A young Roma man has appeared on a Czech/Slovak Got Talent programme and was very popular, cavorting on the table itself in front of the judges and getting through.
He sung in English I was told by people in Sheffield who saw it on cable TV. Roma singers often go on but usually the judges say: You are good but it only really appeals to Roma people.
So this young man sung in English. I heard a little of it and it was sort of Reggae English, Jamaican English.
I know him. I met him only once properly in a fairly formal setting of a network meeting in which he and I were, to some extent, in separate camps. Not a very nice circumstance. I tried speaking to him and I got the tone wrong.
I listened to him speaking but later tried to say some phrase in Romani. I think I confused the verb ‘to see/look’ (te dihkel) and ‘to say/talk’ (te penel). It was a confusion that I was making often at the time. After I said a phrase he looked at me and asked in English of course which he speaks beautifully: Do you know what you are saying?
Yes, I replied. Blustering. I felt ashamed since that moment and run back and forth over it wishing I’d not blundered.
So much that I do that is liked and then something small in a way that weighs heavily on my mind. Shame. The Italians say Shamo! Idiot! Fool!
Fool! I’ll accept that thank you.