esmaspäev, november 05, 2007

Jumala Külm

A week ago I was carving pumpkins with American ex-pats. Now I am scraping ice from the car window. At 2.30 pm the sun hangs low in the sky, warning us of its eventual descent into the dark of December, and then, at the solstice, the climax -- a day mostly made up of night.

Some people are intimidated by the nordic latitude. To them it brings to mind the work of Edvard Munch and Ingmar Bergman. But nighttime is the time when many people are their most creative, and in a season made up mostly of night, the imagination is allowed to run wild with the thoughts that come out to play.

In winter, too, we drink more. It's a regional condition. Alcohol, chocolate, kodujuust (cottage cheese) -- they all supposedly contain the magic ingredients needed to survive the vast darkness. You also feel more alive. The cold shock of air keeps one moving. The local people have a saying -- there's no such thing as the wrong kind of weather, only the wrong kind of clothes.

In Estonia, I might paraphrase. There's no such thing as the wrong latitude -- simply the wrong kind of attitude.

Last night we watched Tantsud Tähtedega, again. The Rootsi Suursaadik Dag Hartelius was voted off the show, but he seemed relieved at the end. Perhaps the cold weather slowed his desire to samba in public. We'll never know. Let this be a lesson to you, Russian Ambassador Nikolai Uspenski. Learn to dance and speak Estonian, and everyone will love you. Anyway, now my sympathies are moving towards Koit Toome, who reminds me of a guy on spring break. He's that consistently happy.

As for the title of this post, it means 'heavenly cold' or something of that nature. I was approached by some Estonian Jehovah's Witnesses last week who wanted to know about my relationship with God. They asked me what I thought about 'Jumal' [mis te mõtlete jumalast?], to which I replied, "Noh, ma mõtlen, et täna on jumala külm."

16 kommentaari:

Indrek ütles ...

"jumala [insert random adjective]" is kinda funny expression. It is just for adding a dramatic effect and has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

If You translate it to "heavenly cold", doesn't it mean something very good then? For example You couldn't translate "jumala jama film" to "heavenly boring movie"... Actually I understand that You made that translation to make the last paragraph understandable to non estonian readres (although it doesn't carry the same meaning)

I wonder what religious people think of this expression because it breaks the second commandment, yet it is very widely used (Kind of like "Oh my God!" in english).

MaitUus ütles ...

Jumala/jumalast just means 'very', or 'effing', depending on the situation.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Gustino said:

At 2.30 pm the sun hangs low in the sky, warning us of its eventual descent into the dark of December, and then, at the solstice, the climax -- a day mostly made up of night.
In winter, too, we drink more. It's a regional condition. Alcohol, chocolate, kodujuust (cottage cheese) -- they all supposedly contain the magic ingredients needed to survive the vast darkness. You also feel more alive.
But nighttime is the time when many people are their most creative, and in a season made up mostly of night, the imagination is allowed to run wild with the thoughts that come out to play.

Martasmimi Say's:
Oh Pleezzzzzze
It's just dark cold freezing rain
ice and snow with wet cold mist.
Did I say dark....

Guistino said:

In Estonia, I might paraphrase. There's no such thing as the wrong latitude -- simply the wrong kind of attitude.

Martasmimi said:

Your attitude has clearly been
adjusted by the latitude.

Sorry for the reality check....

Did I say Dark & Freezing Cold

John ütles ...

Ha, but I'd watch out with those Jehovahs.

Personally I give God a 4.5 viie palli süsteemis, but I always tell the Jehovahs 5.

I wonder what Mormon missionaries wear when it's that cold? You know, the nice clean-cut fellahs in the shirt sleeves.

gaborien ütles ...

I guess they become more "terrenal" and wear a coat like everybody.

By the way, this Uspenski guy immediately reminded me:

http://web.mit.edu/jonb/www/animate/grinch.jpg

Xmas is coming :)

Flasher T ütles ...

You should keep the driver's side window rolled down just slightly - it equalizes the temperature and humidity inside the car, so no condensation, and no ice in the morning. ;)

Erik ütles ...

On a side note of religion and temperature, i read somwhere that depending on where the religion is started, its affects the nature of its hell. In Christianity and Islam, which are both desert religions, hell is a hot and fiery place. But in the old Norse religion and for the eskimoes, hell is an unbearable cold place covered in ice.

Siilanarusk ütles ...

Just a small remark - I think the Norwegian artist is Edvard Munch (not Edvin.

Heli ütles ...

I would translate "jumala külm" "awfully cold" actually.

stockholm slender ütles ...

I kind of like this crazy sub-arctic climate as bad as this dark time of the year gets. The contrast between the Midsummer and Christmas is just incredible, and the way the nature comes back to life in the spring is quite different than in the milder climates... It is such a dramatic process. The year truly has four seasons and you certainly can see the effect of these crazy shifts on people. I myself have noticed that these days I can get quite tired in November-February and then be quite energetic in June-August. Earlier it wasn't such a big deal but as we say in Finland "vanhuus ei tule yksinään"...

Giustino ütles ...

The weather has actually helped this country on occasion.

One reason things calmed down after late April was that it suddenly became cold -- it actually snowed in Tartu on May 1 and May 2.

Who wanted to go out and break stuff in the sleet?

Blogaddict ütles ...

Jumala külm is before it gets kuradi külm.


For example:

Jumala külm is when you shiver and curse the drizzling rain at Jaanituli.

Kuradi külm is when your car door is frozen shut and you bend the key trying to turn the lock.

John ütles ...

No no, Edvin is Eduard Munch's lesser known twin brother -- best known for his painting of low-visibility conditions in a blizzard...The Scrim.

Colm ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Colm ütles ...

Thanks for the post Gustino! It made me feel more at home in this unfamiliar Nordic winter!

KRISTIN ütles ...

Hehee, I think Blogaddict is very right, it first turns jumala külm and then kuradi külm.