[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Customs and Traditions of Volhynians

Betty L Hoeppner betner at juno.com
Sun Sep 12 16:00:21 PDT 2004

My mother was born in Volhynia  in the Styr Colony of Valerianowka and
every New Years Eve here in the US around midnight she had prepared a
spread of food which always included herring.  She would prepare the
pickled herring herself but in later years just bought herring.  Everyone
was encouraged to eat the herring for "good luck" in the new year.

Then mom would take her Bible and turn it to the longest Psalms and with
everyone gathered around, would ask each person to pick out a number
which she would read out loud.  This verse was to have special meaning to
the individual who chose it and was to be applied to them for the whole

My Dad who was born in Zelmerostowo would sing this little song as he
held the small children on his lap:
(child's name) klein, ging allein, in die Weite Welt hinein;
Stock und Hut steht Ihr gut doch Sie meint es gut.
Doch die Mama weihnt so sehr, Hat jetzt keine (child's name) mehr,
(child's name) klein, ging allein in die Welt hinein.

(child's name), so small, went alone, in the wide world
Stick and hat stands her well. Though she means it well.
Yet her Mama cries so much, doesn't have her little (child's name)
(child's name) so small, went alone in the wide world.
When anyone complained about feeling ill, he would recite:
O Weh, O Weh
Mein Fuss tut weh wenn es zur Arbeit geht,
Aber nicht wenn es zur Tanzen geht.

Oh my, O my
My foot hurts when it comes to doing work,
But not when it comes to dancing.
Was der Sonntag erwirbit, hat der Montag verderbt.  (What the Sunday
accomplishes, is spoiled on Monday--shouldn't work on Sunday)

An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen, wer es nur glauben kann.  (On God's
blessings is everything related, if you can only believe it.)

Steck dich nicht in Gefahr dann kommst der auch nicht darein.  (Don't
place yourself in harm's way, then you won't get in trouble.)

Pass auf!  Henschel hinter die Burg.  (Watch out!  An eavesdropper is

Viele Hande machen bald ein Ende.  (Many hands make soon an end.)

Ende gut, alles gut.  (If the ending is good, everything is good.)

Mach snell! (Hurry up!)

Es Klimpert und es klampert.  (It pings and bangs.)

Anyone else remember these?  Betty 

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