Med den Düvel to Ber up / Joining the Devil in Bed

Sassisk

English

Byglöyv – of superstitsioon – dat hev de ander. Ney, de såken wår of wy sülv glöyv an hebben, dat is geyn byglöyv. Dat is jüüst glöyv, lykas dat van de karke, of et is glyk de wårheid, süks as dat de wearld, tja, de wearld in kommen is döär en groute knal (de oorknal). Sülv heb ik geyn idea wat of hyrüm de wårste wårheid is – dårvöär bin ik tovölle en weatenskopper – en wat my angeit is dat ouk neet swår wichtig, wat ik meyn, dat de ültyme wårheid is. Ney, wår of ik my drükker üm måk, is dat wy gauw elkeneyn med andre, oft wat uutlandske ideaen, as byglöyvig andoon.

Villicht glöyvt elkeneyn van us in wat. Gonent in eyn God, andren in meyrere. Süms binnen dee goden glyk as mensken, süms binnen see abstrakt, lykas en natuurkracht. Vöär andren is et glöyv neet wat religiös of spirituaal. Gonent glöyvt up de glory van de eygen natsioon, andren jüüst in de eynheid van alle wearldslüde. Et givt lüde dee swearen by et neoliberalismus, en andren by et kommunismus, of eyn van de völle tüskenvörms.

Souvölle lüde med souvölle vorskydene glöyven, en oft givt et lüde de möyglikheid, hard teagen enkander to kampen üm al dee vorskydene ideaen. Mor vansülv kin dat ouk al anders. In stea van med mekår rivvelen, geit et ouk, üm en ander to negearen – en dan sünderlik döär dee ander neader to setten as neet wichtig. Syn glöyv is neet völwårdig, neet upgroid, neet seriös. Et is byglöyv, geyn seriös glöyv.

Mor is dat en eyrlike beskryving van et glöyv van andren? Sou is de beskryving ‘byglöyv’ oft neet bruuked. Et latynske superstitionis wür eyrstens bruuked döär romeinske kritici teagen de kristenen, dee sik neet an de kultus van de keyser holden wolden. En låter hebben kristenen de term ‘superstitsioon’ bruuked vöär al dee såken, dår see sülv geyn glöyv an haren, as touvery of vöärloupen, of dee handlingen dee see neet gaern lyden mochten, lykas ümgang med den Düvel of dämonen, med en Ouija-bröd spöylen, ensouweader.

Låter is et ouk in en koloniåle kontekst bruuked. Neet allennig döär kristlike missionårissen, mor ouk döär et koloniåle bewind (mor beide grupen slüten enkander neet uut). Sou gav et in 19. eyw lüde, dee höär fascineard waren döär de religionen van India, benåm het hinduismus en buddhismus, en dan benåm de filosofiske ideaen in en maank disse traditsionen. Mor wat de lüde van disse religionen meynst doon, dat binnen de ritualen. De meynste lüde doon neet en bült med dee ryke filosofiske traditsioon, lykas in et westen eyglyks. Mor vöär de westerske elite, dee sülv in et tohuusland ouk eyd med swåre filosofiske en artistiske såken gangs binnen, geit et allennig üm hindu- en buddhistenfilosofy. Al dee ritualen, jüüst dat wat hindus en buddhisten in Asien al doon, dat is byglöyv, dat sel geyn wåre religioon weasen.

Up et kört: byglöyv as en term wür benåm bruuked, üm teagenstanders butenspel to setten, dår höär neet seriös to neamen. Neet allennig wyd vurd in Asien, mor ouk dichterby, lykas in Drenthe. Dår givt et humoristiske vortellingen, van en byglöyvige kearl of wicht, dee en wat abnormåle situatsioon glyk seet as wat supernatuurliks. Sou givt et disse vortellingen üm Bås Jobeng en de Düvel. Bås Jobeng is en sneider en ouk en vroume kearl, sou as lüde seggen: “Hie hef de Heer op d’ tong en duvel in ‘t haart.” Doch klokt hee der ouk wat teagenan. Up en åvend is et weader souwyd, en kümt Jobeng heydaal dik tohuus. Et is hum altomål to strav, en ouk et licht krygt hee neet an. Dat düt ja niks:

“‘Dan maor zunner locht,’ zee de snieder, ‘ik kan in duster ‘t bedd’ wal vinnen.’ Hie dee de deur’n [van et berrestea] lös en wol in bedd’ stapp’n. Hie steuk de hann’n veuroet en daor vueld’ hie dat er wat in bedd’ zat. Doe hie is vuel’n wol wat of ‘t was ducht hum dat er wat roegegheid was.

“Hie vleug ‘n tree achteroet en grip nog is. Joa hie vuelt haor en doodsbenauwd begunt hie te schreeuw’n. ‘O Héér de duvel, de saotan is in mien bedd’. Jao ‘t is wal zoo want stiet er niet geschreev’n dat de saotan haor hef? Zul Baos Jobeng starven moet’n en zul de saotan hum haol’n will’n?’

