Amare/Phure (Our/Old People)

amare phure: our/old people.

Old age has the highest status in the traditional Roma community. In Roma society, which has preserved the collection of original Indian perceptions in a greater entirety than Roma who are settled, influenced by their European environment. The status of old people is bound to the perception of ritual cleanliness. A woman becomes "clean" only after menopause. Among the Vlax Roma, or the Kalderaš Roma, phure - old people - have certain prerogatives because they are "ritually clean".

Old people are also highly regarded among Servika-Roma. For example, it would be unthinkable for young people to use džungalo lav – dirty words – in front of old people. In all "memorata" that relate how evacuated Roma or Roma fleeing from the Germans were lost in the woods, the leading role of "our old people" who "knew" is emphasised. ("Šun le phuren, bo chale buter maro sar tu" – "listen to old people because/ during their lives/ they ate more bread than you.").

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Valentin Kovačič (Žabnjak [Novo mesto]/Slovenia), 2002