully, these languages will not be lost. It would be a tragedy.


06 April, 2020 18:28  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

I didn't know that about the Latvian language -- interesting!

06 April, 2020 19:18  
Blogger Mike said...

I have a book about the history of the English language. (I think I still have it.) It talks about how the English language almost disappeared. It was down to a few hundred speakers somewhere in England a long time ago but made a comeback.

06 April, 2020 23:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pagan, as in mankind seeking to reconcile itself with vastly more powerful and nearly inscrutable nature we are dependent upon. Hypnotic as a word, thanks previous poster, works well.

As I understand it the culture in that area produces independent women. Less patriarchy and misogyny? IDK. The ones in the video are beautiful in an understated and seemingly intelligent (bright, calm, and direct look to their eyes) way.

07 April, 2020 05:14  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I don't know much of anything about languages ... but listening to the music and vocal arrangement, it makes me think of old school Irish and Celtic

07 April, 2020 08:31  
Blogger Hot guys said...

Hypnotic is the right word for it. And I do love me some Celtic, Irish etc sound. Great music video btw, thanks for sharing it! 👍

07 April, 2020 09:48  
Blogger jono said...

I always wanted to spend a summer or two exploring the Baltic area, especially the coasts and islands. I wasn't aware of Latvian and Lithuanian being such old languages. The one I am most familiar with is Icelandic. If the Vikings of a thousand years ago came back they would still understand everything being said to them in Iceland.

07 April, 2020 10:11  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Bruce: It's a very pleasing piece.

Sixpence: Those languages probably have a better chance of survival now that their countries are independent and they're not being overwhelmed with Russian so much.

Debra: It's an interesting distinction for such a tiny language. I do know the grammar of Latvian is fearfully complex.

Mike: I'd be curious to know exactly when that was? I'm not aware of any such near-disappearance, even in Norman times.

Anon: Latvia and Lithuania were among the last places in Europe to be Christianized, so traces of the original pagan culture and practices are nearer the surface, so to speak. As to women, I don't know a lot about Latvian culture, but the nearby Slavic cultures are pretty patriarchal. I've heard it said that eastern European women tend to be pretty tough -- because they have to be.

Ranch & Hot: In some other videos from Tautumeitas where the musicians are visible, I've actually seen bagpipes played. I wonder if there's some cultural relationship with the Celts, or if certain aspects of music were widely diffused across northern Europe in ancient times.

Jono: Icelandic has a similar "living fossil" status among Scandinavian languages. This is the same concept, only far older. Some languages just change over time far less than others.

07 April, 2020 15:52  
Blogger Mike said...

You're going to make me try and find that book now.

08 April, 2020 03:18  

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