Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lost in translation...

So my niece is into these toys, handed down by my sister, called Sylvanians. They're basically little dolls that look like forest creatures. However, she's only 4, and for whatever reason refers to them as 'Albanians.' According to Wikipedia:
"The earliest known inhabitants of Kosovo were called Illyrians by both Greeks and Romans. Albanians today claim to be direct descendants of the Illyrians. Serbian scholars claim that Albanians appeared on the scene in the early Middle Ages as a result of intermarriage between nomadic shepherds and unromanized remnants of Illyrians and Dardanians from Thrace. Tracing such descents is difficult but the people living in the region before the arrival of the Serbs from the North are likely to have some genetic relationships to Albanians, but DNA data would be needed to definitively settle the claim, which in any case is hardly germane to the current conflict. The region was conquered by Alexander the Great 300 years before Christ and became part of the Roman province of Dardania in the 4th century A. D."
This seems to be what my niece was referring to. Apparently, her little bunnies, bears, and beavers have endured the plight of genocide during the 90's. Who knew?
So this brings me to the punchline of this post. My nephew, who is a couple of years older, is collecting Playmobil. A German company hell-bent on manufacturing addictive little action figures and accessories from nearly every genre of humanity, Playmobil also happens to be a hobby of mine. Furthermore, my nephew and I collect the same figures: the Barbarians. I know why I love these particular figures, but by either coincidence or genetic superiority my nephew has fancied these same toys, above all the other Playmobil choices out there. With one exception: he calls his Barbarians "Ovarians." You go, girl!


H said...

At least they know where milk comes from......sorta

markian said...

Hmm, I've seen these Albanians at a toy store in Hiroshima. I didn't think they sold them anymore, since I've not seen them since I was a kid. But apparently they're still cranking them out for the Japanese kiddies.