By rena gropper
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Extra info for Gypsies in the city: culture patterns and survival
Instead, a baro's wife and children will hold an annual party for him on his name day-the day of the religious calendar reserved for the saint whose name he shares (Brown 1929: 171; Mitchell 1945: 47-48). Name day celebrations are private affairs, held at the home of the celebrant and with a limited guest list. Like most parties, the integral elements are food, drink, and music. ) Nowadays, however, it is customary to celebrate the birthday of children. The Gypsies enjoy parties of all kinds, and any excuse for a celebration seems acceptable.
Since babies are greatly desired and are regarded as beingjust recently in contact with the angels, they are indulged until they are superceded by another new baby in the group. Thus, a Gypsy group usually has a little tyrant in residence, but the specific individual changes every two years or so. We Americans would expect Gypsy youngsters to be spoiled brats as a result of this practice, but such is not the case. The warm, loving acceptance characteristic of the earliest period of development seems to act as an initial security-engendering mechanism that is echoed in other aspects of childrearing.
The older women also tend to regard Mary as a bori and, therefore, feel little affinity toward Her. Since the dwelling units are in the care of the mothers-inlaw, fewer icons of the Virgin appear there (except for the Meksikaja and Arxentina groups, whose older members spent so much time in Latin America, where the Virgin cults figure prominently). The older women favor icons of Saint Anne, considering her a logical saint for them in their capacity as grandmother and mother-in-law, to whom they can turn for help with their own problems.