Plautdietsch phrase of the week: "Soo hendich aus en Chortitz"

Plautdietsch phrase of the week: Soo hendich aus en Chortitz


Translation: Handy like in Chortitz

There are many enduring mysteries in the world; How were the pyramids built? Did Christopher Columbus really discovery America? How do they get the caramel into the Cadbury Caramilk bar? Why did the rooster crow at midnight? How was it possible that Trudy Ginter had a baby after just three short months of marriage? Why does Henry Wiebe only buy John Deere tractors? These are perplexing mysteries indeed! But there is one mystery that tops all of these? Why was it “soo hendich aus en Chortitz"? (why was it so handy in Chortitz?)

This saying goes back over 100 years. The Chortitz that the famous saying refers to is what we today know as Randolf, Manitoba, Canada. (formerly known as Chortitz) It was said that things were so handy in Chortitz, that one could back the harrows over the barn threshold with the horses. And thus, anytime something was very easy to do or very handy, it was said to be “soo hendich aus en Chortitz”.

Did worscht grow on trees in Chortitz? Was the faspa never further than 20 steps away? Were the tractors repairs completed at the Neufeld garage in the exact time it took to listen to Prädja Obrom Wiebe’s sermon? Or did the laundry seem to mysteriously fold itself after being dried by a gentle Manitoba breeze? We may never know why it was so handy in Chortitz. And yet, we still long for the days when life seemed so simple and good….and a time of frintshoft and faspa. Alas, things are not as handy as they once were in Chortitz and we may never know why Henry Wiebe only bought John Deere tractors. But it's still nice to think of a time and place where butterflies danced on the gentle prairie winds and life was as handy as ready-made Sunday faspa! Soo hendich aus en Chortitz.

Peter Klippenstein running the harrows in the fields near Chortitz ca.1932. (it's never been confirmed that he was able to back the harrows across the barn door threshold)

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