Gypsy Clan Throws Party Around Coffin Of Relative

Story ByGabriel ZamfirSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCEN


Video Credit: CEN

This video shows a Romanian gypsy family laughing, dancing and drinking at a funeral while a dead person lies in an open coffin in the same room.

During much of the video, a man in a grey top is seen performing a dance with a shot glass in one hand to the cries and shrieks, and laughter of the women around him.

The footage was posted online by one Alin Catalin, from the county of Ialomita, in southern Romania. 

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Pictures Credit: CEN

He wrote: “I thought I’d seen everything, but I was wrong”.

The person who is lying in the coffin is reportedly 60-year-old man Romica Rudai, who died on 3rd March. 

As is traditional in some Romanian burials, the body in an open coffin is displayed at home for people to pay their respects before the funeral itself takes place.

The corpse, laid out in the coffin, is surrounded by a group of women and the dancing man. 

At one point, a banknote is placed into the coffin, and in the background, traditional gypsy ‘manele’ music can be heard, in this case a song by Romeo Fantastik.

The images were seen by more than 1.1 million netizens in less than 24 hours. Among those who commented, one ‘Petre Munteanu’, wrote: “This is how the deceased wanted it: for people to dance and cheer at his funeral, not to cry”. 

Another one, ‘Clarissa Ferencz’, wrote: “What a misery! But it is just the way it is for gypsies. They laugh at funerals and cry at baptisms”. 

Romanian sociologist and Roma activist Gelu Duminica said in an exclusive interview for Central European News (CEN): “I must admit it’s the first time I have seen a dance at a funeral. 

“This should not be considered as a common practice for the Roma community. 

“It is an exception as in this case the deceased specifically requested it when he was still alive. 

“This final wish fulfilment happens in all ethnic groups, not just for Roma people. 

“Playing music during funerals is not an ethnic thing, it still happens in Romanian communities as well. 

“Accompanying the funeral cortege with a fanfare is a common practice. It is considered that the soul of the deceased is freed. 

“The person is dead, but the soul is heading to the Creator and this is a reason of a sort of joy. 

“Regarding the fact that such a video became viral, this confirms at least a type of stereotype, and how we like pointing out the exceptions that strike us. The comments also underline the prejudices. What one sees in one example should not be applied to an entire ethnic group.”

Gabriel Zamfir

I am a correspondent working to several international publications around the world via the news agency Central European News.

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