Another Update – Dick Crum on: Recreational Dancing ‘here’ vs Folk Dancing ‘there’

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  1. the spelling of ÎnvÎrtita/Învârtita reflects cultural politics and various orthographic revisions over the years. In terms of pronunciation, î=â . The â was introduced in the 19th century because the Romanian cultural elite wanted to emphasize the relation of the Romanian language to its Latin roots. Words like casă (house) and esta (third person singular of the verb “to be”) show this. But some words had shifted in their pronunciation. The word for field was pronounced Kimp (more or less), so they got rid of the letter K and spelled it “câmp” (or câmpu) to reflect the Latin Campo. After WWII, relations with the west were cooler, and the Stalinist government of Gheorghe Georghiu-Dej ordered the change of â to î to reflect their view of things. After Ceaușescu was deposed, they brought the â back, so now you see it in modern spellings of place names (the towns of Câmpulung, etc.) and dance names (in the south, sîrba = sârba). -Except at the beginnings of words, where the î was retained, hence învârtita.

    The videos were great, but most were from Maramureș, not Oaș,. That first video is wonderful – I remember hearing bands like that at saints day celebrations in the 70s. The two regions are, of course adjacent, and the dialect and costume similar but the Oaș d’învârtit has a lot more stamping. You can also tell from the music – the Oaș fiddlers tune their fiddles up several steps, almost to the breaking point, so that the high pitch cuts through the noise of the dancing better: the Oaș ceteră is to the Romanian vioară what the zurna is to the oboe.

    Again, thanks for the memories and searching these things out.


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