Beautiful Vida, a drawing by A. Koelj (in Slovenian Ballads and Romances, Celovec 1912)
Dr. Joko avli
Yet, in the Slovenian people's songs there also appears another image of the Slovenian woman. It shows her as a sensible personality, full of sentiments and feebleness, longing for a happy life. Today, such a point of view is nearly normal for a woman. But it was different for a woman in the severe times of the past. It is a question of the ballad called Lepa Vida (beautiful Vida), which originates from ca. 11th century BC, when the Arabs attacked several times the Adriatic coast. The contents of the ballad is, in short, as follows:
Young Vida had a husband, getting on in years, and a child. One day, she stood at the beach and washed diapers. Then, a coloured gentleman arrived in a bark and invited Vida to follow him to Spain, what Vida did. There, she dwelt at the court of the Spanish queen, who liked her very much. But Vida was not happy. She longed for home, for husband and for child, and she secretly cried and cried. She asked the moon, what her husband was doing? The moon said, that he went in his boat out on the sea searching for her. The sun said, that her child died. Vida could not endure her sadness any longer, and she died of a broken heart.
In Slovenian literature of the19th/20th century, several literates dealt with Vida's fate. In their works they would always put the question of Vida's guilt into a different perspective. But not one of them condemned her action, even if it was only a symbolic question. All writers respected Vida's deep sentiments and, above all, her deep longing for home, husband and child, after she succumbed her weakness.
|Popular Slovenian lyrics present other female figures, like Mlada Breda (Young Breda) or Mlada Zora (Young Zora)... The Slovenian mythological king, Kralj Matja, who is also a hero in the battles with the Turks, takes a bride called Alencica. - The heroine figure of Miklova Zala has been preserved since the battles with the Turks. She was captured by the enemy and led off to Turkey. But she escaped prison and walked to her village on foot . She reached her home at the moment, when her fiancé Mirko was to be married to another girl.