cina_emil1Emil Cina was born on 13 December 1947 in the Libeň quarter of Prague. His forebears came from Slovakia, from Kurim u Bardějova, where they owned agricultural estates and made their living trading horses.

Mr Cina is the nephew of the famous Romani author Ilona Lacková. He trained as a milling-machine operator in the Auto Praga factory in the Vysočany region and after his military service, during which he was a tank operator, he delivered coal around Prague for 20 years with his brother and father.

In the 1990s Mr Cina began working at the Czech Radio Regina station, based in the Prague quarter of Karlín. He started there as the building manager and in 1992 became an editor and moderator of the “Klub dorozumění” (“Understanding Club”) program for minorities.

“Through my poems I do my best to inspire Romani people not to forget Romanes. This is our language. It’s what keeps us together, which is why I do my best to preserve it,” Mr Cina said recently in an interview for news server Romea.cz when asked to describe what motivated his creativity.

Mr Cina, like many other Romani authors, was guided towards writing by the founder of Romani Studies in the Czech Republic, Milena Hübschmannová. His first poems were published in the 1990s in the Romani magazine Amaro lav / Naše slovo (“Our Word”), followed by his editorial work for the magazines Gendalos / Zrcadlo (“The Mirror”) and Nevo romano gendalos / Nové romské zrcadlo (“The New Romani Mirror”), in which he established and ran a column for children.

In 1997, at the International Competition of Romani Artistic Creativity, “Amico Rom”, in Lanciano, Italy he won two prizes, second place in the prose category and third place in the category of poetry for children.

Mr Cina also translated Duhový most (Rainbow Bridge), a book of children’s fairy tales by Ludvík Středa, into Romanes. He also provided the Czech translation for Emir Kusturica’s feature film “Black Cat, White Cat” (1998) and translated several passages from the film “Roming” (2007) into Romanes.

In 2002 Mr Cina’s poems were published in a collection entitled Legendy, balady a romance národů (Legends, Ballads, and Romances of Nations). In 2008 he published two myths in the book Devla, devla!

Mr Cina also wrote stories of the lives of Romani people in Slovakia based on his visits to relatives and matched with motifs from paintings by the Benedictine monk Lukas Ruegenberg. That material became the basis for the pieces in his 2010 book Ivan a Dominik (Ivan and Dominic).

Recently Mr Cina contributed to the Romani biweekly newspaper Romano hangos, the children’s magazine Kereka, and to news server Romea.cz, as well as collaborating with the KHER publishing house. He also authored the Czech and Romani texts of Ibra Ibrahimovič’s book of photographs O školara / Školáci (Schoolchildren).

Thanks to his active position toward using the Romanes language and to his creations, Emil Cina is one of the most popular and recognized Romani cultural figures. His years of work for young readers, not just in literature but also in cultural outreach, were very beneficial and of high quality.

His poems call on Romani people not to abandon their identity and their language. In his stories about life, in which he displays not just a talent for observation, but also wisdom and a capacity for self-irony (and a humor based on that), he shows people, through his own example, what it means to live in accordance with Romanipen.

Four Poems {Romani and Czech – I’m currently working on English translations}:

Amaro lav

Amare laveha dživen
o Roma jekheha jileha.

Phen mange, daje, savo
dživipen amen esas,
te le Romen phuvori
na sas.

Phuvori na sas, miro čhavo,
ča barendar droma,
pal lende bacht rodenas
savore Roma.

Ďives le ďives rodenas,
o Roma pal o droma
pengere apsa mukenas.

La jaghaha o čhavore
raťi vakerenas,
raťuno brišind andro suno
bacht lenge anelas.

Čhavo miro! Dživ khameha
the romane jileha,
tire apsa imar ňikaske
tu na deha.

Naše slovo [Our Word]

V společném slově žijí
Romové sjednoceni.

Řekni mi, mámo,
jak jsme žili,
řekni, proč neměli jsme
vlastní zemi?

Zemi jsem neměli, dítě moje,
jen kamenité cesty,
na těch Romové hledali
svoje štestí.

Den za dnem jsme je hledali,
slzy nám na té pouti
z očí padaly.

S ohýnky děti si
po nocích vyprávěly,
sny v nočním dešti jim
kus štestí přinášely.

Synáčku můj! Jdi životem
jako Rom, ve sluneční záři.
Ať slzy nikdy nemusejí téct
po tvé tváři.

Dar

Dar dikhel duje jakhenca.
Phuro murš bešel paše skamind,
vakerel: So ela?
So ela amenca?

Terňi romňi le čhavores
pro vasta zasovel,
andro kher la moľaha
dareko vakerel.

O jakha dikhen andre kaľi rat,
na paťas ňikaske.
Tu o maro pale ďivesa rodes,
ko čačipen tuke dela –
užares, so ela? So ela?

E balval amen lel peha pal koďi kaľi phuv.
O asaben, giľori amenge lel…
Phen mange soske, Devla?
Ča phen!

Strach [Fear]

Strach se dobře dívá.
Starý muž od stolu
řekne: Co bude?
Co s námi bude?

Mladá žena děťátko
na rukou uspává,
Uvnitř s kořalkou
si někdo vykládá.

Oči vyhlíží do tmavé noci,
nikomu nevěříš.
Den po dni sháníš kousek chleba,
kdo se tě zastane –
co bude, čekáš. Co bude?

Vítr nás bere s sebou
k té černé zemi.
Náš smích, písničku naši
odvívá… Proč jenom, Bože?
Prosím odpověz!

Bacht

Dikhav romano gavoro,
leskero drom,
o apsa andro jilo me garuďom.

Brišind anel baro paňi,
andro khera dukh.
Vareko phenel: Buťi nane,
Deloro miro, ča sasťipen muk!

Kaj o bacht pes našaďa,
kaj la arakhava?
O paňi čuľol, peha lel
rozčhiďi loľi mol.

E bacht phenel: Užarava,
kaj o paňi mutno sa
pal o droma sdžala.
Paľis savorenca pal ma
vakerava.

Štěstí [Happiness]

Vidím vesničku romskou,
cestu k nám,
a slzy v hloubi srdce ukrývám.

Za deštěm jde velká voda,
po osadě strach.
Řek‘ někdo: Práci nikdo nedá,
Bože náš dobrý, neopouštěj nás!

Kam se štěstí ztratilo,
kde je najdeme?
Voda se valí, rozmývá
rozlité rudé víno.

Štěstí řeklo: Budu čekat,
dokud z cest se všechen kal
s vodou neodplaví.
Potom si s každičkým
Povyprávím.

z veršů pro děti: [Verse for children]

* Kaľi, kaľi mačkica
denašel andro veš,
ňikaj me tut na mukhava,
šukar kadaj beš.7

* Bešel, rovel čhajori,
khosel peske jakhori,
de man, mamo, babkica,
sivav lake rokľica.8

* Ašaren pes luluďa,
kas hin šukareder
e rokľa.

Dokeriben baro,
me som parňi u me šargi,
e ľoľi chal choľi.

O kham asal,
pale prajtin paňeskeri
apsori peľa,
e balval le luluďen
andro kheľiben
savore iľa.

Hádaly se květinky,
kterápak z nich má
nejhezčí sukýnky.

Já jsem bílá a já žlutá,
červená, ta zlostí puká.

Slunce se jim směje,
z listu rosa spadla,
vítr kolem poletoval,
se všemi si zatancoval.

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