Nus discurrin Rumantsch

Us lêste blogpost wie oer wyldkampearen, mar de lêste pear dagen wienen frijwat it tsjinoerstelde. Sadree’t wy de grins fan Switserlân oerfytsten, hienen wy net allinnich it idee dat wyldkampearen dreech wie, mar wy waarden ek troch freonen útnûge om by harren te ferbliuwen en hja hienen sels freonen en famylje frege oft wy net dêr sliepe koenen. Mei’t wy by minsken thús binne, leare wy ek mear oer harren regio, kultuer en yn dit gefal benammen nijsgjirrich de Reto-Romaanske taal, oftewol it Rumantsch.

Our last blog entry was about wild camping, but these past days have been the very opposite. We have entered Switzerland where not only we feel wild camping is difficult, but also friends of ours have invited us to stay with them and, what’s more, made sure that along the way we could stay at friends or family of theirs that can take us in for a night. Because we are staying at people’s houses, we also learn more about the region, culture, and particularly interesting in this case, the Rumantsch language.

Yn Switserlân binne fjouwer offisjele talen: Dútsk, Frânsk, Italiaansk en Rumantsch. Nettsjinsteande dy offisjele status is it Rumantsch in minderheidstaal mei minder as 1% fan Switsers dy’t it praat. It is in Romaanske taal dy’t yn de kanton fan Graubünden praten wurdt en hat gâns farianten tusken elke regio en sels doarpen. Der binne fiif grutte taalfarianten (Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter en Vallader) en allegearre wurde yn ’e regio’s op de skoallen jûn. Boppe al dy fariëteiten hawwe hja in keunstmjittige taal (Grishun), dy’t foar algemiene boadskippen en ynstituten brûkt wurdt.

In Switzerland there are four official languages: German, French, Italian and Rumantsch. Despite the official status however, Rumantsch language is a minority language as less than 1% of the Swiss speak it. It is a Romance language spoken in the canton of Graubünden and knows many varieties for each district and even villages. There are five major language varieties (Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter and Vallader) and each of them are taught at schools in the district as well.  On top of all varieties, there is an artificial language (Grishun) which can be used for general messages or outlets.

Om lykwols by de Rumantsch-sprekkende gebieten te kommen, moasten wy (behoarlik) klimme, om’t de Reto-Romaanske doarpen almeast heech op ’e berchhellingen lizze. Dat wy binne yndied net mear yn ’e Lege Lannen, mei’t wy al in soad hierspjeldbochten hân hawwe (en der komme noch moai wat) om wer in heuvel of berch te feroverjen (ús freon: ‘In hierspjeldbocht? Wat? Dat neame wy hjir gewoan diken!’). De hichten binne in fersiking foar ús en ús lichems en dan hat Ydwine ek nochris lêst fan hichtefrees. Mar as men ienris boppe is, dan jout dat alle kearen in geweldigen oerwinningsgefoel en tagelyk in fantastysk útsjoch.

To get to the Rumantsch speaking areas however, we needed to climb – a lot – as their villages are mostly up in the mountains. Yes, we’re not in the Low Countries anymore for sure, as we have had many hairpin corners already (and many more to come) to tackle yet another hill or mountain (our friend: “A hairpin corner? What? We just call them streets here!”). The heights are testing us and our bodies as well as Ydwine’s fear of them. But once you’re on top, it gives a great sense of victory as well as a magnificent view every time.

204 - Mon (CH)

The view from the village of Mon

Lykas sein koenen wy mei de help fan Giuventetgna Rumantscha (de Reto-Romaanske jongereinorganisaasje) by freonen en famylje ferbliuwe. Doe’t wy ien kear yn Romaansk gebiet wienen, krigen wy in wakker waarm wolkom, dat begûn yn Chur dêr’t wy frege waarden om in fraachpetear te ûndergean by de Romaanske radio/tv-stasjon RTR Svizra Rumantscha (sis mar, de Romaanske wjergader fan Omrop Fryslân). Wy waarden útnûge foar in kop kofje en der waard in koart filmke makke oer ús frjemde Friezen dy’t dêr alhiel op ’e fyts kommen wienen.

