Žeme ‘land, ground, earth’ in Lithuanian literature

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
Žeme ‘land, ground, earth’ in Lithuanian literature
In the Journal:
Etnolingwistyka (Lublin). 2021, 33, p. 81-101
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Žemė; Planeta; Dirva; Koncept. Keywords: Žemė; Land; Earth; Planet; Ground; Concept.
Summary / Abstract:

ENIn Lithuanian literature, žeme ‘land, earth, ground’ is understood as a planet, as one of the four elements, as an element in opposition to water, or as solid ground. It differs from the sky and stands in opposition to it because the sky is good, while žeme is full of things that are unfriendly to people. Žeme is the world with life going on; buildings stand on its surface, people sit, stand or lie on it, etc. It is the most valuable property that can be sold, given, leased, or left as inheritance. People are interested not only in what is going on its surface but also in the layer that is cultivated (soil). People want this layer to grow flowers, trees and grass for them. They find various things in this layer and think that land can hide a lot from them. Žeme is the mother that provides life and shelter after death. It takes care of people, feeds them and talks to them. It also serves as a reference frame on the basis of which people evaluate large and small things or things hanging above it. Žeme can refer to a specific state or a nation that lives in own land, as well as to a person’s native home and lives of their ancestors. Žeme is alive as much as humans are: it has a face, parts of the body and internal organs, it experiences human emotions and has divine powers. Žeme can be of various colours: from the traditional colour of fertile soil, i.e., black, to subtle shades, such as yellowish brown or blue. It is also characterised through most unusual words, such as “sinful”, “juicy”, “slim”, “like caviar” and others. The smell of žeme is also exceptional: it is wet and sour. It smells of oats, barley, summer home – the smell fills people’s hearts with joy, evokes memories and longing. [From the publication]

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2022-11-29 07:27:50
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