“Izlel e Delio Haidutin”: A Cosmogonic Song (Valya Balkanska)

Such an overwhelming, “cosmogonic” song! It sounds as though God himself had been listening to it while He was busy creating everything. No wonder it has been sent to space on board the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes in 1977: extra-terrestrials should listen to it. Cioran’s books should also be sent to space; in fact, there should be a sign in outter space for spacetravellers approaching the planet Earth, which reads: Ici Cioran.

hajduk is a type of peasant irregular infantry found in Central and Southeast Europe from the early 17th to mid 19th centuries. They have reputations ranging from bandits to freedom fighters depending on time, place, and their enemies.

In the European lands of the Ottoman Empire, the term hajduk was used to describe bandits and brigands of the Balkans, while in Central Europe for the West SlavsHungarians, and Germans it was used to refer to outlaws who protected Christians against provocative actions by the Ottomans. In the 17th century they were firmly established in the Ottoman Balkans, related to increased taxes, Christian victories against the Ottomans, and general security decline. Hajduk bands predominantly numbered one hundred men each, with a firm hierarchy under one leader. They targeted Ottoman representatives and rich people, mainly rich Turks, for plunder or punishment to oppressive Ottomans, or revenge or a combination of all.[1]

In Balkan folkloric tradition, the hajduk (hajduci or haiduci in the plural) is a romanticised hero figure who steals from, and leads his fighters into battle against, the Ottoman or Habsburg authorities. They are somewhat comparable to the English legend of Robin Hood and his merry men, who stole from the rich (which as in the case of the hajduci happened to be also foreign occupants) and gave to the poor, while defying seemingly unjust laws and authority.

The hajduci of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries commonly were as much guerrilla fighters against the Ottoman rule as they were bandits and highwaymen who preyed not only on Ottomans and their local representatives, but also on local merchants and travellers. As such, the term could also refer to any robber and carry a negative connotation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajduk)

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