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Old Polish Tradition of a Son's First Steps


andersm 4 | 32
5 Jul 2012 #1
I've read that back when horses were still the principle means of transportation a Polish father would take his newborn son to the stable and sit him on a horse for his 'first steps'.

Can anyone verify this was a tradition or is this a myth?
Polsyr 6 | 769
5 Jul 2012 #2
I asked a few people from around Warsaw but none of them heard of such a practice. The oldest person I asked (60 years old) suggested that maybe they used to do that somewhere in Russia because (I quote) "they are weird over there"...
boletus 30 | 1,366
5 Jul 2012 #3
I've read that back when horses were still the principle means of transportation a Polish father would take his newborn son to the stable and sit him on a horse for his 'first steps'.

Polish culture is not nomadic, aside from some mystical legendary Sarmatian beginnings. This story seems like a total myth; I have never read or heard about it - tradition or myth.

Here is the closest reference to such custom, mykyrgyzstan.ch/pravoe-menju-2/nomad_s-traditions.html
This comes from Kyrgyz culture. Allow me to quote (my emphasis):

To put on a horse "Atka mingizuu"

How is your novel going?
OP andersm 4 | 32
5 Jul 2012 #4
Boletus,
Thank-you for digging up this information. I will definitely not include any reference to this myth in my novel. It seemed plausible given everything I've read about Poland's historic love of horses.

The novel is going well. (It's a part time effort as I work fulltime at a different job.) I recall speaking with you about the use of 'Ana Bociana' as a tease for the female lead character. Well, our poor homely gangly Anastazja has finally grown into a striking woman - catching up with her features. (BTW I knew a young boy like that - a homely child and adolescent and then wow! as a man....he simply grew up in odd ways and once the parts came together, well, after 20 years I still remember him and my heart skips a beat. *G*) Anastazja has just had her home destroyed by the rapacious Swedes and been given shelter by her younger brother amongst the Polish resistance fighters . I think for her next disaster we might have her kidnapped by Tatar slavers.

I appreciate the help you've provided and look forward to talking over other items related to Polish culture and history.

Marlene
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Jul 2012 #5
Dunno about the horse thing, but a custom encountered both in Poland and Polonia is the celerbation of a baby's first birthday. The toddler is set on the floor and around him are placed: a kileiszek, banknote, rosary and book. Whichever he reaches for first is said to indicate his future vocation in life: kieliszek (a toper), banknote (money-maker), rosary (man of the cloth), book (scholar). Of course, it's just tongue in cheek but many famileis have had fun with this one over the generations.
boletus 30 | 1,366
16 Jul 2012 #6
a custom encountered both in Poland

Polish Americans can do all they want, I would not care less. But this tradition sounds fake to me. And the reason is this:
From: "Birthday Traditions from Around the World", coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com/birthday-traditions.html

Chinese Birthday Traditions - When a Chinese child turns one year old, it is a very important event

So which part of Poland did you say observe this custom? Serious sources, please.


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