Posts Tagged ‘gipsy’

Gipsy (Romany) legends about the Crucifix of the Lord Jesus Christ

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Reading Time: 2minutes

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There are a couple of curious Gipsy legends regarding the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the legend claims that the gypsies which were present on the Lord’s crucifix, tried stealing the nails because of Love for the Lord to prevent crucifixion and for this deed of them some legends say the Mother of God the Holy Virgin Mary blessed them to steal from all nations, also the legend said this give the Gipsys permissions to steal without breaking one of the 10th commandments “Thou shalt not steal“. Of course this legends are mainly circulating in gipsis communities mainly in Europe and we should consider and as every legend its probably just a myth, however I decided to place the legend here on my blog because while living in the Netherlands for 2.5 years I have been helped and had the opportunity to live among Bulgarian gipsy community and I was fascinated on the strongness of gipsies family relations – which in this time of family break up and lack of respect is quite of a blessing. It was also evident for me gipsies know how to keep together and support each other, something becoming more and more rare in the “highly civilized” but less and less mental / spiritual western world which in its intellectual revolution forgot how to live simple and free life which was originally given to us by God Almighty.

There are other variants of the legend also, some say it was a gipsy blacksmith which was ordered to prepare the nails for Jesus’s crucifix, other probably more modern Gipsy legends claim that a gipsy stole one of the 4 nails for the Crucifix and this is why the Lord was crucified with 3 nails (1 nail piercing both of his legs as Roman Catholic cross does) – however this legend is untrue because in the ancient Christian tradition it was 4 nails with which the Lord Jesus Christ was pierced on the cross. Another of the legends (probably not originating from Gipsys says), it was a gipsy blacksmith who made the nails to crucify Jesus Christ, beacuse of that the (Gipsys) were condemned to wander the earth and never settle.

Another version does not condemn blacksmiths. It says that the blacksmith was addressed by God in a dream, where he was told to make four nails, but only hand over three, as the fourth was intended to pierce the heart of Jesus. In return God gave his descendants the right to wander the earth (rather than cursing them to it) and also the right to steal from non-Romanies, without breaking the commandment Thou shalt not steal.

Papusza – Polish movie (2013) about the life of the gipsys and first gipsy poet

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Reading Time: 5minutes

Papusza-A-movie-about-the-life-of-the-gipsys
Gipsys (Romani-people)
 as a communities all around mostly Europe has always raised interest during the last few centuries however little is known on their stereotype of living. Gipsys are famous for their illiteracy, for their cheerful temper, wild character and nomadic life-style as well as strong closed community. Gipsys are famous for that they don't have their own writting (even though they have a number of gipsy languages) and because of them Romani, doesn't keep any record of their history and any history or lifestyle of them is only to be found by non-gipsies. Gipsies are famous for being able to steal for their inclination to telling fantastic stories, be involved with fortune-telling, exaggerating facts or telling lies about their private life, they're famous as good virtuosos musicians and good artists. Most of Gipsys are Christian, Muslim or Atheists. The high-level of illiteracy they have makes anyone educated among them to be considered a success in life.

The interesting way of living of Gipsys has triggered many people to create movies, trying to picture Gipsys life-style like Emil Kosturica's Time of the Gipsys.

Yesteday I was invited by Andrea (an ipo-diakonus) in Saint George Dyrvenica Church in the Polish Culture center here in Sofia to see another movie dedicated to Papusza (Bronisława Wajs) – (1908-1987), a famous gipsy who is practically the first (Polish Gipsy Romani) classic poet and singer. The word Papusza in Gipsy language means 'A Doll' – a name given to the future poetess by her mother.
The movie is a great to saw for anyone willing to know more about the history and culture of gipsys in a synthesized form. My interest into Gipsys is because in Bulgaria officially we have about 350 000 Gipsys and I've encounted many gipsys in my life. During my studies in Netherlands, I had the chance to spend quite a lot of time, being in close relations with Bulgarian gipsy family and I was fascinated on how good hearted and primitive truthfulness of gipsys.