“Hie löp naor de heerd en giet op d’ knieën likgen dan röp hie naor boov’n: ‘Héér, o Héér, mot Baos Jobeng starv’n? Zie Héér, hier zin ik.’ Hie lustert eem, en as hie niks heurt, stiet Baos Jobeng weer op en giet weer hen ‘t bedd’.

“Hie stek zien hand oet en grip toe. Hie vuelt hoorns en van schrik löp e weer hen d’ heerd en lat zuk vall’n. ‘Héér, o Héér, mot Baos Jobeng starv’n, mot hie waorliek starv’n? Zie Héér hier zin ik.’

“Hie krig gien antwoord en komp weer ‘n beetien op streek. Hie stiet op en giet weer hen d’ bedstee. En maol of wat löp hie van ‘t bedd’ naor de heerd en van d’ heerd weer hen ‘t bedd’ totdat ‘t locht begunt te worden.

“Dan beslut hie um nog is ‘n tocht te waog’n. Hie trekt ‘t bedd’ goed naor zuk toe en houwt met d’ hann’n op bedd’ en daor heurt hie ‘mè, mè è è,’ en tot zien groote verwondering en schrik zöt hie dat de sik in bedd’ zit.

“Helleg grip hie de sik bij d’ hoorns en gef hum en dik pak slaog! Dan krig hie de sik en brengt hum hen del in zien hok en now zöt Baos Jobeng dat de sik de liem’n vreedeng tusken ‘t hok en de bedstee kepot stöt hef en daor deur kreup’n is. Het kletterd’ deur ‘t loeg hen, dat de snieder de duvel in bedd’ had hef; dat kuj’ begriep’n.”

J.H. Bergmans-Beins, Drentsche Volksoverleveringen (1945), s. 39-40.

Unse Bås Jobeng, med de Düvel up syn hart, geit döär syn vroumheid altyd uut van et byglöyvigste. En bist med en pels en hörns müt wel Düvel sülv weasen, dee hum hålen kümt, dår elke kristen eyglyks völ sünd is – en dan seakers Bås Jobeng, dee dik en duun tohuus kümt nå en åvend up et loog, in de knyp. Mor vansülv is et dat neet – et is enkelt en sikke, dee sik döär wand hin et berre up kreagen hev. Allennig en dune Jobeng seet süksen sikke an vöär den Düvel, al döär syn byglöyv.

Wat disse ard vortellingen angeaven, is dat olde folklore wårlik oldmouds is. Et höyrt neet länger by disse tyd, in düvels en witte wyven en kobolden en sükswat to glöyven. Elkeneyn, dee vorklårt, eyn van disse weasens seen of vöyld to hebben, hev et slim neet by et rechte ind. Et geit dan altyd üm en vorgissing, byvübbeld dat et düs eyglyks en sikke is, geyn Düvel, dee lekker by dy up et berre gån wol. Lüde dee glöyven, wat supernatuurliks seen to hebben, dee waren düdlik duun, of gewoun dum, neet klook lykas wy, lüde dee neet an disse ünsin glöyv hebben. Ney, wy hebben glöyv in såken dee wårlik bestån, lykas God, of de seel, of Alvåder Woden, of unse stat, of de sassiskse volksgeyst, of de unsichtbåre hand van de vrymarkt, of de kommunistiske ütopy, en wat noch meyr. Ney, al dee såken binnen wårlik echt, en al dat andre, tja, nikswat meyr as byglöyv.

Superstition – that is something that the other has. No, the stuff we believe in, that ain’t no superstition. That is proper belief, like that of the church, or it is the truth, like that the world came into being by a Big Bang. I have no clue what is the truest true in this regard – I’m too much a scholar for that – and I also think it is not that relevant what I consider to be the ultimate truth. No, what concerns me more is that we tend to brand anyone with some kind of ‘outlandish’ ideas as superstitious.

Perhaps everyone believes in something. Some believe in one God, others in multiple. Sometimes these gods are all too human, sometimes they are abstract, like a force of nature. For others, belief is not something religious or spiritual. Some people believe in the glory of their own country, others in the unity of humankind. Some people swear fealty to neoliberalism, others to communism, or any of the forms in-between.

So many people with so many different beliefs, which provide people with the opportunity to battle each other savagely over all these different ideas. But, of course, things can be quite different. Instead of arguing with one another, you could also ignore the other – and then especially by framing the other as not important. Their belief is not valid, not valuable, not developed. It is superstition, no serious stition.

Is that a fair evaluation of another’s belief, however? That is not how the description ‘superstition’ has been used often. Latin superstitionis was, in the beginning, used by Roman criticasters against Christians, who refused to upkeep the cult of the emperor. Later on Christians have used the term ‘superstition’ for all those things they didn’t believe themselves, like magic or omens, or those acts they couldn’t stand, like chilling with the Devil or demons, fooling around with a Ouija board, and so on.

