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"A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler



Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
     
 

Scheindorfer Kiarbe

by Stefan Schmied
Translated by
Gerald "Jerry" Thomas Boyle

     The Kiarbe was always celebrated in the Sathmar Swabian communities on the anniversary of the blessing of the church. So the series of celebrations began in April and ended in November. The Swabian Kiarbe is not only a religious holiday, but also a great family feast; when relatives, friends, and war comrades in neighboring towns came to a reunion with the members of the celebrating town. The Scheindorfers at home, in Germany, and even in overseas celebrated this day on July 26, the feast of St. Anne. The hospitable people of Scheindorf expected numerous guests. The priests and teachers of neighboring parishes honored the pastor as well as the choirmaster. The church service on this feast day is particularly festive. An out-of-town priest preaches and celebrates the High Mass. There is even a procession. The choir-master puts much effort into the church singing, with the support of his colleagues.

      After the service, the women and their female house guests go to their houses, while the men seek out the cool wine cellars, where the wine tastes particularly good. When they hear the noon bells, they too direct their steps homeward, where the heavily laden table waits. The more guests the Swabian family entertains, the greater the happiness. Now they dine. Soup, cooked meat with gravy, stuffed cabbage, assorted meats with salad and cakes are served one after another. The guests must taste each dish, so that the woman of the house is not insulted. Therefore it is advisable to have short pauses in between, in which to give attention to the wine.

      In the afternoon, the guests visit the other relatives and friends, or the time is spent in the wine cellar of the host. The evening belongs to the young people, who enjoy themselves by the Klarbe dance.

      When Scheindorf was evacuated in October, 1944, the inhabitants took the statue of St. Anne with them. According to tradition, this statue was brought to Sathmar by the Swabian settlers from their former homeland. Now their patron saint accompanied and protected the people on the way to their uncertain future. The Scheindorfer Swabians were scattered after the war; the statue, however, found a worthy place, after many stops, in the church in Bad Wurzach. The Scheindorfers who live in Germany meet here every year for the Kiarbe, and pray to St. Anne, that she will protect all the Scheindorfer Swabians who scattered throughout the world.

[Published at DVHH.org 29 Sep 2006 by Jody McKim Pharr]

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