Friday 4 July
A brilliant morning. Bright sunshine, blue sky, and to help you getting a good start of the day, there is some news and positive traditional music blaring from a lamp post attached loudspeakers right outside the cottage gates. We were later told that it was probably the mayor doing his own advertisements or telling of something important happening in the village, followed by some music of his own choice – and probably about 30 years old. During the communist days this kind of information from loudspeakers in villages and towns was very common and just about everywhere. Luckily this morning music was a lot slower and relaxing than the frantic gypsy music from yesterday. Gypsy or Roma people, or music, what to call them? In this diary both words appear. From my own Sweden we’ve been taught to use Roma these days as gypsy has some negative connotations. Our friends here in Bratislava favour using gypsy as they are used to it, grown up with it and use that in everyday talk, while they use Roma in a somewhat more formal way.
The little creek below the cottage kept on flowing and added to the Pribylina soundtrack. After breakfast we headed back to the Kulturny Dom, the Cultural Centre. Today the staff got additions in the form of Maria from Praha, a very important person in this project. She has been working with Roma people for about 11 years. She is a Roma herself and started her dedicated work back when there was a lot of skinhead riots in Praha, where Roma people were attacked, beaten and even killed for no reason. Now she came with her two sons, a daughter in law and a musician friend of one of her sons. It was very obvious that this was her people as she straight away took charge. There were two teachers from the local school too. Still, then the show was taken over by them again. They were to do two songs and then we were to do two songs. Our two songs never happened though, as their two songs lasted the whole day. Besides taped music suddenly there was an electric keyboard on a chair, someone came carrying a guitar, a young boy from yesterday came with an electric guitar and two boys started singing.
Irena (?), one of the local teachers said that ”They only want to do singing and dancing. They don’t like writing very much.” Their fanatic singing and dancing was captivating, but after a couple of hours some of the tunes were eating into the brain and I feared the songs would keep on going in my head for days on end. They did. Later in the afternoon I went for a run and I had one of those songs going around in my head the whole time – despite having the most incredible views with Kirvan, the fourth highest mountain in Slovakia, right in front of me for a few kilometres.
At the end of the day Anders was reading his notes and his planned programme and schedule for these first two days.
”It’s just to tick all the items off,” he said and laughed.
Nothing has gone according to plan and the saying for these two days has been ”Det blir som det blir,” (It will be what it will be), famously quoted from one of Anders’ lessons back at the Örebro university.
In the evening we went for a most enjoyable dinner at a restaurant in Podbanske, the next village up the road. Maria kept telling stories and shared her thoughts on the situation for the Roma people in the Czech and Slovak republics, interspersed with her own life. From the start with her work eleven years ago it now filled her life and gave both her sons full time work as well as the 90 employees.
Another memorable day – and another soccer game in the World Cup right now on the t.v.