Sunday, May 01, 2005

Babaroga and Other Lies
Serbian Parents Tell Their Kids...

Hristos Vaskrese to all who celebrate today.

We were over at my Ujas house today and as Turkish Coffee was being passed around, the conversation went to how drinking Turkish Coffee as a kid would either grow you a tail or a mustache.
These are things we were told as children to discourage us from wanting to drink it before we were old enough.
This led the conversation to other fibs we were told.

While we were on the topic of such things, I leaned over and said to mama:
"Hey Ma, didn't you buy me from some Gypsies at the Pijaca (open market)?".
Without skipping a beat, Mama replied:
"Ya, dey gaddet all kinda tings yu ken buy an da pijaca"

Tetka Ljuba laughed and threw in,
"I fall aff da gypsy karavan, dees iz hou my parents get me"

We're big on the gypsy theme in my family.

My cousin said that they were told by Uja that people by the name of Mr and Mrs Smith were constantly inquiring as to the price of his children, should he decide to sell them.
So, whenever they were misbehaving...
the idea of selling them to Mr and Mrs Smith would come up.

Babaroga was used to make sure little children were in their homes by dark.
In my little head, the breakdown of the name said everything.
Baba: Meaning old lady or grandma
Roga/Rogovi: Meaning horns

Which of course could only mean one thing:
Beelzebubs' Grandma....
and that can't be good for a little kid out after dark.
I asked "What ever happened to Babaroga? Is she still working?"
"Eh," says Uja, "She leave da town, bah she gonna kam bek ven mai grrls hev da keeds"

Ask me why I have trust issues.