As said, we could stay with the help of Giuventetgna Rumantscha (the Rumantsch youth organisation) with Rumantsch friends and families already. Once in Rumantsch area we had a warm welcome too, which started in Chur where we were asked to come to the Rumantsch radio/TV station RTR Svizra Rumantscha. There we were invited for a cup of coffee and to shoot a short video about us strange Frisians coming by bike.

Nei de tiid naam in freondinne ús mei troch de stêd en ieten wy Maluns (in typysk gerjocht foar de regio) as middeisiten. Dêrop koenen wy ‘skoan’ de folgjende 35 kilometer omheech nei Sagogn dwaan. Underweis kamen wy nei Bonaduz oer de saneamde ‘Kanadeeske dyk’, mei’t it earste part fan dy dyk opfallend rjocht troch de bosk giet. It paad brocht ús omheech en sa hienen wy in prachtútsjoch oer de Ryn nei’t er wer omleech gie om ús de folgjende klim te fersoargjen.

Afterwards, a friend of ours took us through the city and we had Maluns (a typical dish for the region) together as lunch. Powered by them, we could overcome the next 35 km up to Sagogn, which took us along a beautiful road after Bonaduz, also dubbed “the Canadian road” as it is an oddly straight road for the first part of the woods. The road took us up with a great view over the Rhine, and then down again to the next hill to climb.

158 - Bonaduz (CH)

The ‘Canadian Road’

Doe’t wy ienris yn Sagogn wienen (dêr’t se de fariant fan Sursilvan prate) koenen wy by in freon ferbluwe. Dêr hawwe wy trije dagen taholden en op twa dagen dêrfan naam er ús mei om te hiken. De earste kuiertocht wie in rêstigenien mei in dûk yn Lag la Cresta, mar de twadde wie in stûfenien (en hiel aaklik foar Ydwine) mei steile en glysterige hellings. Om dy reden hienen wy de tredde deis aardich spierpine fan it hiken, mei’t men oare spieren brûkt as mei fytsen. Wy hawwe dy dagen ek in soad praten oer ús talen, mei’t wy ûnderfinings diele kinne as minderheidstaalsprekkers en boppedat hawwe sawol hy as Geart beide niget oan literatuer, yn it bysûnder poëzy.

Once in Sagogn (where they speak the Sursilvan variety), we could stay at another friend’s place. Here we had three days, and he took us hiking for the first two of them. The first tour was a relaxed one with a swim in Lag la Cresta, but the second hike was a tough one (and very scary for Ydwine) with steep descents and slippery slopes. On our third day therefore, we had sore muscles as you use different ones with biking. These days we also had many talks on our languages, as we can share our experiences as minority language speakers and what is more, he and Geart are both fond of literature, with poetry in particular.

183 - St. Martin (CH)

Close to St. Martin

Nei ús ferbliuw yn Sagogn waard it wer heech tiid om op ’e fyts te stappen, hoe stadich en knoffelich oft dat ek gie mei ús spierpine (noch altiten!), om fierder de bergen yn te tsjen. Op nei Savignon dêr’t in oare freondinne wennet en dêr’t de fariant Surmiran praten wurdt. De rûte – mei ditkear twa tunnels en in soad ferkear – wie wer net maklik, mar wy rêden it op, al wienen wy in pear kilometers foar de einstreek stronttrochwiet reind. Yn Savognin bleaunen wy twa nachten oer, sadat wy it wer oer it libben en talen hawwe koenen en ús ta te rieden foar de neikommende útdaging: De Julierpas. Dy pas bringt ús út it Reto-Romaansksprekkend gebiet en op nei de folgjende etappe fan ús aventoer.

After Sagogn it was time to get on our bikes ever so slowly and clumsy because of the sore muscles (still!) and cycle even further into the mountains, to Savognin where another friend lives and where the Surmiran Rumantsch is spoken. The route was tough yet again and had tunnels with cars racing by, but we managed to arrive just after it had started to pour down, so the last kilometres were wet and cold for us. In Savognin we stayed for two nights, so we could stay and talk with our friend about life and our languages again, and prepare our next challenge: the Julier Pass, which will take us out from the Rumantsch speaking area and on to the next stage of our adventure.

209 - Savognin (CH)

Savognin

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One thought on “Nus discurrin Rumantsch

  1. Pingback: Blog Geart Tigchelaar: Nus discurrin Rumantsch | ensafh

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