Driving from St. Lorenzen into Gadertal valley, you soon notice that there's something different about the signs when compared with the rest of Kronplatz area. You are met with centuries of Dolomite tradition in the old-fashioned, melodious-sounding names which chime out the ancient language and breathe life again and again into even more ancient mythical figures. A lot of effort goes into keeping up old culture and language here. The Ladin cultural institute, Micurà de Rü, has been given the task of doing this and organises and promotes initiatives based on Ladin language and culture. It publishes books on the Ladin language, both written in Ladin and other languages. The library, which carefully preserves all kinds of gems concerning Ladin language and culture, is very interesting for inquisitive types. Those wishing to find out about a specialist subject area can turn to the helpful librarian or have a browse through the shop.
Culture served on a plate
What may be seen in the place names at first glance now shows up in restaurant menus. 'Panicia', 'tutres', 'cancì blanc y checi'. Delicious dishes are conjured up out of fresh, simple ingredients. Typical products for the local area such as flour, potatoes, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, along with fresh fruit and vegetables and meat on public holidays, inspired the cooks to create countless traditional recipes that lead young and resourceful professional cooks to their own polished interpretations today. Oh, and would you like to know what 'panicia', 'tutres', 'cancì blanc y checi' are? You just have to try them! Here are a few pictures … and we are also happy to explain the little tricks that you need to successfully make them at home.
Culture in the wardrobe
Warm wool, hardwearing leather, fine linen, soft silk, decorative feathers: these were, and still are, the components of genuine Gadertal valley costume. Red, blue, brown, black, white, yellow and green … their colours reflects nature's diversity. So that no little misunderstandings arose on the few enjoyable occasions they had to find a potential husband, girls would wear a white apron and white crocheted lace cuffs at the end of their sleeves against their heavy, black skirt with its red bodice, while married women wore a blue apron and black cuffs. Such was their pride in each newborn baby, that women added a coin to their belt for every child. Traditional costumes are still worn today, especially at festive processions to celebrate major religious holidays. Men may also be seen in their leather trousers and brown jackets with their wide embroidered belts and mustard yellow hats with their green bands. Find out more in the library of Micurà de Rü Ladin institute.
Culture on the village squares
Whenever the church and nature would allow it, a festival would take place. That's why the biggest holidays are religious ones which are still accompanied by festive processions today. Part of the celebrations always involves the obligatory 'Segra', a village fête with refreshments and music laid on. As well as the 'Almabtrieb', when the cattle are led down from their summertime mountain pastures, every village holds one of these 'Kirchtage', or fêtes, so that there's always something going on in the summer and autumn months. When there were no telephones and cars and every day brought hard physical work with it, these festivals were a welcome opportunity to make one of life's most important decisions: choosing a partner. This was also the focus of bringing in the eggs on Easter Monday: girls painstakingly painted the eggs for their beloved and decorated them with terms of endearment. There is also plenty of information on this subject in the library of the Ladin Culture Institute, Micurà de Rü.