Daj / Dad (Mother / Father)


Daj / Dad: parents (Rom / Romňi: husband and wife, married couple)

The two-part compound lexeme (e) daj (o)dad expresses the term "parents", which in some other languages is expressed by a single term. Two or more lexical collocations of various types are a common means of word formation. Daj / Dad has a structural analogy in the Hindi expression with the same meaning, Má Báb (literally, mother father).

The word order determining the first place for the mother in the compound lexeme Daj / Dad indicates which of the parents has the more important role in relation to the children.

In the compound lexeme Rom / Romňi (husband and wife) the word order favours the man, which is also indicative of his social status.

Since the role of the mother and wife and that of the father and husband generally blend with each other, we are discussing the entry "family" and "husband and wife" together.

E piri la dakeri, e roj le dadeskeri.
"Mother makes sure that there is something in the pot, father that is he has something in his spoon. "

The tasks in the family were carefully divided. The wife did not interfere with things that the husband decided and vice versa:

O papus vakerlas pal e buťi a pal savoreste, so kampel paš o kher, e baba vakerlas pal savoro, so andro dživipen kampel – kaj te jel so te chal, andro žužipen kaj te dživen. So kampelas andro dživipen, sa kerlas e daj. E daj savoro ľikerlas. (E. Cina 1994)
"Grandpa decided about work and everything that had to do with the house. Grandma decided on everything that we needed to live. She made sure we had something to eat and that we lived cleanly, purely. Grandma took care of everything related to what we needed to live. Mother looked after everything." (E. Cina 1994)

The mother bore the responsibility for the children and the household. Finances of the household also fell into her domain. In some cases, both parents went food-shopping together, but shopping for clothing for all the members of the family was purely a woman's affair.

Andro kher, la da hin andro chulajipen bareder lav. O rom delas dojekh koruna la romňake. Paľis e romňi mušinlas pes te starinel - ča, kaj les te jel so te chal. (T. Fečová 1981)
"The mother was in charge of the household. The husband gave all of his money to his wife. Then the wife had to make sure – mostly, that he had something to eat. " (T. Fečová 1981)

Earlier, the husband often did not have a regular job and could not give the family the security of a regular income. The man took over the responsibility of feeding the family when an opportunity to earn money turned up – when a demand for his work or his services arose. This was mostly the case for blacksmiths and the best musicians. In other cases, the marginal position of Roma in the society of the majority meant that money was scarce.

Te o dad džalas te phagerel bara abo andro veš te kerel abo chaňiga avri te kidel, ta buter zakerlas o dad, no aľe na sas les furt. Kerlas duj trin ďives abo the calo kurko abo duj, aľe paľis les buťi na sas, ta n'anelas khere ňič. (V. Fabián 1981)
"When father went to crush stones [Bara] or to work in the woods or to dig a well, he earned more, but father did not work steadily. He worked two or three days or even a whole week or two, but then he didn't have any work and so didn't contribute to the household. "(V. Fabián 1981)

The husband often had no work, and the responsibility for the security of the household was transferred back to his wife, although he did not return to her the privileged position and highest authority, which she at one time had. Among settled Servika-Roma the custom of going from village to village ("te phirel pal o gava") was the most important activity and obligation of Roma women apart from looking after the household. Women provided various services – insulating ovens, sweeping farmyards, working on the fields, etc. in exchange for food. In case there was no demand for such services, the woman had to go begging.

The man usually did not help with the housework. In some settlements, they did not even do the kind of work that fell within their competence and obligations such as, for example, carrying and chopping wood.

E daj anelas maro andal o gav, mek starinlas pes le čhavendar, anlas aro abo thud, arminori anlas, akanake mek peske mušinlas kaštenge te džal, te čhingerel, te tavel. O dad lake šoha na pomožinkerlas. Te has kajse bareder čhave, ta o čhavore, aľe andr'amaro gav o rom šoha na. (I. Lacková 1982)
"Mother obtained food from the villages and fed the children. She brought back flour or milk and a bit of cabbage. Then she had to go for firewood, cut it and cook. Father never helped her. When the children were bigger, the boys helped, but, in our settlement, a man would never [help his wife]. "(I. Lacková 1982)

A man was considered a good father if he did not drink up his earnings and if, in case of necessity, he cared for the children or the household if the mother got sick or was out all day looking for food.

Darekana sas avka: o murš andre familija terďolas pre sera. Te has lačho lavutaris, te anelas khere love, ta sas lačho dad. Te na sas lačho dad, ta jepaš prepijelas abo n'anelas khere ňič. (V.F.)
"In case it was like that, the husband stood aside in the family. If he was a good musician and brought money home for the household, then he was a good father. A bad father either drank half his earnings or didn't bring home anything. "(V.F.)

According to some testimony, in the past, both parents bore the same measure of responsibility for the family.

Jekh kutos la romňakero a trin kuti le dadeskere.
"One corner belongs to the wife. And three belong to the husband."

Nowadays, mainly in towns, the emancipatory tendency of Roma and the influence of the society of the majority are getting stronger, so that today it is not unusual to find a husband helping his wife with the housework. In some families, the father cooks. Usually, though, meat dishes and floury dishes (halušky, pišot) are prepared by the women.

Text based on

Žlnayová, Edita (1996) Postavení a úloha ženy-matky a muža-otca v rómskej rodine (Position and role of the wife-mother and husband-father in the Romani family). In: Romano džaniben 96/1-2.
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Roma family (Buchschachen [Bgld.]/Austria)
Roma family (Walbersdorf [Bgld.]/Austria)
Pertoča (Slovenia), 2002