AGRUSTIC SOMNACUNI || ROMANY || CRADLE || LET US PRAISE THE ROM || CHUPPA || MEDIATHECA 'FIORETTA MAZZEI' ||  'ENGLISH' CEMETERY || AUREO ANELLO || Daniel-Claudiu Dumitrescu/ Vandana Culea/ Julia Bolton Holloway © 2012




LITERACY AND ROMA FAMILIES




I kept finding how very widespread is illiteracy amongst Roma families. I kept finding that it is directly related to the poverty of Roma families. To go to school in Romania they must pay for the heating, the books, the clothes, where there isn't enough food. Since the fall of communism they must pay high prices for electricity, for water, from a tap far from the house, being charged as to how many are in the family. Or be imprisoned. They must pay for medical care. They must pay even to visit a relative in hospital. They must live in registered houses and have the diploma to have legal work. Life for them is impossible. Plus the tradition has been for the girls not to be literate.

Yet I know that the single greatest factor in reducing infant mortality and raising life expectancy is the education of the women. Life expectancy among the Roma is shockingly low, infant mortality scandalously high. Why for years I have dreamed of literacy campaigns for and by the Roma, 'home schooling' to be by them, those who know how to read and write teaching those who do not. The boys who have attended school teaching their sisters, their mothers, their fathers.

So we wrote a proposal to the European Union called 'Cradles in Libraries, Libraries in Caravans', where the Roma could be paid to build their traditional caravans that could be stocked with books, solar panels, computer and light, drawn by a horse from one group to another, receiving training as librarian teachers to work with adults, with families, in a library school on wheels. Next two Romanian Roma women in Florence took me to their camp at Osmannoro in Florence, an abandoned industrial site. This morning I met with them, as we had agreed yesterday, under the portico of the Santissima Annunziata, for their first literacy lesson. We have white plates with the alphabet in blue around the rim. A friend had brought biscuits cooked in the shapes of letters. The wonderful ginger chocolate biscuits filled the plate. Which Margarita begged from me. And I realized that her 'barracca' had no such things, just rags, and so gave it to her. Next we cut out letters spelling her name, pasting these together on a sheet, sounding out their sounds.



   A
B C D E F G

   H I J K L M

   N O P Q R S T

      U V W X Y Z

  1 . 6 ......
   2 .. 7 .......
   3 ... 8 ........
   4 .... 9 .........
   5 ..... 10 ..........


 


A ah, Ä er, Ā uh

B beh

C cheh

D deh

E eh

F feh

G geh

H hah

I ee, Ī uh

J zheh

K kah

L leh

M meh

N neh

O oh

P peh

Q

R reh

S seh, Ş sheh

T teh, T tseh

U oo

V veh

W dooblu-veh

X eeks

Y eegrek

Z zeh

And I gave Margarita and Berretta, after sewing them togther, the books by Daniel Dumitrescu and Vandan Culea, Romany.



ROMANY DICTIONARY, WITH ROMANIAN, ITALIAN & ENGLISH WORDS/

DIZIONARIO LINGUA ROMANI, CON PAROLE IN RUMENO, ITALIANO, E INGLESE

Drawings by/Disegni di Daniel Dumitrescu, Words by/Parole di Vandana Culea e Daniel Dumitrescu

Familia, Familie, Famiglia, Family


Gajo                                         Lomni                        C
āzai         Phral
Bārbat                                     Femeie                       Copil         Frate
Uomo                                       Donna                        Bambino   Fratello
Man                                         Woman                      Boy            Brother

Baba                                         Dai                             Ciai           Phen
Tată                                          Mam
ă                        Fată          Soră
Padre                                       Madre                        Bambina  Sorella
Father                                      Mother                      Girl           Sister


Corp, Corp, Corpo, Body


Musi                           Pilo                     Bala                    Mui
Braț                            Picior                 P
ār                     Gurā
Braccio                       Piede                  Capelli               Bocca
Arm                            Foot                    Hair                   Mouth


Nac                   Uşta                  Cana              Danda
Nas                   Buze                  Ureghe           Dinţi

Naso                 Labbra             Orecchio        Denti    
Nose                 Lips                   Ear                Teeth

               

Vas                           
Şoro                      Cip                          Limba
Mānă                         Cap                      Limbă                     Limbā
Mano                        Testa                     Lingua                    Linguaggio
Hand                         Head                    Tongue                    Language


