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RE: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses--slight tangent

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  • Armata, Joseph R
    For Roman Catholics, only one godparent is required for Baptism, but two are allowed so long as they are one of each sex. More than two are not allowed, nor
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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      For Roman Catholics, only one godparent is required for Baptism, but two are allowed so long as they are one of each sex. More than two are not allowed, nor are two of the same sex. There's no provision that the godparents can't be married to each other, but I think you're right about one reason why they usually (always?) aren't. Another reason might be to spread the privilege of being a godparent among the many friends and relatives.

      Joe


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Helen Fedor
      Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:39 AM
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses--slight tangent

      This discussion has reminded me that traditionally, a Slovak child's godfather and godmother have played a larger role in the child's life. For example, their place of honor at the wedding.

      Was it a Slovak-wide tradition that, although the godmother and godfather could be married persons, they weren't supposed to be married to each other (mine weren't)? I guess it was to increase the number of families with which the child could live if something happened to his/her own parents and blood relatives, not such a far-fetched occurrence in those times.

      H
    • J Michutka
      ... In the case of my relative (and others I ve noticed), their career as marriage witness began early--my relative was witness to 2 weddings when he was 18.
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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        On Aug 1, 2007, at 10:05 AM, Gregory J Kopchak wrote:

        > It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
        > marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
        > community.


        In the case of my relative (and others I've noticed), their career as
        marriage witness began early--my relative was witness to 2 weddings
        when he was 18.

        Joyce wrote:
        Marriages were serious business, since sooner or later, or perhaps
        due to the marriage itself, real property rights were involved and
        inheritance rights,

        This is a great example of how easy it is to make assumptions,
        because we are removed in time as well as place/culture. I hadn't
        thought of Joyce's point--our witnesses are a social choice, theirs
        must have had legal (or quasi-legal) ramifications. Thanks for
        mentioning this, Joyce.

        Helen wrote:
        Was it a Slovak-wide tradition that, although the godmother and
        godfather could be married persons, they weren't supposed to be
        married to each other (mine weren't)?

        In my village baptismal records, it will sometimes note the
        godparents as "Petrus Slovak cum ux. Anna"--Peter Slovak with his
        wife Anna; other times, esp. with women, I'll see "Anna Slovak, uxor
        Petri"--Anna Slovak, wife of Peter (the -ova ending doesn't occur for
        women's names in these records until the 20th century). That one
        throws me, because I don't know for sure if the "wife of Peter" bit
        is just to identify her, or if it means that he is the other
        godparent (no other godparent noted in the record).

        Julie Michutka
        jmm@...

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Andrea Vangor
        I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except there was more
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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          I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except there was more evidence for the popularity theory. You would have to go through a whole generation or two of births and marriages -- a great idea if anyone has time.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Gregory J Kopchak
          To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:05 AM
          Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses


          Helen, Andrea, Julie and All

          We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding

          For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
          never turned up at the site.

          There are a couple interesting theories here.

          The Godfather theory.

          The Respected member theory.

          After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
          morning, I have a theory and only a theory.

          The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
          community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
          marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
          community.

          Does anyone have facts to support either theory?

          Greg Kopchak
          It's All Relative

          --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
          >
          > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
          role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
          of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
          godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
          he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
          young man to marry their daughter.
          >
          > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
          godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
          asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
          down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
          wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
          Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
          living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
          not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
          left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
          distance away.
          >
          > H
          >
          >
          >
          > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
          > That's an outstanding question.
          > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
          Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
          witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
          groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: J Michutka
          > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
          > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
          >
          >
          > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
          > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
          > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
          > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
          > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
          > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
          > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
          > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
          > mapped).
          >
          > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
          > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
          > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
          > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
          > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
          > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
          > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
          > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
          > wedding.
          >
          > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
          > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
          > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
          > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
          > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
          > So my question stands.
          >
          > Thanks for any insights,
          >
          > Julie Michutka
          > jmm@...
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Marianne Petruska
          And I plan to re-visit both the birth/baptismal & marriage records for those of my father s ancestors born & married between 1855-1895 to see how accurate the
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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            And I plan to re-visit both the birth/baptismal & marriage records for those
            of my father's ancestors born & married between 1855-1895 to see how
            accurate the info about "godfathers" of the bride & groom is. In the first
            record I checked it wasn't but that may not be true of all of that same
            generation.

            Others who have records for this same period might want to check them as
            well. It may lead to some interesting future research!

