Slovak tabloid covers funeral of Romani woman as spectacle
Slovak news server Čas.sk has reported on the burial of a 53-year-old Romani woman whom they characterized as "rich" because her funeral involved a special coffin and the kind of ceremony the city of Prešov has not experienced recently. Mourners accompanied her with all honors across Prešov to her final resting place as the coffin rode in a carriage drawn by four horses.
More than 150 people attended the funeral. The news server's coverage emphasized the splendor of the entire ceremony.
Romani community members from Prešov who now live in England were paying their last respects on Monday to a woman who meant a great deal to them. The passing away of Zlatica, who was always called by her nickname, Ťuma, most affected her husband, Ladislav Baláž, and their four children, who had difficult holding back their tears of sorrow over the departure of their beloved mother during the funeral.
The coffin containing the deceased crossed the entire city in a carriage drawn by a special mourning team of horses. Zlatica had emigrated to England 20 years ago with her entire family and had been seriously ill for some time.
"She was a brilliant wife and mother. We were together 37 years. Unfortunately, she has left us now. We are all people of deep faith, though, so we are convinced she is alive in the other world. She is waiting for us there," said her bereaved widower, Ladislav, to the sound of hammered dulcimer music.
A live ensemble completed the atmosphere of mourning by performing Romani songs ahead of the ceremony at the funeral home in Prešov, where mourners arrived wearing shirts with a photograph of the deceased on them. Zlatica was held in high esteem by her entire family.
"She was an essential say in our community when it came to decision-making, and for that reason she also deserved a decent burial. That is why we included a carriage drawn by four horses in the funeral procession. We had to order it from the Czech Republic. We orginally planned more than one carriage, but for various reasons that could not be realized," said her widower, who is in the used car business in England.
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