Author Archives: Luka Karaman

Two men filing a missing report

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 18
Occupation: student
Residence: Los Angeles,CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/17/2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Informant: TF was born and raised in Villa Park, California. His father works in commercial real estate and his mother working as a manager for Choc Hospital. He has one older brother, a twin sister, and one younger brother. TF is half Lebanese and strongly connected to his Lebanese background. He is a first year student at USC. TF heard this joke from his friend back in high school. TF told me this joke last semester while studying for one of our finals.

 

“A husband came to the police station to report that his wife is missing. There was one man already there filing the papers for his missing wife Katarina. The police officer asked what Katarina looks like; the husband says: “long legs, blonde, big breasts…”

The police officer turns back to the other husband and asks: “and your wife sir.”

“Forget my wife, lets find Katarina.”’

 

The joke makes fun of men; as soon as they see an attractive woman they go running after her. Not thinking with their heads, but instead with their penises. The joke is exaggerating that men are only interested in the superficial. This is why it is funny, because if we generalize men, it is true to an extant.

Driving rule in Jamaica

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Croatian, American
Age: 49
Occupation: water polo referee
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/24/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s): English

TK is my dad. Before moving to the United States his previous job required him to travel a lot. Luckily he enjoys traveling.

 

This past winter break the whole family gathered in New York and for New Years went on a family vacation to Jamaica. On the flight my dad and uncle shared their stories of their previous visits to Jamaica. On TK’s last visit to Jamaica he was in Kingston and one of the taxi drivers told his an interesting saying about driving in Jamaica.

 

“He told me that when it comes to driving in Jamaica there is one major rule you need to know if you plan on driving. “The left side is the right side, and the right side is suicide.””

 

As in the UK, traffic on Jamaica travels on the left in right hand drive vehicles. So if you drove on the right side, which is the wrong side haha, you will most likely have a car crash; thus being the suicide side. When we landed in Montego Bay the driver to the hotel resort told us the same saying. So obviously it is a popular saying there and how wouldn’t it be it rhymes, it’s catchy, funny and true.

DUBROVNIK GREEN MENESTRA

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Croatian
Age: 68
Occupation: retired
Residence: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/17/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s): english

NK is my grandmother who was born and raised in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Being a local she knows a lot about the city and its folklore. She knows a lot about the local and traditional cuisine. The Green Menestra is another gastronomic specialty from the list of traditional, indigenous dishes of the Dubrovnik region.

 

“There are three kinds of green menestra (cabbage and smoked meat stew).

Green Menestra ingredients are:

– Dalmatian prosciutto

– smoked lamb

– bacon (home-smoked)

– sausages (home-made)

– potatoes

– kale

– cabbage (white,head)

– cabbage (green-raštanj)

– olive oil

– salt

-Various kinds of smoked pork can be used to prepare green menestra, and ingredients can be added or changed but this is the most common recipe.”

 

How do you make zelena menestra?

“First you want to wash the prosciutto (koljenica) and the smoked lamb in warm water and scrap if needed (smoked surface). Put in hand-hot water and cook. After a set time, add and cook the sausages and bacon. After a while you want to remove the softer pieces of cooked meat so they remain intact. While that’s going on wash the green cabbage (raštanj), and the washed kale and head of white cabbage are cut in thick pieces. Each vegetable is blanched for a short time, removed and drained. The potatoes are cleaned, washed, cut in four and cooked. When the stock boils, add olive oil, and then add all the blanched vegetables. Remove the cooked meat from the bones, and cut into serving pieces. Place the cut meat over the vegetables and cook all together for a short while on low heat. Remove from heat and keep covered for one half hour. Pile up the vegetables in a serving dish, encircle with all the meat. It should be served like this; the vegetables together with a portion of each variety of meat. Stock is poured over the dish prior to serving.”

 

 

In the original recipe, the vegetables do not have to be blanched, but then the vegetables might not have the nice green color of blanched vegetables. Also, some of the bitterness found in the vegetables disappears with blanching. The green menestra is usually prepared for a large group of people. If you never had it might taste different and unusual but it is very delicious. This specific delicacy has been in my family for generations and is a part of our culture. Nowhere in the world will you find something like this.

