The Roma People, Balkans & Balkanization: Music by Goran Bregović

The movie “Time of the Gypsies” tells of a teenage Roma (gypsy) who has telekinetic powers and is used by forces to commit petty crime.  It is a beautiful movie.

The story of persecuted groups  throughout the ages is told to blind ears and hearts today.  The Roma, the Jewish people, the Kurds, and other groups, have been persecuted and killed and their cultures co-opted. For a good overview of the Roma (Romani, or gypsy), see wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

The Balkans is a region today that spans from Turkey to Western Russia.  The ‘Balkanization’ of land is a term used by people studying history, politics and cultural survival, to mean that lands are divided and parceled out according to dominant powers deciding, usually by religion and ethnicity, on how to make states, nations, countries.  The Balkanized lands, originally, where the persecuted Roma people have been dispersed and displaced, their culture fragmented across the various lands.  Their originally nomadic lifestyles, similar to many of the Kurdish tribes and Jewish tribes, were a thorn in the side of some of the sedentary cultures because  increasingly as the sendentary tribes and the development of towns  rely on capitalist enterprising and the ownership of land, creating problems for nomadic tribes who needed food and water.  The former open lands were now off-limits.  This increased desperate measures.  This also created the prejudices that intensified against them. This just one strand in a thousand different ways the exclusions became more embedded.

The genocidal nature of the ‘progress’ that we speak of, is real and happening as we speak, as you may have gathered from all of my postings.  It is not ‘natural, and not an ‘accident.’  Progress is also not natural but a series of political and socio-economic ideas to advance the cause of the wealthy.  As it has improved lives in many ways, it has excluded and assimilated, leaving a vast array of violence across our bodies, where we perpetrate without knowing that we perpetrate and view all mention of ourselves as related to the destruction of others as threatening to us.  It is not that we take in hand and kill, or we wish them to be.  But we participate as we ignore and pursue our own pleasures while our taxes, and ways of life are feeding systems that perpetrate.  We need change.

Although the following does not mention the indigenous people of the area that much, it is a good work covering the chain of events in recent Balkan history from before WWI, see:  The Balkans: Nationalism, War & the Great Powers, 1804-1999 http://www.amazon.com/Balkans-Nationalism-Great-Powers-1804-1999/dp/0140233776/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278018731&sr=1-2

For an excellent historical read on the development of Balkanization, see:  The Roots of Balkanization: Eastern Europe C.E. 500 – 1500 by Ion Grumezahttp://www.amazon.com/Roots-Balkanization-Eastern-Europe-500-1500/dp/0761851348/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278018418&sr=1-4

For a most beautiful re-thinking of the Balkans, see: Imagining the Balkans by Maria Todorova – http://www.amazon.com/Imagining-Balkans-Maria-Todorova/dp/0195387864/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278018731&sr=1-7

Here is a summary of the movie:  ‘Time of the Gypsies from Wikipedia:

(Serbian: Дом за вешање, Dom za vešanje, literally “Home for Hanging”) is a 1988 Yugoslav film by Serbian directorEmir Kusturica. Filmed in Romani and SerbianTime of the Gypsies tells the story of a young Romani man with magical powers who is tricked into engaging in petty crime. It is widely considered to be one of Kusturica’s best films.

The film revolves around Perhan, a Gypsy teenager with telekinetic powers and his passage from boy to man that starts in a little village inYugoslavia and that ends in the criminal underworld of Milan.

The movie’s soundtrack was composed by Goran Bregović.

Goran Bregovic’s music has been called  ‘intoxicating, bridging the extremes of euphoria and melancholy.”

Here below is a image video of a song, which is among my favorites, from the soundtrack of Time for Gypsies entitled “Erdelezi.”

The SONG is a traditional Balkan region song.  The Roma people celebrate Spring Festival/equinox with this song, and there are variants in the Turkish and Serbian spring songs.  The version on this video is arranged by Goran Bregovic and has been recorded by many artists throughout eastern Europe as well as the Turkish regions.

Lyrics in the Roma language, followed by English translation below:

Sa me amala oro khelena
Oro khelena, dive kerena
Sa o Roma daje
Sa o Roma babo babo
Sa o Roma o daje
Sa o Roma babo babo
Ederlezi, Ederlezi
Sa o Roma daje

Sa o Roma babo, e bakren chinen
A me, chorro, dural beshava
Romano dive, amaro dive
Amaro dive, Ederlezi

E devado babo, amenge bakro
Sa o Roma babo, e bakren chinen
Sa o Roma babo babo
Sa o Roma o daje
Sa o Roma babo babo
Ederlezi, Ederlezi
Sa o Roma daje

All my friends are dancing the oro
Dancing the oro, celebrating the day
All the Roma, mommy
All the Roma, dad, dad
All the Roma, oh mommy
All the Roma, dad, dad
Ederlezi, Ederlezi
All the Roma, mommy

All the Roma, dad, slaughter lambs
But me, poor, I am sitting apart
A Romany day, our day
Our day, Ederlezi

They give, Dad, a lamb for us
All the Roma, dad, slaughter lambs
All the Roma, dad, dad
All the Roma, oh mommy
All the Roma, dad, dad
Ederlezi, Ederlezi
All the Roma, mommy

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5 responses to “The Roma People, Balkans & Balkanization: Music by Goran Bregović

  1. Pingback: Information & Lyrics ADDED to Roma/Balkan/Goran Bregovic post: « AI NO KO

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