Word of the Day: Stabor

I’ve realized over the years that I keep writing about gypsies, a race of people that few “outsiders” ever want to bother to understand. The gypsies are just there, usually bothersome, and the most compassionate outsiders just want them to “integrate” and be like everyone else.

One of the reasons they won’t “be like everyone else” is precisely because they have so many of their own parallel customs and institutions, one of them being the stabor (stah-bore).

No weirder than what they do in Britain
It’s not Halloween, it’s just a British judge

Essentially it’s the gypsy version of the “Supreme Court”, where they bring their own complaints to their own court and have the cases judged in the gypsy way. Here in Romania the judges on the Stabor even dress up exactly the same as regular judges, complete with black robe and oversized white tie.

The current “chief justice” of the Stabor is none other than Dorin Cioaba, former son of the “king of all gypsies” and now, due to rulings by the Stabor, he himself is now the “king of all gypsies” even if his name is hilariously misspelled as “Dorian” on his own website LOL

When he’s not busy on the court, Chief Justice Dorin Cioaba is a project meneger, an “authorized” conflict mediator and has a lucrative side business selling gypsy dolls.


2 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Stabor

  1. ‘ a race of people ‘ ‘ they have so many of their own parallel customs and institutions’ – uh.. well, by that logic – and no offense intended -, I could call Americans a race of people because they have a racial view of society. There’s a gipsy culture, that some gipsies adhere to, and that’s about it. Muslims have their informal Sharia courts in the UK for example, they don’t constitute a race.

    As long as these ‘courts’ only have mediation power because parties agree to a set of culturally based rules and these rules are not in contradiction to the state law, even if the parties would agree to this, they’re fine.

    There, my universalist republican 2c :)


  2. People need others to look down upon. It makes them feel better about themselves. I can’t even recall the number of times I’ve seen English signs in front of Romanian businesses, horribly misspelled. Ridiculing them for it is a childish thing. Why would you expect a Romanian to speak perfect English?
    When you observe a culture from the outside, you see many things that builds a wall between “us” and “them.” Naturally, you take this to mean “right” and “wrong.”
    The Stabor exists because a state’s law may not apply to the traditional gypsy culture. For example, in Christianity, if you tell a lie, you go to a priest, if you steal a sheep, you go to the courts. There’s nothing more or less laughable about a gypsy calling himself a “judge” then there is a priest calling himself a “judge.”
    Are either right or wrong? Wearing a fake Rolex, in absurd costume, who can distinguish the two?


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