Saturday, January 20, 2018

Nenad Trajković writes


on the grave near the old village road

letters did not exist

people said it was a small Gypsy tomb
in which all the Gypsies from the missing mahala were placed

so one night when the super full moon has shown itself the villagers saw

the headless woman at the top of the hill giving birth

and throwing her child on a stone slab

to eat all the letters

--tr. Danijela Trajković

Mahala is originally Arabic word محلة, mähallä, which meant settling, occupying, but nowdays in the Balkans means a part of a town or village. 

 Survival Romi (bonzoycv) Tags: street nikon serbia streetphotography belgrade nikkor gypsy beograd srbija belgrado nikond3200 gitano cigani

1 comment:

  1. The “Gypsies” are actually called the Romi in Serbia (or, more perjoratively, the “Cigani”). They are the country’s 3rd largest ethnic group, with about 2% of the population, although this figure is probably underestimated due to a legacy of poor birth registration and a fear of discrimination. They are divided into numerous subgroups, with different, though related, Romani dialects and history. Many still live in “carboard cities” in which more than ¾ of them live without sewage, almost 2/3 without potable water, and ¼ without electricity. Over 60% of them are unemployed, and more than ½ of them are uneducated. Only about 8% of them graduate from high school, and less than 1% from college. The Romani originally came from northwest India and Pakistan and are genetically related to the Dalit caste. They began their exodus in the 7th century and reached the Balkans early in the 12th century. The 1st reference to them is a 1348 document in which emperor Stefan Dušan donated some Gypsy slaves to a monastery in Prizren, Kosovo). In the 10th century Hakim Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi wrote the “Shahnameh” (The Book of Kings, the longest epic poem by a single author) [Ferdowsi means “paradisic”] in which he related that the 5th-century Sasanian king Bahrām V Gōr learned that the poor could not afford to enjoy music, so he asked the king of India to send him 10,000 luris (lute players) and gave an ox, a donkey, and a donkey-load of wheat so that they could live on agriculture and play music for free; but the luris ate the oxen and the wheat, so the shah expelled them and sent them wandering around the world.

    In the 14th century the Benedictine monk Jan de Langhe published “The Travels of Sir John Mandeville,” in which he described "ugly folk without heads, who have eyes in each shoulder" with their mouths "round like a horseshoe, in the middle of their chest" who lived in the Andaman islands between India and Myanmar. Andrea Bianco’s “Atlante Nautico” (1436) located “omines qui non abent capites" (all do not have heads) on the peninsula in India where the Garden of Eden was located. In 1555 or 1556, Guillaume Le Testu Testu published “Cosmographie Universelle selon les Navigateurs, tant anciens que modernes “ which placed the headless people north of the Himalaya mountains.

    A “supermoon’ is a full moon or new moon near its perigee (when the moon is closest to the earth). It looks about 16% brighter than an average full moon. The term was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle to describe what is officially called a perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. (Syzygy refers to the straight-line configuration of 3 celestial bodies.)


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