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"Mahrimos" among Serbian Kalderaš

Explained by Dragan Jevremović
Duration: 01:20
Source: Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences, B 39533 (excerpt, abridged); recorded by Mozes F. Heinschink in Vienna.
Date: 1990

Mahrime sî kuća kaj sî čačuji bući, avel varesar. Aj pêkelime kaj sî, so samo dikhla le vareso. Kothe šaj arakhês jek razlika. Či tromal te nakhêl pa jek čokano, pa jek kat, pa jek –, kê amnjal kê pêkelil ći bući, akana naj te pićal khanči kothar te perel po čokano. Kodja sî bući mahrime kaj šaj kak borořja te mahrin le vasur, te lja kak drza kaj khosel tele lasa o patos aj khoslja peskê vasur, ili lel kak sosća vaj te lel kak podja, kak drza, atunč šaj mahrin le vasur. Ali kodo vaso varesar amende maj but či chaladjol. Atunč vo aśilo mahrime maj but, samo šaj te śudes les, kê našti chaladjol, ek šêl bêrš te chalaves, aśilo mahrime.

"Mahrime" is what actually takes place, this is how you can interpret it. "Pêkelime", on the other hand, is what someone has only seen. That’s the difference. A Romni must not step over a hammer or a pair of scissors, over –, for she is said to defile (pêkelil) these things, but of course nothing drips down there and falls on the hammer. You talk of "mahrime" when a young Bori, for example, defiles the crockery, when she wipes it with a cloth she uses for wiping the floor, or when she dries the cookware with a pair of underpants or a shoe cloth, then she defiles the cookware. For us, this can no longer be cleaned by washing. The cookware continues to remain "mahrime", you can only throw it away, for you can’t clean it. You can wash it for a hundred years, it remains "mahrime"!