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Sunday, February 20, 2011

From Village to Village, Violin in Hand

Yesterday, at dinner, when asked what he wants to be in life my elder son Boris replied 'I want to be a Gypsy'. He clarified that he wanted to be a Gypsy in order to play his violin all day long, do gardening and wonder from village to village.

Gypsy girl with a mandoline,
Camille Corot, 1874

I think this is not such a bad choice at all although we tried to explain that you don't become a Gypsy, you are born one. We also mentioned that you can play violin and do gardening without necessarily being a Gypsy. However, he insisted on the choice of profession for some time. It is possible though that you can play violin, do gardening and travel from village to village only if you are a Gypsy.

Gypsy in reflection, Courbet, 1869

I don't know from where Boris gets his fascination about Gypsies. When asked how he know that Gypsies wonder from village to village he answered with his usual matter-of-fact air 'I just know, it's like that'.

It is a known fact that Gypsies have long been romanticized as we can see on the Corot's and Courbet's paintings. Unfortunately it is not the case any more in France especially after last years Bulgarian and Romanian Gypsy incursion. At the entrance of Ferney-Voltaire where we live it is written in an euphemistic way that wondering people are not welcome on municipal territory. I am afraid Boris will have to change his choice of career.


lgsquirrel said...

Perhaps what Boris is thinking of is to be a "wandering minstrel" although I too always had a romanticised idea of the gypsy life. Indeed I still admire their strong culture but they do seem to have been left behind by the ways and prejudices of the modern world. Gypsy music is rather distinctive too.

brekekex said...

Maybe just a reflection of what his parents do on a macro scale, going from country to country?

Jelica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jelica said...

Oops, just deleted my own comment. I wanted to respond to brekekex by saying that I'm not sure Boris realizes that his parents have lived in many countries, or at least that he finds that unusual. But it's a good hypothesis :)