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Author Topic: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands  (Read 4968 times)

Amphibian

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Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« on: March 12, 2014, 04:21:36 pm »
So, erm. As a starting point for sorting out thoughts on deity, ritual, and personal associations, I'm trying to trace back at least a little bit of ancestral stuff.  Most of my family is Dutch (albeit, at this point, very thoroughly Americanized - depending on the branch you go by, I'm somewhere between fourth and sixth-generation American), so...trying to figure out stuff there.  Three questions.

1) From my (fragmentary) research, it seems that Dutch culture and history are rather Germanic; are there major sorts of differences I should be aware of, especially with regards to worship/ritual constructions?

2) My historical timelining is similarly spotty, but if I've got the dates even remotely right, it seems like the formation of the Netherlands as a political entity came after the widespread dissemination of Christianity through Europe.  How much, if anything, was left of the local spiritual beliefs at that time?

3) I'm getting a bit of a nudge about specific deities, land and sea, in a bit of an ongoing...wrestling match? Neighbors (perhaps brothers?) squabbling over the property line, things of that nature. Does this correspond to a known set of deities, or am I wandering in UPG-land here?

DavidMcCann

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 01:56:46 pm »
Quote from: Amphibian;142315
From my (fragmentary) research, it seems that Dutch culture and history are rather Germanic; are there major sorts of differences I should be aware of, especially with regards to worship/ritual constructions?

The area was originally on the border between Celts and Germans, but the Dutch are ethnically Germanic. You've probably heard of Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually German! English speakers didn't distinguish between Dutch (Low Dutch) and German (High Dutch) in the 17-18th centuries.
Quote
My historical timelining is similarly spotty, but if I've got the dates even remotely right, it seems like the formation of the Netherlands as a political entity came after the widespread dissemination of Christianity through Europe. How much, if anything, was left of the local spiritual beliefs at that time?

Very little, I'd say, to judge by the situation in Britain. In the Renascence or even in the late Middle Ages, no-one was talking about paganism in those areas. You get a few folk customs that go back to pagan times, of course. I remember a charm against the toothache commanding it to go "by wod and by god"; Woden, of course, but did the peasants who recited it know that?

So, going back to your Dark Age ancestors, the Anglo-Saxon reconstructionists are probably the closest.
http://www.englatheod.org/anglosaxon.htm
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Nerys53

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 09:58:33 am »
Quote from: Amphibian;142315
So, erm. As a starting point for sorting out thoughts on deity, ritual, and personal associations, I'm trying to trace back at least a little bit of ancestral stuff.  Most of my family is Dutch (albeit, at this point, very thoroughly Americanized - depending on the branch you go by, I'm somewhere between fourth and sixth-generation American), so...trying to figure out stuff there.  Three questions.

1) From my (fragmentary) research, it seems that Dutch culture and history are rather Germanic

3) I'm getting a bit of a nudge about specific deities, land and sea,  


See Nehalennia http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalennia

beith

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 12:34:20 pm »
Quote from: DavidMcCann;142410
The area was originally on the border between Celts and Germans, but the Dutch are ethnically Germanic. You've probably heard of Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually German! English speakers didn't distinguish between Dutch (Low Dutch) and German (High Dutch) in the 17-18th centuries.

 
This is very interesting...I had always heard that Pennsylvania Dutch was English-speaking trouble with the German word Deutsch.  Maybe that's just legend.  I got into an argument in high school with someone insisting that the Amish spoke Dutch rather than a dialect of German (several members of the Pennsylvania Dutch group became Anabaptist, with some of those going on to the break off Amish group).

It was also my understand that Low German and High German referred to language...with Low German being spoken in the northern part of Germany.  For example, I have ancestors from Mecklenburg and Low German was spoken there.  Is Low German related to current Dutch, or perhaps Low German was spoken in the Netherlands at some point?  Does Low Dutch/High Dutch refer to language in the same way that Low German and High German refers to language?  I haven't heard the terms Low Dutch/High Dutch before, and I've never heard of Germans referred to as Dutch outside of the Pennsylvania Dutch reference.

Allaya

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 01:01:33 pm »
Quote from: DavidMcCann;142410
The area was originally on the border between Celts and Germans, but the Dutch are ethnically Germanic. You've probably heard of Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually German! English speakers didn't distinguish between Dutch (Low Dutch) and German (High Dutch) in the 17-18th centuries.

 
No, just no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Germanic_languages
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DavidMcCann

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2014, 02:17:49 pm »
Quote from: Allaya;142480
No, just no.

No to what?

"On the border" Well, the Belgae who lived there were considered a Celtic tribe and St Jerome said that Gaulish was still spoken around Trier in his day, and that's well inside the modern Germanic border.

"Dutch" The English word is of course related to the German "deutsch". The Oxford English Dictionary records the original meaning, now obsolete, as "designating the ... West Germanic languages" and the usage for Netherlandish as starting in the 17th century. It records "High Dutch" as archaic for High German and "Low Dutch" as archaic for Low German or Netherlandish.

Examples
High German: Unser Vater in dem Himmel, dien Name werde geheiligt.
Low German: Uns Vader, de is in Himmel, heiliget is dien Naam.
Dutch: Onze vader, die in de hemelen zijt, Uw naam warde geheiligd.
W. Frisian: Us heit, dy't yn de himeln binne, jins namme wurde hillige.

I shan't comment on a Wikipedia article; I prefer to use sources where one can see the qualifications of the author.
Minorities are almost always in the right.
They haif said. Quhat say they? Lat thame say!

Allaya

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 04:47:08 pm »
Quote from: DavidMcCann;142485
I shan't comment on a Wikipedia article; I prefer to use sources where one can see the qualifications of the author.

 
And a merry tu quoque to you too.

