Fringe Benefit Of TEFL Part 3: Learning Local Legends

drhrc011.jpgI may be a dork, but I love learning local legends, and honestly, even interesting anecdotes from my students, and hearing about the aboriginal legend that another writer learned about recently while Wwoof-ing inspired me to post about these.

A good Slovak one relates to Janosik, who is something of a Slovak Robin Hood. Working in the north of Slovakia, and sometimes Poland, Janosik stole from the rich to give to the poor. There was a price on his head, and one day, he sought shelter and dinner in the home of one old woman. After preparing him a home-cooked meal, she decided she might not mind the reward, and summoned the police to come get him. Realizing what was in store when the knock on the door came, Janosik stood up to run, but the old woman had anticipated this and threw a handful of dried peas on the floor so he would slip. He was caught and (cover your eyes!) hung by a hook through his ribs. Today, if a dish has “Janosik” in the name, it means it contains ribs.

Or a local joke: Mujo is the “average Joe” of Bosnian humor. One day Mujo catches a goldfish and as we all know, you get a wish when you are lucky enough to catch one of these.

Mujo mulls it over and decides he’d like to be a prince. He closes his eyes and when he opens them, he is on a comfortable and extravagant bed in a gold-covered room. He turns his head to the side to see his servant. “Hurry up, Ferdinand,” she says, “You have to go to Sarajevo today.”

Have you come across any good ones?