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Poetry in Translation, (CCC): ANONYMOUS, ROMANIA: “Christmas Carol”

September 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Diaspora, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation, (CCC): ANONYMOUS, ROMANIA: “Christmas Carol”

Romania - Christmas Carols

Romania – Christmas Carols


Christmas Carol
A Parody sung by Gypsy Children under Ceausescu

Father Christmas we do beg
Bring us butter, bring us egg.
If you ever come on foot
Bring some cabbage, or beetroot.
If your bag is large enough
Add some maize and garlic cloves.
Christmas Father don’t miss either
The potatoes and the flour.
Should you come, though, in a sleigh,
Don’t forget, for the New Year,
Toilet paper that’s so sparse,
To wipe at least our arse.”
* * * * *
(Translated from the French version published in the magazine “L’Alternative (Paris),supplement 20, 1981, pp. 96)
and published in English, in the Anthology: Blouse Roumaine – the Unsung Voices of Romanian Women
http://www.blouseroumaine.com/buy-the-book/index.html

(Rendered in English by Constantin ROMAN, London
© 2014 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London)

NOTE: Under Ceausescu’s dictatorship the drive to Industralisation, which had to be paid for by exports of agricultural produce, resulted in a severe shortage of foodstuff, bringing the population to near starvation. The total lack of basic commodities included also the availability of toiled paper! Still, the resourceful Romanians used instead the only substitute in plentiful supply – the Romanian Communist Party daily newspaper – ‘Scinteia’, despite all the inconvenience caused by the printing ink, unintended for such practice…
It is ironic, that a generation later, in an other country, on another continent, which, like Romania, is run by an absurd dictatorship, similar effects are experienced by ordinary Venezuelan citizens ( see picture below). By comparison, for the time being, Venezulean denizens of the 21st century are luckier that their Romanian counterparts of the 1980s: same dictatorship, same effect, different supply!

Venezuela - panic buying of toilet paper: by contrast under Ceausescu, Romanians were reduced to using instead the Communist Party's newspaper...

Venezuela – panic buying of toilet paper: by contrast under Ceausescu, Romanians were reduced to using instead the Communist Party’s newspaper…

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