The Broken Mirror

Mother, why did you abandon me?

David FerkoÚstí nad LabemJune 2000This is what my father told me one day about himself. "I will tell you the story of one boy who had it very bad. His parents were poor, and they lived in a hovel in Slovakia. It was cold there, everything was damp, and the beds stank. He was often […]

She is free to choose a way of living

Emílie HoráckováMimonJuly 2000 The Romany people are divided into several groups, and each group observes certain traditions. This is a story about two young people who came from families to whom tradition was very important. Seventeen-year-old Tereza was sad about breaking up with her boyfriend. So her new hobby was to make boys fall in […]

When non-Roma intervene in child-rearing…

Emílie HoráckováMimonJuly 2000The Dunka family lived in Mimon. Mrs. Dunka was an unassuming woman. She was tiny, skinny and looked older than she was. She was the type of Romany woman who stuck to the Romany way of life no matter how many times she moved from place to place. Her husband was skinny too, […]

Family is the most precious thing a Romany can have

Eva RidajováNové StrasecíSeptember 2000The other day I was visiting my parents in Chomutov. An elderly Romany woman, an acquaintance of my mother, had come for a chat and was sitting in the kitchen. A beautiful tawny girl, her granddaughter, was running around the flat. I sat down next to the visitor and chatted her up. […]

I didn’t want my family to live the way I had to

Zdenek RidajNove StraseciJuly 2000My father-in-law was born in Slovakia in the village of Cicmany. He is one of thirteen brothers and sisters, and the oldest of the boys. He is now sixty-three, and doesn’t like to recall his childhood. It was very difficult.Recently he paid us a visit. I told him I was recording stories […]

I know that he is near

Eva RidajovaNova Straseci7 July 2000Many Roma believe in the "mula”: the supernatural. Many of us were given an ability to penetrate the secrets of the supernatural and to read the future, from cards or in some other way. That has been my luck too, as I discovered not long ago.I come from a Romany family […]

Roma are at home all around the world

Eva RidajováPragueWhen we were kids we loved to spend our summer vacation at our grandparents´ house in Slovakia. They lived right under the slopes of the Malá Fatra mountains in a beautiful little village called Malinová. My grandpa was both very clever and very wise. Strangers might have considered him an ordinary Rom, but in […]

Mulos give us advice

Lucie HrdlickovaSeptember 2000PragueI heard this story from Emil Cína, a Romany poet, about two years ago. Emil is fifty-odd years old and comes from eastern Slovakia. He lives in Prague but goes back to Slovakia now and then. He told me about something that happened during one of those visits. Like any other Romany, Emil […]

It’s our last chance to give him anything

Emílie HoráckováMimon3 July 2000 I wake up at five a.m. to the insistent ringing of my alarm clock. I light a cigarette and think about a lot of things. Then I drink a cup of coffee, and that helps me get going. I won’t be going to school today as usual. I have to attend […]

A mulo will never look you in the eye

Lenka BudilovaSviniaJune 2000The other day we met Emil Cina in the cemetery and he started telling us about mulos. You could see that he really believed in those ghosts, and he had plenty of stories to tell about them. Then he took us to the Romany section of the cemetery. It was terribly run down […]