Blog 9: Romani Proverb

Romanies pride themselves on their language, which the reason why can be explained by the saying “our language is our strength.” Romani language has seen its fare share of modification,in the sense of its popularity and dialect. Recently, publications in Romani language has boomed, exposing the language to people from other ethnicity and making them familiar with Romani language. This has facilitated outside access to Romani language, and has made it easier for outside parties to learn it. With Romani language becoming easily accessible, people are becoming familiar with Romani proverbs. The proverbs are composed of wisdom, and generally attempt to teach the young about life. They play a role similar to a moral.


An example of a Romani proverb is “A good man can find treasure in poverty, while the fool will perish even in church,” which means that we make our own luck. This is the proverb that I chose for my poem, in which I took its central meaning and elaborated on it. The way I accomplished this is by incorporating two different situations, one where an initiative is taken, and another where the individual waits for good things to come to him. The resulting outcome is different, the former succeeds, and the latter perishes. The reason I chose this proverb is because it is a universal theme, which applies to everybody in most situations. The degree of truth to this proverb makes it much more valuable. People can be firm believers of fate, which can be why instead of seeking out good fortune, they wait for good fortune to come to them. The resulting effect is that they end up living a life centered around waiting. This proverb should be adopted by many people, because if they truly desire something, it is their job to chase after it. Good fortune isn’t something that’s handed out to people.


Blog 8: Konyhában





The title of the painting is Konyhában, which was painted by Orsós Teréz. The title means kitchen in Hungarian. The basic concept of the painting is an ordinary Romani family performing everyday household activities, which gives insight on how some Romani families live. The way the painting achieves the portrayal of everyday activities of a Romani family is through a proportionate structure, the lack of color diversity, a contrasts between the wall and the floor, and the use of typical household objects.  

By looking at the painting, a proportionality between the objects and people can be seen. The stove, table, and the cooking pot are all of adequate size for the people in the painting. This makes the painting appear realistic because the audience can perceive it as a normal family performing everyday tasks, without observing objects of abnormal size.  The lack of color diversity make the painting look simple. The main colors of the painting are gray, white, and red. This idea of simplicity contributes to the main concept of the painting, a Romani family performing everyday activities. The colors prevent the painting from looking unusual, and gives it a sense of uniformity.

The wall in the painting again give it a sense of simplicity, because it is mostly white, with occasional display of red bricks, which can indicate that the color of the wall is deteriorating. A family portrait and a lamp can be seen on the wall, meanwhile the floor is painted all red, and most of the action is taking place on it. This contrast between the wall and the floor draws an emphasis on the family and what they are doing. It draws attention directly to the family, allowing the audience to observe that the family is united and working together, the mother prepares the food, the father cuts wood for the fire, and that animals, such as dogs, ducks, and cats, form part of their everyday life.

The painting incorporates typical household objects, making the painting realistic, and contributing to the idea of everyday life. The objects give the painting a sense of balance, because no object stand out in particular, mostly because no object is out of place.

Blog 7: Ars Poetica

The poem “The long road” by Saban Iliaz describes a journey that a group embarks on. It mentions how they left a land that they greatly appreciated, but they had to leave it and find a new place. Through the journey, the group faces adversity, such as death, tiredness, and lack of food and water. This poem shows the hardships the group faced on their journey through: a gloomy tone, an image of misfortune, and an extended metaphor that centers on “journey of sorrow.”

                The gloomy tone in this poem is achieved when the poet mentions sorrow, buried our dead, darkest place, and leaving a great land behind. The tone reflects how the group embarked on a journey of uncertainty, where they have only witnessed misery. When it mentions that the group took a road into night reflects how the journey is dark and full of ambiguity, the night shows the lack of visibility in the journey.  

