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The difference between "mahrimos" and "pekelimos" among Russian Kalderaš

Explained by Wanja Kouznelas
Duration: 01:08
Source: Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences, B 37257 (excerpt, abridged); recorded by Mozes F. Heinschink in Vienna.
Date: 1969

O pekelimos sî manušikano aj o mahrimos si pe aver buća. Kê našti phenes: "Pekelime i piri!" Šaj phenes: "Mahrime i piri! Mahrisajli!" Aj o manuš šaj avel pekelime. No anda kodo si e ložnica pe kodo. O manuš šaj avel pekelime, si pekelime haj le vasuri thaj aver buća si mahrime. Maškar amare Rom anda le vasuri taj so sas les ando khêr, o samovari sas maj baro vješćo. Kana chanas pe e Romnja maškar pende, varekana sas kodo, le phure Romnja, phenenas butivar: "Mutra ma ande ćo samovari!" Kodola vorbasa voj kodo samovari pekelilas les haj aśelas mahrime o samovari! Soste? Kaj phendas kê mutrel pe ande kodo samovari. Feri la vorbasa!

"Pekelimos" refers to a human being, mahrimos to something else. You can’t say: "The pot is 'pekelime!'" You can say: "The pot is 'mahrime', it is unclean!" A human being, on the other hand, is "pekelime". Hence things are like this: A human being can be "pekelime", he is "pekelime". Cookware and other things are "mahrime". Among us Roma the samovar played the most important role of all cooking utensils. When Romnja quarrelled with each other as they used to do, then the old women often said: "I’ll piss into your samovar!" With this saying she defiled the samovar, and the samovar remained unclean. Why? Because she had said that she would piss into the samovar. Just by having said that!