 

 

Perica i roda (Perica and the stork)

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Croatian, American
Age: 49
Occupation: water polo referee
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 14/9/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s): English

TK is my dad and he likes jokes. It was a part of his culture growing up and he always likes to have a nice laugh.

 

Every summer we my family and I would go to Iž for our vacation. Iž is an island in Croatia. Usually to pass time in the car on our way there we play games, tell jokes and on one of those rides he told us this one.

 

Perica and his mom are on their way to the zoo. While in the car Perica asks:

“Mama, will we see the stork in the zoo?”

His mom answers:

“Of course Perice.”

All happy and with a smile on his face Periсa replies:

“Great! I wonder if he will recognize me!”

 

This joke is funny because of the fact that storks are associated with delivering babies. Many children get siblings before they are ready for “The Talk” but their curious nature means parents have to tell them something. Because of their long history associated with babies and family, storks are an easy story to tell kids sometimes. Perica wondering will the stork recognize him because he is all grown up now and not a baby anymore as when the stork supposedly delivered him to his parents. I like this joke because it is appropriate for all generations and proves that it doesn’t have to have offensive language or be insulting to be funny.

(Najkraci vic na svijetu) the shortest joke in the world

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Croatian, American
Age: 49
Occupation: water pol referee
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/19/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s): English

TK is my dad and he likes jokes. It was a part of his culture growing up and he always likes to have a nice laugh.

 

Every summer we my family and I would go to Iž for our vacation. Iž is an island in Croatia. Usually to pass time in the car on our way there we play games, tell jokes and on one of those rides he told us this one.

 

TK: do you want to hear the shortest joke in the world?

 

Me: Yes

 

TK: do you want to hear another one?

 

He heard this joke from his friend back when he was in high school. The genre of jokes he enjoys is simple, short and stupid just like this one above. For those exact reasons these kind oh jokes are funny. A joke like this one is meant to bring giggles and not full on laughter. They are usually used to pass time, in between classes, on road trips and etc.

Welcome to Jamaica have a nice day!

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Croatian
Age: 49
Occupation: water polo referee
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/19/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s): English

TK is my dad and he likes jokes. It was a part of his culture growing up and he always likes to have a nice laugh. He told my brother, uncle and me this joke this winter when we went to Montego Bay for a family vacation. It was a weird joke but it was funny.

 

“A white man walks into the airport bathroom. He goes to the closest urinal and starts to pee. Once he starts a black man comes in and chooses the urinal right next to the other guy. The white guy knowing the stereotypes, out of curiosity looks over the urinal to see the black guy’s penis:

 

White guy: “hey you have a tattoo saying Wendy on your penis too!!”

 

The black guy shakes his penis a bit and replies:

 

“It doesn’t say Wendy it says Welcome to Jamaica Have a Nice Day.””

 

The joke isn’t offensive and it touches the subject of male genitals. It uses the stereotype that black people have larger penises than white people. Genitals itself among teenagers is a funny subject, and if mentioned in a joke and said in a funny way makes it even funnier

Three friends at a cemetery

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 18
Occupation: student
Residence: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/23/2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Croatian

my informant MK is my brother and he told me this story this past summer while exchanging horror stories one night. He heard this story from his friends at school. MK is 18 and a senior I high school. He was born in the States but has been living in Croatia for the past 15 years

 

There were three friends and one day like every other they were competing with each other who among them was the bravest and more manly. In order to settle this discussion once and for all, one of them suggested that if they are really fearless tonight as the clock strikes midnight they will dig out a grave and hammer a nail into it. All three of them were scared at first, but after one of them said that he is a the bravest one and he will do it and since the other two didn’t want to be seen as cowards they said they were going to do it as well. That same night they dig out a grave and when the clock hit twelve the first one went down and hammered the first nail. When he came out the second one went down and hammers his nail. After the second friend climbed out the third one went down to hammer his nail. He hits once, twice and after the third time it was nailed in. As he was going back up something pulled him back in and the two friends that were watching ran back home without even looking back. Tomorrow morning not hearing from the third friend they went back to the graveyard looking for him. When they came to the spot they left him, they found him dead. While he was hammering the nail in the coffin he got his jacket sleeve to, so when he tried to go back up that was what pulled him back. Thinking it was a dead man that pulled him he got a heart attack and died.”