                The poem incorporates an image of misfortune, which reflects what they faced during their journey. This image is constructed through phrases such as “the midst of the darkest place,” “we buried our dead along the way,” “started our journey of sorrow,” and “we paused to revive our spirits.” This further emphasizes the misfortune that they faced in their journey.  The verse that the poem extends on is “journey of sorrow.” By further exploiting this verse, this makes it an extended metaphor. It associates how the journey was mostly a journey filled with sorrow because it brought death to them, they lost a land that they adored, and at times did not have anything to eat or drink.

                A potential cause of this journey can be that they were forced out of their own land. If they were satisfied with their previous land, then it is likely that there was an outside force that drove them out of the land in search of a new place to settle in.

Blog 4: Children’s Film and Literature as The Future of Society

Tokenism is when a practice is done purely to prevent criticism and show that there is an appearance of equal treatment. The smurfette principle defines a work of fiction that only has one female character amongst an abundance of male characters. The necessarily gypsy character is a character who’s existence serves a specific “gypsy” purpose. This includes being a character that’s a liar or a thief, a witch or caster of spells, or a romantic figure.

                “Our prejudices start being formed early in life” (Hancock), meaning that the content that children are exposed to play a major role in shaping their beliefs. Most of the content is transmitted through media and literature. The smurfette principle and the necessarily gypsy character can both have a negative effect on children when portrayed on children’s film and literature. The smurfette principle can show children a sense of inequality because of the unbalance of male and female characters. Depending on how females are portrayed, female characters may be degraded, which may lead to children viewing females with low standards and potential unequal treatment.

                The necessarily gypsy character is basically a stereotype of Romani people.  It enforces the audience’s false beliefs on the way Romani people are. The character is never a round character, and thus why the persona of the character is usually a gypsy stereotype. This doesn’t help the cause of eliminating the negative gypsy stereotypes because it places a damaging image on Romani people, which is enforced through media. When children read or see movies that depict Gypsies as thieves, magical beings, or romantic figure, this is the idea that they grow up with and will associate Gypsies with any of the three characteristics.  

“The Origin and Function of the Gypsy Image in Children’s Literature” RADOC. Ian Hancock, April

2007. Web, 7 Feb. 2014.

Sexy Gypsy





Sex, sex, sex, one of the main themes in the movie Love Potion #9. The movie is about a man who has trouble meeting women. He resorts to visiting a gypsy fortune teller, who introduces him to a potion that makes someone desirable to the opposite sex. They potion may serve as a symbol of the sexy gypsy because it creates this sexual lust on the opposite sex, “It was 100% effective…they wanted you. You were the one they wanted their entire life…you were funny, intelligent, but above all you were very very sexy” (Launer). When tried on a female monkey, the male monkey became sexually aroused, which was showed when he started to “bang” the female monkey’s cage.

The movie creates an erotic atmosphere through the use of constant sexual imagery, such as condoms, prostitutes, and explicit sexual incidents. The potion introduces both of the main characters to a life full of materialism and sex. The female character changes her appearance from the typical geeky biochemist to a sensual woman that wears make up, tight dresses that reveal more of her skin, depicting carnal desire, and she even gets rid of her glasses. The female character becomes a sexual symbol, while the male character remains unchanged. The female character even becomes a victim of the potion and does anything to please her male counterpart, thus creating an illustration of a slave. Although neither of the main characters are represented as being part of the Romani culture, the fact that the potion that sexually arouses people came from a gypsy fortune teller, depicts the sexual gypsy stereotype.

The movie accurately reflects Hancock’s idea that slavery and sexualization go hand in hand. Hancock says that the Romani slaves were used for sexual entertainment, “In the evening, the master makes his choice among the beautiful girls— maybe he will offer some of them to the guest” (Hancock). The potion makes people slaves due to their own desire for sex, which the person using the potion abuses this power and takes advantage of the victim for their own benefit.


Love Potion #9. Dir. Dale Launer. Perf. Tate Donovan, Sandra Bullock, Mary Mara. 20th

Century Fox, 1992. DVD.

“The ‘Gypsy’ stereotype and the sexualization of Romani women” RADOC. Ian Hancock, April

2007. Web, 15 Jan. 2014.