            MARIANNE

            On 8/1/07, Andrea Vangor <drav@...> wrote:
            >
            > I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records
            > from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except
            > there was more evidence for the popularity theory. You would have to go
            > through a whole generation or two of births and marriages -- a great idea if
            > anyone has time.
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Gregory J Kopchak
            > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:05 AM
            > Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses
            >
            > Helen, Andrea, Julie and All
            >
            > We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding
            >
            > For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
            > never turned up at the site.
            >
            > There are a couple interesting theories here.
            >
            > The Godfather theory.
            >
            > The Respected member theory.
            >
            > After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
            > morning, I have a theory and only a theory.
            >
            > The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
            > community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
            > marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
            > community.
            >
            > Does anyone have facts to support either theory?
            >
            > Greg Kopchak
            > It's All Relative
            >
            > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>,
            > "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
            > role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
            > of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
            > godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
            > he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
            > young man to marry their daughter.
            > >
            > > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
            > godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
            > asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
            > down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
            > wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
            > Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
            > living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
            > not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
            > left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
            > distance away.
            > >
            > > H
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
            > > That's an outstanding question.
            > > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
            > Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
            > witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
            > groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: J Michutka
            > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
            > > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
            > > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
            > >
            > >
            > > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
            > > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
            > > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
            > > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
            > > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
            > > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
            > > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
            > > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
            > > mapped).
            > >
            > > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
            > > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
            > > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
            > > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
            > > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
            > > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
            > > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
            > > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
            > > wedding.
            > >
            > > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
            > > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
            > > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
            > > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
            > > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
            > > So my question stands.
            > >
            > > Thanks for any insights,
            > >
            > > Julie Michutka
            > > jmm@...
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Andy Verostko
            julie regarding the two men whose names appear often in the mariage records.... The below info is excerpted from: Slovakia and the Slovaks, a Concise
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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              julie

              regarding the two men whose names appear often in the mariage records....


              The below info is excerpted from:
              "Slovakia and the Slovaks, a Concise Encyclopedia".
              Encyclopedical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
              Gold Press Publishers, Bratislava, 1994



              Wedding - Customs accompanying marriage. It was early in the
              developement of the patriarchial
              family that a wedding acquired complex ceremonies which stressed
              significant economic, social
              and family relations. The symbolism of the ceremonies stressed the
              importance of family making
              relationsand included a remeniscence of the purchase and/or abduction of
              the bride, economic
              hope, acts of reproduction, ritual purification, superstitious commands
              and prohibitions. In the
              Slovak Territory weddings varied throughout history and distinct social
              and regional differences
              are obvious. However the basic elements and functions remained
              identical. The course of a
              wedding was managed by "functionaries" which developed with tradition
              (Wedding parents which
              were a senior or mayor from the bridegroom's suite and a master of
              ceremopnies from the bride's
              suite) as well as the groomsmen and bridesmaids. The participants of
              the wedding originally acted
              as witnesses. The wedding lasted three days. The groom aand his
              guests, accompanied by musicians,
              went to the home of the bride. On his way, the groom had to overcome
              various obstacles, a gate
              was shut to him, some tried to send him away. He was told to ask,
              through the senior, the parents
              of the bride for her. The parents handed the bride over to the groom
              through the master of
              ceremonies.

              The above is in reference to 19th century traditions and there is more
              detail on the wedding customs
              and ceremony and it seems that the two men were the intermediaries who
              were very much involved
              in arranging for approvals, dowery's and social compliance...

              regards Andy V......





              J Michutka wrote:

              >
              >
              > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
              > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
              > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
              > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
              > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
              > So my question stands.
              >
              > Thanks for any insights,
              >
              > Julie Michutka
              >










              >
              > <mailto:jmm%40pathbridge.net>
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Margo Smith
              One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage witnesses. I have systematically
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 6, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.

                Andrea, I did not find any examples in which the marriage witnesses were the original baptismal godfathers of the bride and groom.

                There were few in which the marriage witnesses were likely or certainly relatives of either the bride or groom.

                I have come to conclude that several of the families were "prestigious" because they were selected as baptismal godparent or marriage witness so frequently -- some families were selected > 30 times!

                Margo

                Marianne Petruska <marianne50614@...> wrote:
                And I plan to re-visit both the birth/baptismal & marriage records for those
                of my father's ancestors born & married between 1855-1895 to see how
                accurate the info about "godfathers" of the bride & groom is. In the first
                record I checked it wasn't but that may not be true of all of that same
                generation.