Iata, Haine, Indumenti, Clothes


Dimia                                Gat                      Cal
ţui                    Geanta
Pantaloni                          Cǎmașă               Ciorap                  Geant
ă
Pantaloni                          Camicia              Calzino                  Borsa
Trousers                            Shirt                   Sock                       Purse


P
ǎlǎria                                 Ciloţea                        Manușes
P
ǎlǎrie                                 Ciloţi                           Manuși
Cappello                              Mutande                      Guanti
Hat                                       Underpants                 Gloves



Flanea                                    
Rochia                             Postai
Plovǎr                                                        Rochie                             Īncăltăminte
Maglione                                                Gonna                              Scarpa
Pullover                                   Skirt                                Shoe

           

Instrumentuea, Instrumente, Utensili, Tools


Sui                                    
Cichci                      Cat   
Ac                                      Ciocan                     Foarfecă
Ago                                    Martello                  Forbice
Needle                               Hammer                  Scissors


     Sapa                     
Cosoi                             Carfi             Patentos     Ferestreos
     Sapǎ                     
Seceră                           Cui                Patent         Ferestreu
     Zappa                    Falce                            Chiodo          Pinza          Sega
     Hoe                        Sickle                           Nail               Pliers          Saw
           
                                       

  
Șpaclos                       Galeata                      Furcoi                       Cazmaua
Șpaclu                         Gāleatā                     Furcā                         Cazma
Cazzuola                     Secchio                      Forcone                     Vanga
Trowel
                        Bucket                       Fork                           Spade 


Costruzioni, Constructions

                                         
 
                       

Cangheri                                                       Cher
Biserică                                                        
Casǎ
Chiesa                                                           Casa
Church                                                          House

Per edificare una casa/ For building a house:

Acoperişos
Acoperi
ş
Tetto
Roof

Sanzi
Scandură
Trave
Plank                 

Tiglį
Ţiglă
Tegola
Tile

Carfi
Cui
Chiodo
Nail

Fereastra
Fereastră

Finestra
Window

Grinda
Grind
ă
Asse
Rafter

Bol
ţari
Bol
ţar
Blocco
Block made from earth and cement

Cimentos
Ciment
Cemento
Cement


                                                                                           
Taliga                                                                                 Leagǎnos
Cǎruță                                                                                Leagan
Roulotte                                                                              Culla
Caravan                                                                              Cradle


         
Şcola                                                              Elicopteros
Şcuolă                                                            Elicopter
Scuola                                                            Elicottero
School                                                                           Helicopter                                                  
                                                                                                     
  

Cose, Things


Udar                             Scaunos                  Sia
Uşă                               Scaun                      Masǎ
Porta                            Sedia                      Tavolo
Door                             Chair                      Table
 

                  
  Cololos                                           Clopotos                   Ceasos
  Roată                                              Clopot                       Ceas
  Ruota                                              Campana                  Orologio
  Wheel                                             Bell                            Clock  


Lulas
Pip
ǎ
Pipa
Pipe





Tablouos
Tablou
Quadro
Picture

Zaros                        
Barca
Zar                            Barcǎ
Dado                          Barca
Dice                            Boat

     

Cartea                        
Picsos                Ziari               
Carte                           Pix                     Ziar                 
Libro                           Penna                Giornale          
Book                            Pen                    Newspaper  
  

    
Bucātāria, Bucātārie, Cucina, Kitchen



Ciuri
Cuṭit
Coltello
Knife

Cadah
Pahar
Bicchiere
Glass

Aro
Fǎinǎ
Farina
Flour


Momi
Lumānare
Candela
Candle


Furculiţa           Loi                Farfuria             Cana
Furculiţa           Lingură        Farfurie             Cană
Forchetta          Cucchiaio     Piatto                 Brocca
Fork                   Spoon           Plate                   Jug


Cea
ş
ca                   Tihai                                                                        
Cea
ş
                   Tigaie
Tazza                     Pentola  
Cup                       
Pan 


Piri                                 Iac                           Pai
Oalǎ                               Foc                          Apă
Pentola                          Fuoco                      Acqua
Pan                                 Fire                         Water


  Cāntari                                 Ghivecios
  Cāntar                                  Giveci
  Bilancia                                Vaso
  Scales                                    Vase


