Elżbieta Kasprzak (Szoma) (1980)

  Elżbieta Kasprzak (Szoma) (1980)
I used to sneak out to play ball. Grandmother: „ Don’t bring a shame on me, who has heard of a girl playing ball” (…) It is a thing a girl should not do, that’s for boys only.(…). She also thought that when I have a husband I should only wear a skirt all the time. But in spite of that, I wear trousers. I think she would rebuke me now for sure!”

On the job of a Romany assistant in school

“I used to work here as Romany assistant a lot, I must say, because I simply love working with children. And I must say I started to apply for different programs. I used to go with Roxana on trips. There was such a program that we encouraged children to learn. And if a child learned well he was awarded with such a trip. We used to participate in such a program very often, and children were happy. (…) Then, I enrolled to different Romany common rooms. I was here at the Triangle (a kind of no-go area), there is such a common room there, but I have forgotten what it is called…near Kniaziewicza street opposite Municipal Social Welfare Centre there was also such a common room there … as if an integration one. There were children also Romany children but not only. Frankly speaking, the Romany children were calmer than the Polish children who were really hyper active… but you take it from home, from home. Later on, once I got to know their stories I felt sorry for them (…) I used to work for 2 years [as an assistant at school] I helped the Romany children to understand the problems, explain to them. I also taught how to read and write because for some girls it was hard to read. So I took them to supportive classes, to teach them how to write and that. It was as if they were learning to read from scratch. Because they were at home from birth and their basic language was Romany. Now parents know that a child has to know something because otherwise he will not communicate at school. Here, there is a family in which neither the mother went to school, nor the grandmother, so it was difficult to convince them. But she enjoyed it that I came, took the children and helped. During the lesson, but after the lesson she used to call me to help her with writing some motion or something. Because she could neither read nor write. And I was willing to go and help her even after hours. Frankly speaking… I think that not only the Romany children but children in general, regardless of their origin… and now even Ukrainian children or from other states who come here. Here there is one Ukrainian girl. So as I say I had contact with children. It is a pity I gave it up. But I did not leave the school because of children. I had to such was my choice. Also earnings and I wanted something else. They also could not work according to my principles and that is why I left… yes… Now there is somebody else, the President’s daughter Mania. I miss them, because it is not that I went there to work only. They were like a family for me. They used to call me “Auntieeeee” through the school”

  • born on 19 January 1980 in Wrocław
  • she comes from a mixed family Polish-Romany, her grandfather was a Galician Gypsy (Bergitka Roma)
  • her mother renounced her, there is no contact with her to this day, the death of her father, brought up by grandparents
  • a flat in Komuny Paryskiej street
  • removal to Brochów at the age of 12, to be closer to the Romany family of her grandfather
  • upbringing in the Polish tradition and partly the Romany tradition passive knowledge of the Romany language
  • finishing of primary school
  • attending the Economic Secondary School and graduation from it commencement of the study of computer graphics
  • a relationship with Gracjan Paczkowski, a Romany
  • getting pregnant, Gracjan gives her an ultimatum: “the school or me”
  • the relationship blessed by parents, grandparents, without wedding vows
  • breaking up of learning at school, leaving for Scotland with Gracjan
  • giving birth to Chanel daughter in Glasgow in 2005
  • a job in pizzeria in Scotland on night shifts
  • breaking up with Gracjan because of the differences in tradition and upbringing
  • good relations with Gracjan’s parents, despite lack of involvement on the part of Gracjan
  • being a single mother
  • change of a surname due to the impossibility to find a job
  • gainful job in hospital as “maintenance job”, against Romany principles
  • a course of a holiday camp teacher
  • a job in an integrative Romany common room
  • a job of a Romany assistant at the primary school in Brochów
  • resignation from the job at school after 2 years
  • a job in the Romany common room in Brochów
  • a job in Hanoi restaurant as a waitress
  • today she is working at a hotel as a receptionist
  • she lives in Brochów together with her daughter, looking for a job connected with children because it gives her joy. She likes sport, and supports Śląsk Wrocław, goes to rock concerts.
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