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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

THE ROMANI Chapter 1

This story is not a historical record of the most persecuted people on earth but rather the plight of a segment of them.

The whole of them is a blanket covering this entire planet but tribes are significantly different from one another. The discrimination of the Jews does not come near the hate the Romani experienced.

Marko's beginning;

It was the early 1900s, and a woman was in labor in a caravan of Romani. She was near deaths door when the baby was taken without life in it.   

Shortly after the local hospital reported a baby missing. The police searched every nook and cranny starting with the caravan for this was the modus operandi every time there was a problem.

A doctor accompanied the police for if they found the child it might quickly need medical care. While searching the caravan over the objections of the women they burst into where the woman who they said had just given birth.
The doctor confirmed she had given birth recently and he examined the ruddy child she was nursing and found him to be healthy. Based upon the doctor's findings the police left after giving their usual warnings to leave as soon as possible. She called the boy "Marko" a Romani name.

The caravan broke camp and left that very night moving on to the next town. The mother was a strong woman and even though she had been at point of death she now recovered quickly.  
Her milk had come in and she fed the child several times a day. He put on weight and grew being able to walk and talk before one year.   

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Another thing was his black hair had come out and he was now blond.  This separated him from the other children in the camp and was a reminder of his first appearing.

Another feature that made him different from the other children was, while they quickly learned to dance and play musical instruments he could do neither. Where his interest lay was in reading books.

Everyone in camp could speak several languages for they traveled through several countries.  While many couldn't read in those languages, Marko due to his studies could.

The Romani believed that they had been given a special dispensation to take from others for themselves and they felt it was a command to do so.  The only requirement was they were to use both stealth and cunning with little violence.

With this in mind Marko was taught how to ply the pickpocket trade. The common practice was for a small child to distract the quarry while the pickpocket relieved him of his goods.  Marko became so proficient he could remove the wallet, empty it and replace it without the person knowing it.
Marko's mother was not disputed with by neither man nor woman for she carried several concealed razor sharp knives, and knew how to use them. Therefore no one ever bothered Marko even though he seemed so different from the rest and to belong somewhere else.

The more Marko studied the books he had acquired while the bookstore owners weren't looking, the more he began to be convinced there were legal ways to get rich.

He never discussed this with any of the family for that would bring down much criticism for departing from normal practices.  At the age of about twelve some of the women felt it was time for them to further his education and when he told his mother about this she only said; "It is the way." 

Shortly thereafter several of the people of the caravan were upset - - saying because Marko looked so different with his ruddy complexion and blond hair, he was attracting too much attention to them when they went into new towns. 

Most of the camp boys his age were getting a swarthy look and Marko stood out causing people to take notice of the Romani which made it harder for them to ply their trade.  

Even though his mother loved him devotedly she knew something had to be done, so one day she took him aside and discussed this with him. (Marko knew he was drastically different from the other boys to the point where even the camp girls would avoid him.)

He began to separate himself from the camp people when they came to another town and he would slip away by himself.   Later he would join the others when they would leave, but this made him feel like an intruder.

All these years his mother allowed him to keep part of the money he brought in and he had a large amount saved up.  Marko was nearly fourteen years old and he realized it was time to say goodbye to his best friend, his mother. This caused both of them a great deal of sorrow but they knew it had to be.  

To Marko there was an unwanted sense of freedom he was experiencing, and now he was to relearn what his position in the world was to become.   

To be Continued  

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