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 That's how your beans have been arranged!

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KomentarNaslov komentara: That's how your beans have been arranged!   Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:01 pm

In Bosnian tradition one of the most famous expressions which is used to tell someone concisely why a certain event has happened to them is "That's how your beans have been arranged!" or “Tako ti je pao grah!”. Popularity of the statement is best shown by its widespread usage in television shows, movies, music but also in literature. Divination with bean beads was often the theme of individual authors which used it in order to better evoke dramatic moments of large human emotions such as love or fear. In it, one of the most famous symbols of divination, Fatima's fal is always present, determining the destiny of the protagonists.

Hamza Humo in his story "Mujaga's lies" describes the events in the life of Osman-aga Vranišić who was in the fourth decade of his life but he didn't get married. He lead a bohemian lifestyle, enjoying nightlife with his friends. Such behaviour worried his entire family, and especially his sister Aiša, who decided to gaud him into marriage at all costs, in which she succeeded in the end.

Aiša (Aisha) and Zarifa the local marriage promoter, discussed for a long time which girl would be ideal for Osman, both physically and family background. At the end of the selection process, Dženka (Jenka) was chosen as the most suitable girl for marriage. Not wasting time, Aiša handed golden earrings to Zarifa as a gift for Dženka, a present which shows serious intent. With that valuable gift, Zarifa was supposed to influence the girls decision but also her families decision.

While she impatiently waited for Zarifa's return from her marital mission, Aiša remembered that she can use beans to ascertain if she will get good news and organise her brother's wedding. While she was distributing the beans into three smaller piles and forming three rows, the numbers 333 appeared to her, the famous "Hazret Fatima fal", after which she quickly took one bead and carefully placed it under her tongue. She then rushed out, into the yard, in order to carefully wait for the word or sentence that she will hear from random passersby. After a few minutes Aiša went back into the house.

-What happened? The members of the household asked.

-Nothing will happen with Dženka. As soon as I stood next to the fence someone sang down the road: "No, no, I don't need you, I have my beloved..."

Not long after that Zarifa arrived with the bad news. The parents of the girl rejected Osman's marital offer.

In the story "The mother stops the duel" published in the magazine Novi Behar in 1933, it is mentioned that mother Zulejha hanuma paced nervously around the house out of fear and worry, after she found out that her son Ali-beg was preparing to go to Mostar for a duel with Mustaj-beg Lakišić, because of a dispute involving a horse. After she calmed down a bit, Zulejha finished the final of the five daily prayers and she stayed sitting on the floor, on her knees, begging God to help her and protect her son. At one moment the desperate mother cursed the son's adversary:

Oh, let Mostarlija Mujo,
let god's sabre cut you,
let your mother cry soon
mourning after you in her white castle...!"

She sat there for a long time sitting and thinking how to stop her son from going to the duel. Then she remembered his recent statement: "While I have my horse, his speed and skill I'm not afraid of my enemy!" - "So, if he didn't have his horse, Ali-beg would not go to the duel, the mother concluded. - "What would happen, she wondered, if I sent the horse in secret by a servant to Mustaj-beg in Mostar? I would stop the duel, save my son's life, in fact, save both of their lives. The people will say, especially the beg's friends, that I as a mother had to do something."

Those thoughts encouraged her and a small smile of relief appeared on her face. Then her face got serious again: " - And how will Ali-beg react? When he hears that his horse is gone he will be angry, he will be furious, he will yell and shout...but, it's better, than him dying in a duel."

Thinking it all through the mother reached a final decision that it is best to send the horse via a servant to Mostar. And in order to confirm that decision to herself she stood up and took out a small bundle from a wooden chest used for keeping clothes, she sat back on the floor, opened the bundle up and spilled the beans on the floor. She wanted to make sure if the beans will "approve". Namely, she practiced this type of divination often and she believed in the prophetic power of the beans.

Zulejha hanuma picked up the beads in her right hand, brought it close to her mouth and above the beads she repeated the following prayer three times:

Lord please lighten my load,
don't make it more difficult,
Lord let it end well, amen!

( Rabbi jessir ve la tuassir rabbi temim bil hajr amin!)

She then blew three times into the bean beads and she layed them in front of herself. She split the beans with her right and left hand into three smaller heaps and she started subtracting four beads from each pile. Since she divided the beans into three horizontal rows she formed the following combinations:


Observing the beads in fornt of her she interpreted them in th efollowing manenr: in the first row is 333 - happiness, in the second row are stairs (journey), in the third row are the news and in the fourth (tehir) "offhanded" - favourable end.

Zulejha hanum wisely interpreted the numbers she obtained: her plan will end in success because of 333 in the first row and four times four in the fourth row. If she sends the horse soon (224), she will get a favourable answer i.e. news (134). Because of all of this, and especially Fatima's fal, there was no need to repeat the divination.
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