Author Archives: adamsand

Sorority Apartments

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Sorority Apartments

“A lot of Sorority girls at CSUCI have fought over who gets to live in a Sorority apartment building like most sorority girls at other schools would fight over living in the Sorority house.  To call something a Sorority apartment came from a stupid law in Camarillo from the olden days that prohibits more than ten unrelated women to live in the same house, so sororities have gone around the issue by leasing specific buildings in apartment complexes around the school.   That’s how the term came to be!”

BACKGROUND

SM is from Camarillo, California and has grown up in the area since he was born.  He says he knows this from his sister who went to CSUCI and was in a sorority that had to do this.   He remembers specifically being confused about why her friends would always call it the Sorority apartments cause on TV, people would always talk  about sorority houses,  but never apartments.

CONTEXT

SM is an old high school friend of mine.  I invited him to a  Discord server and I watched him play The Witcher.   He was open to talk about folklore of the area we grew up in during cutscenes he said he had already watched when he had played the entirety of the game before.

THOUGHTS

Folklore acting as a sort of counteraction against a law is nothing new, but the fact that it has stuck around as long as it has is impressive.  The saying of this word must come out of a unique sense of being and is probably not just specific to CSUCI sorority girls, but CSUCI students as a whole.  It must be somewhat nice for this folk group to know they get to say something that would seem a bit odd to the average person, but completely relatable and even political to those who knew the issue.

East Fitzsimmon’s Road

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East Fitzsimmon’s Road

“When you want to be scared, you go down East Fitzsimmon’s Road.  It’s become sort of a right of passage for teens in Milwaukee to do.  It proves you’re no longer a baby to a lot of them.”

To walk down East Fitzsimmon’s road is a rite of passage many Milwaukee youths complete when they no longer want to be seen as a child.

BACKGROUND

DA, is from Madison, Wisconsin and has lived in the state all her life.  She knows this right of passage from doing it herself when she was a teen and said that it was definitely frightening and that there is a common belief that ghosts exist on this road.

CONTEXT

DA is a cousin I have that goes to college right now.  We sat down and I invited her for a zoom call.  She seemed a bit stressed about her finals, but she was very elated to talk and take a break from studying for her chemistry exam.

THOUGHTS

Ghosts are very popular in Southern culture, but you don’t hear as much about them in a big Midwestern city like Milwaukee.  It’s been proven, upon further research, that there are no ghosts that roam East Fitzsmmon’s road, yet for the thrills,  the belief they exist is still there.  The rite of passage aspect of this piece of folklore probably perpetuates the belief in ghosts as it gives it a reason why it is so “spooky”.

For a greater understanding of this folklore check out this article…

Hrodey, Matt. “Milwaukee Myth-O-Meter: 5 Local Myths, Busted.” Milwaukee Magazine, 30 July 2018, www.milwaukeemag.com/milwaukee-myth-o-meter-local-myths-busted/.

Decorating “Easter Trees”

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Decorating “Easter Trees”

“For some reason, we used to decorate the trees around our house like most people would Christmas trees.  Many people in the south have egg-like ornaments and easter colored string lights, like purples and yellows and greens and bright blues.  It was much more prevalent in South Carolina when I lived there.”

BACKGROUND

This informant, HA, was born in Pensacola, FL but has lived in a few different parts of the American South for awhile, specifically the Floribama coastal area.  His family has stayed in the south for as far back as he can remember.  He has learned this piece of folklore from when he moved to the suburbs of Charleston and his family were the only ones on the block that didn’t do it in their first year there.

CONTEXT

I talked to HA by inviting them onto a zoom call with a few other friends we both knew from summer vacations where I used to live in Panama City, Florida.  After the call I asked if he could stay and chat and we shared stories about our lives while I asked him questions about sayings and activities he remembered from his childhood.

THOUGHTS

There is a very heavily held belief among Americans that Southern culture is a bit more gentile and ornate than the rest of the country so it’s fascinating to see a piece of folklore that supports this idea.  What interests me is how this decorating differs between people of different financial statuses.  Looking more into it, it seems like a competitive game as well as it seems articles state that people can try and outdo other people’s easter trees.

Καλαματιανός/Kalamatianos (Song)

DESCRIPTION
Καλαματιανός (Kalamatianos) is a greek folk song that is performed alongside a folk dance with the same name. It is performed in a faster Syrtos, 4/4 rhythm.  It is commonly performed at festivals, parties, and Greek nightclubs.

“Καλαματιανός is a song with loose instrumentation, but more consistent lyrics that we’d dance to back in Greece.”

