Pro paramisa

pro paramisa literally for fairy tales (paramisi f. fairy tale). Traditional culturally formalised gathering during which adults told tales. The official storytellers "in public" were men; at home, women could tell tales usually "adapted" for children. At public pro paramisa, children were merely tolerated, and when Decameron-type tales (džungale paramisa) were told, the children had to leave the room. In the tales - which were often heroic exploits that lasted several hours – ethnic norms were passed on and "elegant language" was cultivated. Good storytellers were known throughout the land and were highly valued.

The cultural gathering pro paramisa had its rules, and anyone who did not want to be thought of as an ill-bred boar, a degeš, kept to them. The audience, which met in the biggest building in the settlement in winter and in bad weather, rented the room for a small sum from the owner. Anyone who had no money brought a little wooden log to help heat the place in winter. The storyteller was rewarded with a pouch of pipe tobacco.

Unlike a bašaviben – a party with music, songs and dancing – there were no eating and, above all, no drinking alcohol during taletelling.

The listeners were not permitted to chat or to interrupt the storyteller. On the contrary, they were continually expected to assess the telling of heroic exploits of the paramisara and to encourage the storyteller with laughter, sighs, screams of horror and all kinds of interjections.

Witnesses of those delightful gatherings, which lasted so many hours, summed them up in one sentence: Just as gadže go to the theatre, we went to the pro paramisa.

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