Now back to the movie The fact that a gipsy woman could write a beatiful inspired poems and sing so beatiful and most importantly read was almost scandalous! for the post age of World War II and 1960-80s.
Papusza movie is mostly interesting to anyone interested in culturology and antropology as it depicts the Gipsys common lifestyle and for those who already encountered gipsys in their life gives another understanding on why gipsys are who they're and why they choose to live the nomad, poor, uneducated, often careless but joyful and passionable life.

The movie start showing Papusza's mother while still pregnant with the future poetes. In the 1900s when the story goes Roma (Rom meaning man), just like jewish were quite a closed community moving all through the country of Poland or any other country residing using a horse-drawn caravans (tabors) as a moving houses.
Consorting with non-romas (Gadjo's – meaning like the Jewish Goa distinguishment for non jewish) for any reason different than trade was considered unclean. 
However the young poetes had the non-gipsy Wajs surname because according to legend her family used to be touring the great courts of Europe with their harps entertaining kings and aristocrats.

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From her birth Papusza was known to be different. A spirit predicted that she would either bring great honor or dishonor to gipsys.
According to the movie she did both. The young Papusza defies her family's wishes and learns to read and write at time,
where almost none gipsy was literate. She is presented stealing a chicken and preseting it to a Jewish store-keeper lady in return for lessons in learning.
Even though her family is strongly again her education (beats her burns her books) she is strunggling to read secretly which later
is shown to have brought supposedly "a curse" on her people.

Papusza meets the Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski in 1949 at a time after being forcefully married to her step-uncle Dionizy Wajs for more than 25 years.
The Gadjo (Ficowski) travels with Wajs caravan for about 2 years as he aims to learn the Romani (Gipsy) language and the gipsy was of life.
He is struck by the beatifulness of Papusza's songs and liking them encourages to continue writting poems.

Papusza-with-gadjo-kissing-non-gipsy

Later Ficowski returns to Warsaw in 1951 and translates from Gipsy Papusza's verses which broughts Gipsy to a mindset that Papusza reveals their secrets. Later the scandal progresses as Ficowski publishes a monograph book "Polish Gypsies" – a book about the beliefs and moral code of the Roma Gipsy people. Being grieved Papusza's clan takes decision to cast her out.

The movie is amazingly giving "a feel" on the fascinating and simple Gipsy nomad lifestyle during the first and second World War in which they were chased marked and killed by Hitler's Germany just like the Jews. The bitter experience later led to Papusza's creating one of her most famous songs. 

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The movie is quite intersting from jumping from time to different stages of Papusza's life not in a specific order but often showing facts backwards etc.
After the end of the war in Poland Communist authorities enforce laws to make Gipsys settle, tryting to ensure them work and job and try to "program" and make part of communist society gipsy kids by using Kindergarden. Romani's a are shown to have problems with authorities and their desperate discontent to go against the country program for settlement of Gipsys, they cannot any more hire the randomly old houses to survive the winter and while unable to survive the harsh Polish winter, they finally settle in attempt to become part of society.

papusza-with-her-uncle-and-husband-krzyszotof-ptak

However in the newly built communistic society, they fail to fit well as always considered a second class people, they mourn for their old nomadic vagrant way of people and they fail to integrate to society (pretty much like today). Papusza's spent rest of her life in misery being rejected by both her native Gipsy community for betraying some of gipsys secrets and same time unaccepted by Polish people that continue to consider gipsys inferior. 
 

Black Cat, White Cat – An awesome gipsy’s life movie by Emir Kosturica ;)

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1minute
Black Cat White cat movie cover

Black Cat, White Cat is truly an awesome movie from Emir Kostutirca it really presents the wildness and ridiculousness of being a citizen of the farest places of Eastern Europe the Balkans.
The movie is a story of a Gipsy hamlet, located nearby the Danube. The movie is a drama, commedy, action and even more 😉
If you’re looking for some movie to cheer up in about 2 hours of watching oddities and unexpected turn outs this is surely the movie for you.

