Folk Beliefs

“Živa istina!”

Informant AV is my grandmother, who was born and raised in Florence, Italy. She moved to Croatia as a young adult and speaks Croatian and Italian fluently. “Živa istina” is a phrase used in the Croatian culture when someone sneezes while speaking the truth. It solidifes that the truth is being spoken as the person sneezes:

Živa istina!”

“Truth alive!”

“The truth is alive!” or “The Living Truth!”

What kind of context is this phrase used in?

AV: “This phrase is used in the context of a spirited conversation where a person is trying to speak their truth about a very significant point. If a sneeze occurs while the person is making his or her point, then it is used as a substantiation of the truth.”

How did you learn about this phrase?

AV: “It’s a common phrased that has been used in my family for many many years.”

Does this phrase have any meaning to you?

AV: “Yes it does in that I say it ever time I or someone is trying to make a point in a conversation after they sneeze.”

Analysis:

This is a unique Croatian phrase that is used in cases where people are interacting with each other through discussion. It is believed that a sneeze during a conversation proved the truth of the statement.

Comments are closed.

[geolocation]