Rroma community`s attitude facing death

Gabriel Roman
pp. 39-53
Although this study investigates the Gypsies of Zanea, a village located near the City of Iaşi, its primary purpose is to find out unknown aspects of the Gypsies` attitudes towards death, with respect to their life styles, traditions and beliefs, thereby facilitating a better understanding of the socio-cultural and religious differences that make it difficult to perceive specific aspects of Roma culture. The study is an empirical work based on on-the-spot observation, participation and interview. Its results reveal Roma community’s attitudes facing death founded on a dualistic conception, the opposition between pure and impure, no doubt, being an Indian heritage. Fear of death is justified by the inability to observe the rules of purity. Participation in a large number of the community members is a guarantee of protection against evil, so the death of a person involves the entire group. Unlike modern environments where it is considered indecent to publicly display grief and sorrow, we have to admit the Roma community’s superiority in managing death, founded on the manner in which a Gypsy understands his death as a natural order of life, but also the advantage of a strong community network of solidarity built during his life.
Rroma community, death perception, funeral practice, impurity, fear of dead.