The movie is one of the best movies ever made by a Slavonic origin film director.
My only objection to the movie, is towards the part presenting one Bulgarian who is being presented as a hardcore swindler and later on brutally killed and mocked.

This part is a bit too much insulting towards our Bulgarian nation and it also shows the decade hostility between our bordered nations …

I’ll skip the explanations on the movie plot and give you a small crazy scene to give you an idea on what to expect from the movie:

🙂

Trip to Romania ( TTR ) – Few of my impressions from Ro-Mania :)

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Reading Time: 6minutes

I just came home from a short 4 days trip to Romania. I'm truly impressed by the beauty, the people goodness and their piety.

Over the last few years, I've visited Romania numerous times, most of the times I just crossed by car while traveling to Holland. My impressions the previous years were quite good already but I didn't have the opportunity until now to see how the country looks "from within" – I mean how the life flows there etc.

I've heard quite a lot of BAD thinks about corruption (from european parliament critics in new) and gipsy like people and plenty of bad stuff over the years.
This is all lies, the country people are not corrupt, they're just smart and find plenty of ways to earn money. For instance while I was traveling there were Romanians people selling raspberries brought by the nearby woods, the raspberry selling is not entering the treasury of the country and this is considered by the European Union corruption and a crime 🙂
Well talking about police, they're a bit corrupt and stopping you for no reason sometimes to ask if you can give them some coffee or cigarettes but i wouldn't put this police act as corruption it is rather an act the patrol police do in order to find some extra cash near the low sallaries received for serving in police 🙂

Well anyways my trip to Romania here are few of my travel notes. The whole travel Route was Bulgaria – Romania, the aim of my travel can be classified as business trip, since I was travelling with a relative's husband who was their to transfer some physical goods (a kind of logistics). The wohle trip started from my hometown Dobrich; we went through Silistra and Ruse and then the so famous Danube bridge. The roads in Bulgaria are not perfect and some regions were full of road holes, but this is normal since we have a harsh winter here and now a road recovery works are in progress on the roads. Crossing the Danube bridge, there is a custom police and they charge something like 23 BGN (Bulgarian levs) for crossing it. Then there is a border police check which as most people who travelled by bus or car over borders (out of Schengen) knows pretty well. You have to hand in your ID and it is checked by a policeman and if you're not in the list of WANTED CRIMINALS 🙂 they let you go. Some 500 meters or a 1 kilometer after that is the Romanian border police which (since not part of Schengen yet checks your traveller ID again).

In Romania we travelled through Gurgevo which is one of the closest cities to Danube river bridgeroad and one of nearest romanian cities to Bulgaria.
Our first destination was a place in Romania called Targo Mures, to go their our route passed through the side road of Bucuresht – Bururesti as Domneles (misters) calls it.

As I'm trying to live an Orthodox Christian life the most striking think from the moment we entered Romania to the one we went off it was the number of Churches, Crucifix and religious references one can see by just crossing the country roads.
Many villages in Romania had 2 or 3 Churches a small chapels a Cross on the road sidewalks etc. Even many Romanian houses almost everywhere had a Christian Cross on top of the house or on the house door. Putting a Christian cross on top of your home is something I myself has thought of and wondered why Christians did not put here in Bulgaria and other Christian countries seeing this being a reality in RO-MANIA 🙂 was unexpected.

Other from my impression is that Romanian people work hard and a lot of them live in the village, owning a small land to grow vegetables and animals (sheeps and cows) mostly. While driving we saw on many places shepherds with large herds of sheeps, people mowing and generally many people who seemed to be working hard to grow their own food. This really made sense since here in Bulgaria grievously animals are rarely grown by country people and most people are living in cities (our rural population is very small).
Growing myself vegetables and having sheeps and living a village life is one of my dreams so seeing so many people growing big portion (if not all of their food on their own) especially in this crazy super-market times is really something that gives me hope, we're not completely doomed yet.

