Gypsies and old believers are considered

Another 01/01/20 Gypsies and old believers are considered “bad”

the Explanatory dictionary Dahl under the “bad” understands something nasty, filthy, vile, repulsive as the flesh, and spiritually. Most fully this concept reflects the worldview of the Medieval Christian Russia, including physiological, religious and moral-aesthetic aspects of life of our ancestors.

Body and spirit

Archpriest Georgy Krylov explains that for a believer of the Russian people has been very important with respect to the phenomena of the surrounding world, which, depending on the fact, might sanctify, to defile or to be neutral for him. And the main task of the Christian to protect themselves and their shrines from defilement.

the Concept of “contamination” partly overlaps with the concept of “sin”, but not every sinful impurity. For example, women’s impurity is considered to be a natural bad – an echo of original sin. Taboos are often associated with impurity, due to the desire of our ancestors to maintain physiological hygiene, however, as noted by theologians, physical and mental hygiene in the life of Orthodox Christians were inextricably linked with each other.

the bespopovtsy, one of the two main directions in the old believers, the abomination was part of the doctrine of merenii – desecration through interaction with the outside world. The concept of “sabermania” they were in fact synonymous with “sin”, which could deliver only a penance. Fedoseevtsy and filippovtsy, the most restrictive consent of the bespopovtsy, at the time even raised the issue of the refusal to hold a ceremony of remembrance and burial of our brothers and sisters in the faith, if they do not have time to be cleansed of defilement.

Bezpopovtsy believed that a believer could “samishisa” from “heretic” or “infidel” even through simple communication, not to mention common prayer or meal. They did not allow the Gentiles to draw water from their own well, didn’t go with them in a bath, did not give them to her personally.osudu and in General tried to avoid any contact with representatives of other faiths and religious views. The old believers ‘ book teaches Small Speeches: “the heretics live the false satanic spirit are all evil and unclean spirits… All heretics from perverse and evil”.

If the spiritual cleansing from defilement was carried out by repentance, the role of bodily purgatory were bath. Therefore bath in Christian Russia was considered the place unclean, nakaplivali all the vile and profane, from which the freed people. If our medieval ancestors know that in modern apartments bathroom adjacent to the living quarters, he would take it as an unheard-of sacrilege.

Filth everywhere

Today, the medieval idea of the filth fully preserved only in the old believers, and it manifests itself through a variety of aspects of human life. Special place here is sexual impurity – the female menstruation, male ejaculation, sexual intercourse, childbirth. For each of the following types of defilements practiced special cleansing rituals. Conservatives there was also a more complex concept of sexual impurity – “filth in filth”, which meant all sorts of sexual perversion in the marital context.

In the view of conservatives of the man defiled in any contact with animals – domestic or farmyard. The only exception might be is that the cat. That would be cleansed of this filth, it is sufficient to perform ablution.

Strict rules were in use fasting foods (warm-blooded animals) when eating it in a post it was bad. There is also a large list of animals forbidden as food, even in ordinary time ever., including horse, rabbit, squirrel, beaver. Furthermore, the believers should not eat fish without scales (catfish, eel, burbot, sturgeon), instructed to refrain from seafood.

Even sleep in the old believers is a condition that defile the man. According to the priests of the old believers, namelyon in a dream a man becomes especially vulnerable to demonic forces. For this reason, immediately after awakening the believer has no right to do anything until you wash your face.

Ardent supporters of the old rite are strangers visiting their churches and homes – there can be no compromise: the Gentiles it is off-limits. This was written by many fathers of the Church. In particular, in the fourth century St. Athanasius of Alexandria spoke about the inadmissibility finding heretics in the homes of Christians, “faithful to have never been defiled from the infidels”.


the term “abomination” is in other cultures and social environments. Something similar exists in the Roma community, talking about “pekelimos” (or “marimo”), although this phenomenon is in contrast to the old belief implies a narrower sense. Gypsies have a concept of “pekelimos” relates mainly to Mature or married woman and is associated with the lower part of her body – that which is formed “unclean.” Contact with taboo area woman not only defiles the person, but any thing. Valid is only sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.

Interestingly, the bespopovtsy touching the bottom of the female (or male) body also leads to desecration. For example, during worship bespopovtsy standing with arms crossed on breast, not to accidentally touch the areas located below the belt.

But the Gypsies to be defiled don’t have to touch the lower part of the female body. After all, according to Gypsy legend women’s filth flows down, and so it is enough for the woman to pass by lying or sitting below the level of her waist – and he will be trapped beneath the filth.

the Defiled are footwear and clothing worn below the belt. If, for example, Gypsy brings to the table a heavy pot, which presses to the stomach, she should also wear an apron, which according to legend should protect the food from contamination. The apron is an important part of women’s national costume of the Gypsies.

Psuch attitudes towards women can have a positive side. Gypsy, avoided as a community member is guaranteed not to be beaten, raped or even insulted. The aggressive actions or negative words in her address of the offender is subjected to the danger of impurity in retaliation the woman enough to hit him with a skirt.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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