The missing context in your first post rendered it confusing and partially inaccurate and it looks like I'm not the only one to notice.
Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.  — Shirley Chisholm
No doubt the truth can be unpleasant, but I am not sure that unpleasantness is the same as the truth.  — Roger Ebert
It is difficult to get a person to understand something when their livelihood depends upon them not understanding it. — Upton Sinclair (adapted)
People cannot be reasoned out of an opinion that they have not reasoned themselves into. — Fisher Ames (adapted)

Chabas

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2014, 04:08:08 am »
Quote from: beith;142478
This is very interesting...I had always heard that Pennsylvania Dutch was English-speaking trouble with the German word Deutsch.  Maybe that's just legend.  I got into an argument in high school with someone insisting that the Amish spoke Dutch rather than a dialect of German (several members of the Pennsylvania Dutch group became Anabaptist, with some of those going on to the break off Amish group).

It was also my understand that Low German and High German referred to language...with Low German being spoken in the northern part of Germany.  For example, I have ancestors from Mecklenburg and Low German was spoken there.  Is Low German related to current Dutch, or perhaps Low German was spoken in the Netherlands at some point?  Does Low Dutch/High Dutch refer to language in the same way that Low German and High German refers to language?  I haven't heard the terms Low Dutch/High Dutch before, and I've never heard of Germans referred to as Dutch outside of the Pennsylvania Dutch reference.

 
So as, you know, Dutch native speaker who not only took German in highschool but studied in Germany for a year:

Dutch and German are very clearly related languages, and what we Dutch call low Saxon (and the Germans call low German) is where it shows the most. My husband is from one of the Dutch low Saxon areas, and not only do I find that when trying to decipher the dialect, it's best to forget the distinction between German and Dutch - I know that his godfather has run into people from low German areas and they had no problems at all holding a conversation in their respective dialects, it was that close.

Pennsylvania Dutch, as far as I've been able to tell, is indeed a variation of German rather than Dutch.

--Chabas

beith

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2014, 11:05:08 am »
Quote from: Chabas;142517
So as, you know, Dutch native speaker who not only took German in highschool but studied in Germany for a year:

Dutch and German are very clearly related languages, and what we Dutch call low Saxon (and the Germans call low German) is where it shows the most. My husband is from one of the Dutch low Saxon areas, and not only do I find that when trying to decipher the dialect, it's best to forget the distinction between German and Dutch - I know that his godfather has run into people from low German areas and they had no problems at all holding a conversation in their respective dialects, it was that close.

Pennsylvania Dutch, as far as I've been able to tell, is indeed a variation of German rather than Dutch.

--Chabas

 
Thank you very much for the response.  I didn't think there was such a thing as Low Dutch and High Dutch, but I'm no language expert so I figured it best to ask.

Dialects are so interesting to me.  On the one hand, there is an experience like your husband's godfather had with being able to talk across languages/dialects.  On the other hand, I was in Bavaria with a friend from northwestern Germany and we got lost in some construction detours.  We pulled over and she asked a man for help with directions.  We had to leave because she couldn't understand him at all.

Allaya

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2014, 11:17:34 am »
Quote from: beith;142540
Thank you very much for the response.  I didn't think there was such a thing as Low Dutch and High Dutch, but I'm no language expert so I figured it best to ask.

Dialects are so interesting to me.  On the one hand, there is an experience like your husband's godfather had with being able to talk across languages/dialects.  On the other hand, I was in Bavaria with a friend from northwestern Germany and we got lost in some construction detours.  We pulled over and she asked a man for help with directions.  We had to leave because she couldn't understand him at all.

 
Regarding Bavaria, I have two anecdotes:

  • I was told by a Texan engaged to a gent from Bavaria that "Bavaria is just like Texas: a whole 'nother country."
  • A German from the middle of the country commenting to me about someone else: "oh, that guy's not German. He's Bavarian. Big difference."

I can see how you and you friend might have had some problems! ;)
Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.  — Shirley Chisholm
No doubt the truth can be unpleasant, but I am not sure that unpleasantness is the same as the truth.  — Roger Ebert
It is difficult to get a person to understand something when their livelihood depends upon them not understanding it. — Upton Sinclair (adapted)
People cannot be reasoned out of an opinion that they have not reasoned themselves into. — Fisher Ames (adapted)

Adnarim

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 02:06:45 pm »
Hi! I am new.  And dutch:) you got my attentie here. A nothing i can clear up?

beith

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2014, 11:19:49 am »
Quote from: Allaya;142543
Regarding Bavaria, I have two anecdotes:

  • I was told by a Texan engaged to a gent from Bavaria that "Bavaria is just like Texas: a whole 'nother country."
  • A German from the middle of the country commenting to me about someone else: "oh, that guy's not German. He's Bavarian. Big difference."

I can see how you and you friend might have had some problems! ;)

 
Ha, this is great.  The gentlemen she tried talking to looked like he was around 80 years old, so I'm sure the "whole 'nother country" thing was very strong in him!

Amphibian

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Re: Pagan beliefs in the Netherlands
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 12:10:40 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;142517
So as, you know, Dutch native speaker who not only took German in highschool but studied in Germany for a year:

Dutch and German are very clearly related languages, and what we Dutch call low Saxon (and the Germans call low German) is where it shows the most. My husband is from one of the Dutch low Saxon areas, and not only do I find that when trying to decipher the dialect, it's best to forget the distinction between German and Dutch - I know that his godfather has run into people from low German areas and they had no problems at all holding a conversation in their respective dialects, it was that close.

Pennsylvania Dutch, as far as I've been able to tell, is indeed a variation of German rather than Dutch.

--Chabas

In retrospect, posting this thread and then dropping off the internet for nearly a week was perhaps not the best scheduling.  A belated thanks for the linguistic context.

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