Biggest part of Romania is Orthodox Christian, while the deep central part and the western part is Roman Catholic. Nomatter the differences between the two the people in both parts seemed to live in piece. The western part was visibly more developed than the eastern.
In my observations the western part of Romania is highly influenced by Hungarian culture and architecture, while a lot of Hungarians live their today. We went through Sigishuara which seemed to be mostly Roman Catholic though I saw some Orthodox Church too on the city center. Sigishuara is amazingly beautiful. The people we met all throughout the trip was extremely friendly and always wanted to help and threated us like true Christians, something one can rarely see happening nowdays …

Most of Romania we travelled is mountain covered and the air was extremely clean, so when you're even breathing you feel very different and alive if compared to whether in my hometown.
Brasov is one of the big cities in Romania but its construction is not too much concentrated, the city is quite scattered consisting of neap houses up to few stages per hight. Generally in Romania I haven't seen too high buildings almost anywhere, in Bucurest there are some but still they're not so tall as the blocks in Bulgaria or some other ex-communist countries.

Something interesting about Brasov is that near it is Transilvania and a castle in a small village (or town) called Bran, the castle is dating back from the 12 century and is told to be the original castle where Count Dracula lived. Perhaps the region is filled with Vampire stories but unfortunately my knowledge in Romanesco was so poor so I couldn't get into contact to locals to ask for that (neither I had the time to).

Bran Count Dracula Castle

Bran castle was restored a couple of times and has been a host for the royal family of Romania (many Romanian kings, princesses) through the middle ages in Communistic time it was abandoned and just recently it was turned to a cultural museum (probably part of UNESCO).

The castle is located on a high rock and near it is a beatiful garden and an old times mention. In the castle there are plenty of objects left and traditional princess dresses, pictures, a cinema room, an ancient torture room and plenty of other medievel furniture.
The price was normal 25 LEU (the romanian currency), this equals to something like 6,5 EURO.

On the road, while travelling in Romania on many places you see the signs reading <b> DRUM BUN</b>: which in English means <b>"Have you a good trip"</b>.
During our way back from Bran we travelled through another mountain region – Sinaia.
The prices of food in the super-markets in Romania are quite almost same like in Bulgaria and if compared to western europe many products can be considered even cheap. The quality of food I found to be quite satisfying. A lot of people in Romania are still selling home made yellow cheese and natural grown products in villages as well as I've seen plenty of this street old fashioned tradesman which I like so much on the streets. The country roads especially the central ones and highways were quite good too. Well there is a lot to be said but unfortunately I don't have the time to prolonge this post anymore. In the mountain areas there were some sinaguture for monasteries according to what I've heard from some priests here in Bulgaria in Romania currently they have 7000 Orthodox Christian MONKS! ! ! The number is amazing high just for a comparison in Bulgaria as of time of writting we have not more than 300 monks.

Our trip thanksfully was safe and every romanian we met or ask anything was more than welcome to us and tried his best to help us. Finally it was time and we hit the road back to Bulgaria through Danube riverbridge – the bridge road is a bit better than before some holes are filled in but still there are plenty of holes.
We had to pass through the Romanian Customs and pay a fee for passing by and later were checked by Bulgarian border police – thanksfully with no problems. We had to deliver some cargo to Karnobat in Bulgaria so we passed by there and then through Burgas headed back through Stara Planina (Old Mountain) which is amazingly beautiful mountain and is a must visit place for any keen on mountain tourism.

Thanks God I came back home alive and well and here I am writting this post. To sum it up if I have to grade America and being asked if it is worthy as a tourist destination I would say not only worthy but it is a real pearl you must see!