Several songs in this project have touched on the importance of family in Roma culture. The lifelong bond between parents and their children is essential to Slovak Roma, so it’s no surprise so many of their songs are about this very bond – giving thanks for parents, expressing love, grieving loss. Poignant songs like this one are also a reminder of social responsibilities.
Elder Roma are generally respected in their communities. It’s not uncommon for several generations of the family to live together in one house or group of houses – grandparents surrounded by their children and grandchildren.
As in many close-knit family cultures, Roma are expected to care for their parents as they age. At least one child is generally expected to stay at home and care for their parents. “It’s a matter of honor,” says Julius Pecha, consultant to the Roma Voices Project. “People [in the village] will know how you’ve treated your parents. If you don’t treat them well, it can definitely change your standing in the community.”
Andro kher me avľom (I Came Home)
Original author unknown, this recording 2020 by Luna
Andro kher me avľom ,
e daj paš o skamind bešel
Pre fotka oj dikhel upre oj rovel.
Phučav lata „Mamo, soske tu roves“?
A oj mange phenďa,
kaj man duj berš nadikhľa.
Khere avľom mamo me,
korkora tut namukav.
I came home, and Mama
was sitting at the table.
She was looking at a photo and crying.
I asked, “Why are you crying?”
And she said, it’s because
for two years she hasn’t seen me.
Mama, I’ve come home,
I won’t leave you alone.
Vocals: Patrik Ferčak, Erik Vidlička
Guitars: Slavo Pecha Sr., Slavo Pecha Jr., Ondrej Pecha
Cajon: Adam Pecha
Special thanks to Julius Pecha for help with translation.