Romani Culture and Traditions - Page 2
Cleanliness and Purity
When most of us think of keeping clean, we think about bathing and using a lot of soap and water. But for the Romani, cleanliness has as much to do with spiritual and ritual purity as it has with a clean body. The Romani originally came, centuries ago, from India, and Romani purity laws have much in common to the system of taboos in the ancient Indian caste system.
Considering that anything below the waist is inherently impure, Romani wash clothes for the upper body separately from clothes worn below the waist. Hands must be washed immediately after touching shoes; there is no “three second” rule for food that falls on the floor. Any food that touches the floor must be discarded.
Those that deal with death and illness like doctors are considered by the Romani to be unclean. In that vein, it is so important to not come into contact with death that in some Romani communities would burn the belongings and even the wagon of a dead person. So are doctors, because they deal with illness and death. considered unclean.)
How do traditions play into the Johns family, as tensions between tradition and modern American life clash?
Learn more about the Johns family in new episodes of American Gypsies Tuesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on National Geographic Channel.
For more information visit www.natgeotv.com/americangypsies