Monday, March 7, 2011

While in Vytegra, the Music School invited us to a private show and the youth folk ensemble taught us a favorite children's game. The game is fanty, known to the English-speaking world as Forfeits. The children go around in circles, holding hands, singing a song about a beatiful young deer who sits in the center. As they go around, one by one they place a piece of jewely or any kind of found object in the deer's box. Next, the deer picks out each object at random, asking, "Chto delat' etomu fantu?" / "what to do for this forfeit?"

Russian Fant comes from the German Pfand 'pledge, security,' which, unsurprisingly, is the word Germans use for this game. In terms of Russian, though, fant is still a nonce word; it isn't used outside of this game. (Obviously you can use it outside of this game, but then it is kind of like saying Go fish! in English when, for example, you don't know the answer to a given question.)

Andrew and Will were lucky enough to have had their turns.
Go play with your friends! Happy Fanting!

(the music school building)

(part of the concert that preceded the children's folk song & dance; note the huge bass balalaika!)

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