Later on it was also utilized in a colonial context. Not only by Christian missionaries, but also by the colonial reign (but both groups were not always completely separated entities). As example, there were people in the 19th century who were fascinated by the religions of India, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, and within those traditions especially the philosophical ideas within and shared between these traditions. However, practitioners of these religions are mainly occupied by one thing – rituals. Most people don’t do anything with the rich philosophical tradition, just like many people in the West actually. But the Western elite, who are back home also heavily involved with complex philosophical and artistic business, only Hindu and Buddhist philosophy is important. All those rituals, the stuff actual Hindus and Buddhists actually do throughout all of Asia, that is superstition, that cannot be a true religion.

In short: superstition as a concept is mainly used to discredit opponents as people who one does not have to take seriously. Not only far away in Asia, but also closer to home, like in Drenthe. There are humoristic stories there about superstitious men or women who explain a slightly abnormal situation as something supernatural. For instance, there is this story about Boss Jobeng and the Devil. Boss Jobeng is a tailor and also a pious man, as people say: “He has the Lord on his tongue and the Devil in his heart.” At the same time he drinks often and heavy. One night, after having exemplifying this practice, Jobeng arrives home drunk as a skunk. Nothing works easy and well then, and he cannot manage to kindle the light. No matter:

“‘Then just without light,’ the tailor says, ‘I can find the bed also in the dark.’ He opens the door of the bedstead and wants to get into bed. He extends his hands, and there he feels something in his bed. When he felt around to identify it, he thought he felt something coarse.

“Startled, he takes a step back, and feels again. Yes, he feels hair, and terrified he starts screaming. ‘O Lord, the Devil, the Satan, stepped into my bed. Yes it is true, for isn’t it written that the Satan has hair? Does Boss Jobeng have to die, and is the Satan after him?’

“He walks to the hearth and gets down on his knees, calling out to above: ‘Lord, oh Lord, does Boss Jobeng have to die? Look Lord, here I am.’ He listens for a while, and when he hears nothing, Boss Jobeng gets up and goes towards the bed again.

He extends his hand and grabs around. He feels horns and startled he scurries back to the hearth and falls down. ‘Lord, oh Lord, does Boss Jobeng have to die, will he really die? Look Lord, here I am.’

“He gets no answer and calms down again. He stands up and goes again to the bed. He paces a couple of times from the bed to the hearth and from the hearth back again to the bed, until it is beginning to become light.

“Then he decides to dare it once more. He pulls the mattress close to him and slams with his hands on the bed. Then he hears ‘maa, maa aa aa,’ and to his surprise and astonishment he sees a buck in his bed.

“Angrily he seizes the buck by his horns and beats him up! He grabs a hold on the buck and brings him back to his pen, and now Boss Jobeng sees that the buck destroyed the loam fencework between the pen and the bedstead and crawled through it. People all throughout the village gossiped about the tailor who had the Devil in his bed, as you could understand.”

J.H. Bergmans-Beins, Drentsche Volksoverleveringen (1945), p. 39-40.

Our Boss Jobeng, with the Devil in his heart, always thinks the most superstitious thing to be true because of his piety. An animal with a coat and horns can only be the Devil, which is out to get him, since every Christian is full of sin – and then especially Boss Jobeng, who comes home drunk after a night on the town, in the pub. But of course that is not what happens – it is just a buck, who broke through the wall and ends up in bed. Only a drunk Jobeng would identify such a goat as the Devil, all because of his superstition.

What these types of stories show is that old folklore is really outdated. It is no longer proper nowadays to believe in Devils and witte wyven and kobolds and stuff like that. Anybody proclaiming that they saw or felt one of these beings is considered to be wrong. That person is mistaken, as for instance with the buck, not the Devil, crawling into your bed as to cuddle up with you. People who believe to have experienced something supernatural are of course drunk, or just stupid, not smart like us, people who don’t believe this nonsense. No, we only believe in stuff that really exists, like God, or the soul, or Allfather Woden, or our nation-state, or the Saxon folk spirit, or the invisible hand of the market, or the communist utopia, and all these other things. No, all those things are definitely real, and all other things, well, they’re nothing more than superstition.

“…en daor heurt hie ‘mè, mè è è,’ en tot zien groote verwondering en schrik zöt hie dat de sik in bedd’ zit. ” / “…Then he hears ‘maa, maa aa aa,’ and to his surprise and astonishment he sees a buck in his bed.”

Spookplåtkepråt

Üm en maken van de foto

Resept:

  • Måk eyn plåt van eyn sik dee nüver kyken wil;
  • Måk eyn plåt van eyn berre;
  • Knip de sik uut en måk hüm döärchsigtig;
  • Plak de sik up et berre;
  • Gom noch wat plakjes vurd üm et meyr normål te låten lyken (of abnormål, as ju det willen ;-))

Spooky Spectral Speculations

About making the picture

Recipe:

  • Photograph a buck that will make funny faces;
  • Photograph a bed;
  • Cut out the buck and make it transparent;
  • Paste it onto the bed;
  • Erase some pieces to make it look more natural (or unnatural, if you prefer ;-))

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