 

I heard a slightly different version of this story from my friends back in elementary school. I thing that the story has a message (children not to mess around late at night especially at cemeteries), but it is used more for entertainment around kids to scare each other, rather than educational purposes.

7, 11, doubles

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 18
Occupation: student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/20/2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

7, 11, doubles

 

Informant: TF was born and raised in Villa Park, California. His father works in commercial real estate and his mother working as a manager for Choc Hospital. He has one older brother, a twin sister, and one younger brother. TR is half Lebanese and strongly connected to his Lebanese background. He is a first year student at USC. He learned this game from a friend at high school.

 

What do you do when you go out to parties?

 

“I like to dance and play drinking games with my friends”

 

Drinking games?

 

“Yes, like for an example 7, 11, doubles”

 

What’s that?

 

“It’s a drinking game. You need a cup, two dices and alcohol of choice. You role dice and if you get 7, 11, or doubles (like two 2) you choose a person to drink from the cup in the middle. If you get 7, 11, or doubles again before the person drinks everything from the cup that person has to drink again.”

 

Does this game mean anything to you?

 

“I mean it’s a fun game to play when you go out to a party, that’s all.”

 

Later on the informant said that he plays the same game. It’s interesting how popular this game is among teenagers. A drinking game that makes drinking more fun.

Otok Daksa (Daksa island)

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Croatian
Age: 68
Occupation: retired
Residence: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/17/2017
Primary Language: Croatian
Other Language(s):

NK is my grandmother who was born and raised in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Being a local she knows a lot about the city and its folklore. She first told me this story in elementary school for a project on islands near Dubrovnik.

“Daksa is a small island near Dubrovnik. For years after World War 2 access to this island was forbidden. The island is haunted and even the owners of the island don’t live on it and have tried to sell it couple of times now. The island is haunted because there were 48 people accused of being Nazi sympathizers and were brutally executed in 1944. Locals say it’s haunted by their ghosts looking for justice.”

 

What’s the real story behind it?

 

“Yugoslav partisans celebrated their victory over the Nazis by rounding up anyone they thought corroborated with the enemy, including the village priest and mayor,

The ‘guilty’ were then rowed out to the island where they were gunned down in cold blood and left unburied. The locals were told that the same fate awaited them if they intervened, so the corpses remained uncovered for decades and it wasn’t until recent years that they were finally laid to rest. So the legend has it that spirits of the dead men haunt the island, demanding justice against those responsible.”

 

The ghost story obviously has some true facts. I’m guessing that because of the tragedy that occurred on the island, the locals had to cope with it some way and said the island was haunted.

Knoxville Tennessee skunk ape

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 22
Occupation: student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 17/4/2017
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

CML is my tutor at USC. She is 22 and a fourth year student at USC. She lived in Knoxville for 15 years. She learned about local culture at school learned urban legends from family and friends that were commonly spoken about. CML told me this piece of folklore during one of our tutoring session.

 

“Have you ever heard of the Skunk ape?”

 

No what’s that?

 

It’s like a yeti, little smaller than a normal Bigfoot, wonders the hills of eastern Tennessee, has a horrible smell. It comes from the Appalachian mountain and it eats people’s chickens. Sort of a silly thing, like people don’t take it seriously, I imagine it like a little thing, a nasty little skunk ape. No sympathy by people if a possum eat your chicken, but if a skunk ape eat them…oh shit”

 

There is not too much to a meaning to it but you want sympathy and try to make the story more dramatic and get attention rather than just having your chicken eaten by a common possum (because that would be a boring and uninteresting story)

 

For more information on the skunk-ape, see http://www.newanimal.org/skunkape.htm