Thursday, July 3, 2014


I recently thought about something from my childhood that I hadn't thought about for years. It's a Romanian custom called "sorcova" where kids use a decorated... thing... called a sorcova to tap adults on the shoulder while they recite a special poem in exchange for money on the 1st of January. Why not!

I was a bit young to understand the whole thing, in particular the money part, but I remember really trying hard to remember the poem which didn't make a whole lot of sense.

The poem goes like this in Romanian:

Sorcova vesela
Sa traiti sa-inbatraniti
Ca un mar ca un par
Ca un fir de trandafir
Tare ca piatra 

Iute ca sageata
Tare ca fieru
Iute ca otelul
La anu si la multi ani

I realised just how little sense it made when I tried to translate it into English (sorcova is the name of the decorated thing):

Sorcova, happy sorcova,
Wishing you to live and to grow old,
Like an apple, like a pear,
Like a single rose,
Hard like a rock,
Fast like an arrow,
Hard like iron,
Fast like steel,
To the new year and many years to come

Confusing isn't it! One of those things you don't question until you're older and remember it was weird.

My mum managed to find the sorcova and it's still in OK shape although missing some of the parts I remember, including a little man figurine in the center. I remember thinking it was really beautiful when I was little, and maybe it's the nostalgia or the peacock feathers but I still think it's really pretty!

Mina with the sorvoca:

Happy sorcova everyone!

No comments: