Romanian roma photograph ©Jeremy Sutton-HIbbert 1995Sintesti, Romania. © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 1995

When doing my photographic project on the roma in Sintesti, Romania, I’d often visit there at Romanian Orthodox Easter. It was always a good time to visit my friends, it was the most important festival in their calendar, they’d be happy, there’d be lots happening, everyone would be home, not away travelling and working, plenty for me to photograph.

The preparations for the celebrations would last a few days, pigs would be slaughtered in the noisiest way possible and food would be cooked. Bottles of white wine would be opened and mixed with sparkling Borsec mineral water, and for the men the drinking would start early whilst the women prepared everything.
On the day of the festivities itself, tables would be laid out with presents, gifts, food, alcohol, and the children of the family would carry it to their Godfather’s house. People would follow playing music, making noise, everyone would be happy. The gifts would be presented and enjoyed. Roasted chickens were torn apart by hand. Slices of salty brinza cheese would be put onto slabs of torn bread and handed round. Wine would slosh over the top of glasses and onto the vinyl table clothes with lurid designs. People would be dancing holding glasses of wine in one hand, more wine sloshing out onto the ground, into the dust.

Huppa huppa huppaahh.

(Click here to see photographs of Romanian roma gypsies, and link for above image).