Haua, M
āninc, Cibo, Food

     
Maro                                     
  Tut                      Aro
Pāine                                        Lapte                  Ou
Pane                                         Latte                   Uovo
Bread                                       Milk                    Egg





Mas                                  
Macio
Carne                                Peşte
Carne                                Pesce
Meat                                  Fish


Purum                            Sir                 Achor             Ciuperca   
Ceapă                             Usturoi          Nucă              Ciuperci         
Cipolla                           Aglio              Noce              Fungo               
Onion                             Garlic            Nut                Mushroom

                                  

Hurzubo                               C
āpşunes                   Smoghina
Pepene                                  C
āpşuni                     Smochină
Anguria                                Fragola
                               Fico                       
Watermelon                         Strawberry               Fig




Cartofos
Cartof
Patata
Potato


Fasui
Fasole
Fagioli
Beans
Pabai
Măr
Mela
Apple



Para
Pară
Pera
Pear



Dracha
Struguri
Uva
Grapes






Natura, Natura, Natura, Nature
    


Cham      
                          Luna                     Tato                 Şil
Soare                                 Lună                     Cald                 Frig
Sole                                    Luna                     Caldo               Freddo
Sun                                    Moon                     Hot                  Cold
                                                          
                     
       
Aieros                 Brișint              Iu                 Curcubeos
Aer                      Ploaie              Zăpadă         Curcubeu
Aria                     Pioggia            Neve             Arcobaleno
 Air                      Rain                 Snow            Rainbow
                       

Calo                Parno             Lolo            Albastrous     Galbenos
Negru             Alb                  Roşu           Albastru        Galben
Nero               Bianco             Rosso         Azzurro          Giallo
Black              White              Red             Blue               Yellow

                           
Ambruin                        Cic               Ciar                                    Urzices
Copac                             Pāmīnt        Iarbā                                   Urzici
Albero                            Terra          Erba                                    Ortica
Tree                                Earth          Grass                                   Nettle

 

                                           
Gras                                                                            Nișca
Cal                                                                              Vacǎ
Cavallo                                                                       Mucca
Horse                                                                          Cow


     
     
Juchel                      
Pisica                   Nutri                 Cursumo
Cāine                         Pisică                  Nutri                  Șobolan
Cane                          Gatto                   Ratto                  Topo
Dog                            Cat                      Rat                      Mouse



  
 
 

 
Bacro                                              Zebra                           Girafa           
  Oaie                                                            Zebră                           Girafă          
  Pecora                                                       Zebra                           Giraffa          
  Sheep                                                         Zebra                           Giraffe          





Bravalo            
  Ciolo
Bogat                   Sārac
Ricco                   Povero
Rich                     Poor

Del                         
  Rege                   Zis
Dumnezeu               Rege                  Oraṣ
Dio                           Re                      Paese
God                          King                  Country



Steagos
Steag
Bandiera
Flag

Daniel Dumitrescu e Vandana Culea

And in their glee they were saying the words beneath the pictures even though they cannot yet read. From a book Roma have created. There we were sitting together on the steps, with the Ospedale degli Innocenti to our left, the Duomo in front of us, because Roma houses lack chairs, with sheets of paper, alphabet cards and a pot of glue with its brush.

That afternoon I received an e-mail making corrections about two Romanian tombs, those of Ioan Kantacezin and that of Paul Ventura, in our cemetery. They had been studied by a scholar of the Russian Academy of Science and the Romanian objected strongly to the Russianizing of their names with patronyms. I asked if he could send us Romanian primers for teaching the Roma. He replied that he would. But also said the Roma are not Romanians and he is ashamed of them in both Romania and Italy. I remembered that the Kantacezins, descended from the Emperors of Constantinople, owned Roma slaves for centuries in Romania. Nevertheless, these wonderful school books have now arrived and are being used by Roma families who live in the most abject conditions but who come and beg in the Piazza of the Santissima, within sight of Florence's Duomo and the Ospedale degli Innocenti. Thank you!

Click here for a sound recording of our grown-up Roma scholars reciting the Alphabet.



AGRUSTIC SOMNACUNI || ROMANY || CRADLE || LET US PRAISE THE ROM || CHUPPA || MEDIATHECA 'FIORETTA MAZZEI' ||  'ENGLISH' CEMETERY || AUREO ANELLO || Daniel-Claudiu Dumitrescu/ Vandana Culea/ Julia Bolton Holloway © 2012