|Just like anywhere else also among Romanies there are good and bad people. If they do something bad, they deserve to be punished. However, Romanies do not imprison people. Rom would never punish another Rom in such a severe way. They know you cannot lose your freedom and people do not become better in such way!
Still when you do not follow Romany principles, the basis of romipen, you are not righteous. You are a trespasser. Those who destroy these principles of romipen do not have the right to stay with Romanies, especially Vlach Romanies! Such trespass is for example when one Rom underestimates another one, when he does not talk to him, does not come to other Roms, does not say hello to them in a pub, etc. This trespassing is, however, not so harsh and one can pay himself off. Only when this individual does not pay, he is excommunicated (magarimo).
Trespass against Romany principles is not dealt with by chance. Up to the present day Vlach Romanies have their own judicial institution kris. Secret tribunal outsider cannot have a clue of. It is represented by leaders, wise elders who have a lot of experience and know how to lead Romany community according to its tradition and needs.
The crime is tried by Romany judges (la krísiňake Rom). At the head of kris stands mujalo (čačopaskro Rom among Sinti, known as German Romanies). It is an honest man no one can reprehend anything to. It is an authority chosen by vajdas. Even after the split of Czechoslovakia there are still vajdas of big cities: Nitra, Bratislava, Topolčany in Slovakia and Brno, Ostrava and Olomouc in the Czech Republic.
Local courts decide about minor trespasses. The trespasser can pay himself off. Great kris summoned by the head vajda (for Slovakia in Bratislava, for the Czech Republic in Ostrava) can pass prastipen.
|Rom, former brother and our member, you are cursed! Maybe only for some time and maybe forever. It is an analogy of earlier excommunication from a tribe. You are free but you are excommunicated from all groups of Vlach Romanies. No one is allowed to talk to you for you have betrayed another Rom, your family, maybe the whole nipos, your people. You have committed a filthiness. You slept with your daughter, daughter-in-law, mother, strictly speaking you are a prasto. Everybody will renounce you, maybe even your wife because social ties are more important than family ties.
Until recently blood feud was a usual practice respected by all men in a family or a tribe, even when brother or wife’s father was concerned.
|Still, miscarriage of justice can happen and defendant may appeal to the head of Romanies Angluno Rom, the most powerful man among Vlach Romanies. His title and position are heritable. He may come with a different judgement and he can inflict štráfo on the original judges.
To be or to become a prasto, i.e. cursed, and excommunicated from fajta, i.e. Romany community, is a terrible thing. This person is abandoned with no help, not even from the closest relatives. No one can even talk to this person. This old habit exists by Vlach Romanies and Sinti even today and it is strictly observed.
Prasto (pale čhído) among Sinti is he who ”works with unclean” ? with blood, cutting and slaughter of animals at abattoirs, as well as he who works with the dead as a gravedigger. Sinti should never become a surgeon! Also those who eat horse or dog meat and those who had sex with a prostitute, for she is prasti as well, are considered unclean. (Unlike with settled Romanies, prostitution by Sinti is very rare!)
No one would accept anything from such people, neither food nor water.