Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Storytime

Here's a Roma folktale for your enjoyment:

The Creation of the Roma

Once upon a time, when God decided to create the human race, He created them out of different trees.
He entered the forest and walked among the different trees and began to think about the types of people he would create from the species of trees. He thought, and He thought, and He finally made up his mind. He stopped in front of some beech trees and said:
- Let these beech trees become Bulgarians!
The trees freed their roots and branches and became people. God turned to some fir trees and said:
- Let these straight trees become Jews!
As soon as he said these words, the trees uprooted themselves in the same manner and became Jews.
God was tired, and He sat for a moment to rest. When he sat, he became sleepy and fell asleep. He slept a little and got up again, 'cause he remembered that He had work, in spite of the fact that he felt like sleeping. He had a quick look around and saw some willows. He said:
- Let these willows become Turks!
The willows immediately turned into Turks.
In this way, God created all peoples from different trees - from pines he created Armenians, from palm trees he created African peoples, and so on and so forth. After He finished His work, God returned to His room. Since he was very tired, he decided to sleep. He slept for a long time and finally awoke. He realized that he had created all kinds of people from every kind of tree, but he forgot to create the Roma. He got up, went outside, and began to wonder what to do. At last, it dawned on Him, and He said:
- Let every splinter of wood become Roma!
Barely had He said the words when all the splintered wood came to life. They were interspersed amongst all peoples.
And that is how the Roma were created from the splinters of different wood. For this reason, as an ethnicity, we possess the characteristics of all other ethnicities - depending on with whom we live.

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