MAIN PIECE
ORIGINAL SCRIPT
Μήλο μου κόκκινο, ρόιδο βαμμένο
Μήλο μου κόκκινο, ρόιδο βαμμένο
Γιατί με μάρανες το πικραμένο
Παένω κ’ έρχομαι μα δεν σε βρίσκω
Παένω κ’ έρχομαι μα δεν σε βρίσκω
Βρίσκω την πόρτα σου μανταλομένη
Τα παραθυρούδια σου φεγγοβολούνε
Τα παραθυρούδια σου φεγγοβολούνε
Ρωτάω την πόρτα σου, που πάει η κυρά σου;
Κυρά μ’ δεν είναι ‘δώ, πάησε στην βρύση
Κυρά μ’ δεν είναι ‘δώ, πάησε στην βρύση
Πάησε να βρει νερό και να γεμίσει

ROMAN SCRIPT
To mílo mou eínai kókkino, roz vamméno
To mílo mou eínai kókkino, roz vamméno
Dióti me pikría to pikró

Páo kai érchomai allá den boró na se vro
Páo kai érchomai allá den boró na se vro
Vrísko tin pórta sas kleidoméni

Ta paráthyrá sas lámpoun
Ta paráthyrá sas lámpoun
Rótisa tin pórta sou, poú pigaínei i kyría sou?

I kyría den eínai edó, pígaine sti vrýsi
I kyría den eínai edó, pígaine sti vrýsi
Pigaínete na vreíte neró kai gemíste to

TRANSLATION
My red apple, my maroon-red pomegranate,
My red apple, my maroon-red pomegranate,
Why have you turned me bitter?
I come and go, but can’t find you
I come and go, but can’t find you
I opened your door, and it always is locked.

Your windows are always lighted
Your windows are always lighted
I ask at your door, “Where’s your lady?”

My lady is not here, she is at the well
My lady is not here, she is at the well
She’s gone to drink water.

BACKGROUND
My informant was born in Anaheim, California, however, she spent most of her childhood on Greece’s Mainland, particularly in Thessaloniki. Both of her parents grew up and emigrated from Greece only twenty years ago. SK, my informant, learned this song from dancing to it at “glendis” (greek folk dance nightclub parties of sorts) in which this song was performed in a variety of different forms, but with similar lyrics. SK says that she believes it’s some sort of universal message and story based on unrequited love that no matter who you are, you can relate to.

CONTEXT
This came from a friend of mine from church in Southern California. I got this folklore from a zoom call with her while she was quarantined back in Greece. I asked her to explain some traditional Greek cultural cornerstones she knows as she ate breakfast.

THOUGHTS
I personally agree with my informant that it is a Greek song based in this idea of unrequited love. It’s universal and can be put into any style of greek music you are doing to a Syrtos beat, whether it is more modern or traditional. The way it talks about chasing someone that you can’t seem to catch is something we see in so many different culture’s folklore as this idea of reaching for something that is just out of reach is a universal truth of life. The way greek people have interpreted it into a song like this one that is supposed to be danced to is absolutely fabulous.

Καλαματιανός/Kalamatianos (Dance)

DESCRIPTION

Καλαματιανός (Kalamatianos) is also a greek folk dance that is performed alongside the folk song with the same name.  It is to be performed in a faster Syrtos, 4/4 rhythm.  It is, like it’s musical counterpart, performed at festivals, parties, weddings, and Glendis (Greek Nightclub parties).

“It [Καλαματιανός (Kalamatianos)] is also the most basic Thessalian style dance in Greece.”

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The dance is to be performed in a 12 step pattern moving to the right, swingiing your arms while holding them together.  Your right foot to the side on 1, then left crossing forward on 2.  Then your right foot crosses forward into neutral on 3 and then cross FORWARD on 4.  Repeat beats 3 & 4 for 5 & 6, then 7 & 8. Instead of taking a step back to neutral on 9, you will rock back and then close your feet on 10. You will then do a rock step back on 11 and close your feet again on 12.  After this, you repeat the pattern over and over until the song ends.

BACKGROUND

My informant was born in Anaheim, California, however, she spent most of her childhood on Greece’s  Mainland, particularly in Thessaloniki.  Both of her parents grew up and emigrated from Greece only twenty years ago.  SK, my informant, learned this dance from “glendis” in which this dance was done.  SK told me her belief is that this dance, unlike the song that accompanies it, is about coming together and letting loose, while still celebrating your heritage as a Greek person.

CONTEXT

This came from a friend of mine from my church in Southern California.  I got this folklore from a zoom call with her while she was quarantined back in Greece.  I asked her to explain some traditional Greek cultural cornerstones she knows as she ate breakfast.

THOUGHTS

It’s interesting to see my informant see it as a way to connect more with her culture.  In doing further research into this, it seems like more and more greek folk dance lore is performed, not as a way to convey a specific story, but instead the message that greek culture exists and is alive and well.  I find this fascinating as we get into this idea of meta-folklore as this is a reasoning that makes this folklore’s relevance based in the fact that it’s performed because it’s folklore. Folklore performedfor the sake of displaying folklore, how crazy and beautiful!