North-East Hungary in the 1960s and the Living Story-Telling in a Gypsy Community

Benedek, Katalin (Articol)

“The paper tries to draw a parallel between the socio-economic transformations of the past sixty years and the changes of the honoured story-telling community of the North-East Hungary. In this respect, four points of reference can be found: (1) the story-telling life of the colony during the Gypsy-Hungarian coexistence; (2) the story-telling of the commuters of the “black train” and the labourers of the large-scale industrial developments, taking place in the workers’ hostels in the circle of Gypsy family members and non-Gypsy colleagues; (3) the individual cultivation of the tradition that has stayed alive up to the present, relegated into the family, complemented by the tales read from books or any other source; (4) the revival of story-telling competitions organized for children by the library or cultural institutions, in order to reuse ethnicized traditions. Árpád Fábián was a highly respected story-teller of his community that possessed rich folklore traditions (song, music, dance and other narratives). Not only the weight of his numerous long tales gave him a remarkable folklore knowledge, but his outstanding qualities as an actor were heightened further by his singing skills, which is proved by his two brilliantly performed tales with song-interludes. The author concludes that these were truly good tales for the audience, addressing children and adults alike: listening to tales among relatives and neighbours was the best entertainment for the 25-35 people gathered at the Gypsy ghetto of Szabadság square in the years 1955-1961.”

Cuvinte cheie: Community, folktales, Hungary, Romungro, and Story-Telling

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2010, nr. 1-2