diumenge, 13 de desembre de 2009

«Black pantyhoses, white pantyhoses, I bet you a duro you don’t catch me»


Val. «Calces negres, calces blanques, m’ajugue un duro que no m’alcances»

There is a Valencian children’s game in which a child (who plays the role of the “victim”) has to approach a cemetery gate and recite this rhyme loudly while showing his back to the cemetery. The sentence is a type of invocation to challenge the spirits of the place. If the child is able to say the whole sentence without being defeated by fear, then he passes the test, as he has proved he is a brave child. When he finishes, anyway, he would normally run out, just in case spirits get angry!

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Esta rima prové d’un joc infantil valencià en què un xiquet, que fa de víctima, ha d’acostar-se de nit a la porta d’un cementeri i recitar la rima d’esquena a la reixa de la porta. La frase és una espècie d’invocació o conjur per a desafiar els esperits, i aconseguir dir-la sencera sense ser vençut per la por és la prova de la valentia del jugador. De totes maneres, normalment, una vegada ha dit la frase, el xiquet arranca a córrer i s’allunya del cementeri, per si de cas!

Variations:

«Calces negres, calces blanques, a l’acuit que no m’alcances»
«Calces negres, calces blanques, a la quit que no m’alcances»
«Calces negres, calces blanques, a la cuit que no m’alcances»

Linguistic clarifications:

1) A duro is a five-peseta coin. Peseta was the Spanish currency during 19th and 20th centuries, before euro came.


2) «Jugar a l’acuit» is a playground game which means, depending on the region, to play hide-and-seek or to play tag.