                Others who have records for this same period might want to check them as
                well. It may lead to some interesting future research!

                MARIANNE

                On 8/1/07, Andrea Vangor <drav@...> wrote:
                >
                > I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records
                > from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except
                > there was more evidence for the popularity theory. You would have to go
                > through a whole generation or two of births and marriages -- a great idea if
                > anyone has time.
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Gregory J Kopchak
                > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:05 AM
                > Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses
                >
                > Helen, Andrea, Julie and All
                >
                > We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding
                >
                > For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
                > never turned up at the site.
                >
                > There are a couple interesting theories here.
                >
                > The Godfather theory.
                >
                > The Respected member theory.
                >
                > After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
                > morning, I have a theory and only a theory.
                >
                > The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
                > community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                > marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                > community.
                >
                > Does anyone have facts to support either theory?
                >
                > Greg Kopchak
                > It's All Relative
                >
                > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
                > role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
                > of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
                > godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
                > he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
                > young man to marry their daughter.
                > >
                > > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
                > godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
                > asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
                > down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
                > wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
                > Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
                > living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
                > not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
                > left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
                > distance away.
                > >
                > > H
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                > > That's an outstanding question.
                > > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
                > Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
                > witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
                > groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > From: J Michutka
                > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                > > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                > > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                > >
                > >
                > > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                > > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                > > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                > > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                > > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                > > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                > > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                > > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                > > mapped).
                > >
                > > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                > > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                > > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                > > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                > > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                > > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                > > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                > > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                > > wedding.
                > >
                > > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                > > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                > > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                > > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                > > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                > > So my question stands.
                > >
                > > Thanks for any insights,
                > >
                > > Julie Michutka
                > > jmm@...
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Sinbad Schwartz
                ... has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 6, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Margo Smith <margolane61@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning
                  has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage
                  witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.<

                  Recently I was reading "Tradicie Slovenskej Rodiny" (Slovak Family
                  Traditions), or rather the short English summary in the back of the
                  book. On the subject of christenings I found: "Christening was a
                  family celebration of the birth of a child, in which up to the
                  nineteenth century only women participated. The christening held by
                  women was characterized by free entertainment followed by he singing
                  of songs with erotic texts."

                  I could only trace my family back to the beginning of the nineteenth
                  century. In all cases, godparents were a male and a female, which by
                  definition is correct (up until recently). I wonder if the godparents
                  were a man and a woman and the celebration was only for the women? My
                  Slovak is too limited for me to go into the body of the Slovak text
                  and pick up the details. Has anyone ever heard of this tradition?

                  RU
                • konekta@nm.psg.sk
                  Krstiny was the name of the celebration, not the baptism istelf. The book says, that only women had their own celebration, got drunk and were praising the
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 7, 2007
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                    Krstiny was the name of the celebration, not the baptism istelf.
                    The book says, that only women had their own celebration, got drunk and were
                    praising the Jano's rod.:-)
                    Vladimir

                    _____

                    From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On
                    Behalf Of Sinbad Schwartz
                    Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 7:39 AM
                    To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses



                    --- In Slovak-World@ <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                    yahoogroups.com, Margo Smith <margolane61@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning
                    has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage
                    witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.<

                    Recently I was reading "Tradicie Slovenskej Rodiny" (Slovak Family
                    Traditions), or rather the short English summary in the back of the
                    book. On the subject of christenings I found: "Christening was a
                    family celebration of the birth of a child, in which up to the
                    nineteenth century only women participated. The christening held by
                    women was characterized by free entertainment followed by he singing
                    of songs with erotic texts."

                    I could only trace my family back to the beginning of the nineteenth
                    century. In all cases, godparents were a male and a female, which by
                    definition is correct (up until recently). I wonder if the godparents
                    were a man and a woman and the celebration was only for the women? My
                    Slovak is too limited for me to go into the body of the Slovak text
                    and pick up the details. Has anyone ever heard of this tradition?

                    RU






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Sinbad Schwartz
                    ... and were ... Thanks Vladimir. Jano must have been a talented fisherman. RU
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 7, 2007
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                      --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, <konekta@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Krstiny was the name of the celebration, not the baptism istelf.
                      > The book says, that only women had their own celebration, got drunk
                      and were
                      > praising the Jano's rod.:-)
                      > Vladimir

                      Thanks Vladimir. Jano must have been a talented fisherman.

                      RU
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