Ateneul Național din IașiDAC MUSIC PERFORMANCE

Promoting Roma culture through contemporary art.


Roma culture: what prohibitions men and women have

The traditional culture of the Roma it is a rich one full of customs and social norms that have been passed down from generation to generation. Within this culture, there are strict restrictions and rules regarding the behavior of men and women. These traditional gender norms impose specific ways of behaving and interacting, which may seem unusual or even surprising in the context of modern society.

The man is not allowed:
- to appear without a coat in front of the elderly or if they are not wearing a sweater;
- to appear before the elders with their head uncovered (this is allowed to young men, however);
- to discuss delicate issues in the presence of women, but only with the advice of men;
- to become a godfather without the father's consent;
- to leave the house at night without the father's consent;
- to say "my wife", but "my woman" (in the same way, the woman says: "my man, my man", and not "my husband").

The woman is not allowed:
- to stop - if she meets a man - at less than fifty centimetres. (The woman does not jump her head, but she greets first);
- to greet a Roma or non-Roma man, from a room, even if he is their guest (answer the greeting, but not looking at him);
- to shake hands with a man;
- to kiss a known or unknown man;
- walk next to the man or ahead of him (as a rule, they walk three steps behind); to enter a room, an institution, etc., before the man;
- to say "my husband" but "my man" (in the same way men say: "my woman" and not "my wife");
- to pass in front of a horse, oxen, etc., even if these are the animals of a Nerrom;
- to pass over a vessel with water (a basin, a cauldron, a saucepan, etc.), not even over the rainwater collected in a vessel;
- to remove the covering from the head (if, at caldárari, a woman (wife) takes off her headscarf, the man can call her in the traditional judgment, in kris);
- stay for the discussions (if the family has guests, the woman comes and serves the assistance (with food, coffee, etc.) and
immediately leaves);
- to stay together with the man at parties (family ceremonies, festivities, etc.). The women sit separately from the men, but not with their backs to the men, but facing them;
- to dance with the man/men, at family celebrations, of the traditional Roma community, etc. Women only play among themselves, the same way – men dance with men, separately;

source: THE FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF THE ROMA ETHNICITY AND ROMA CULTURAL IDENTITY FROM THE NEAMț AREA - book produced by the "Ion Creangă" House of Culture Târgu – Neamț

This project is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Programme

Granturile SEE 2014 - 2021
Ministerul CulturiiUnitatea de management a proiectului

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