French police were yesterday breaking up gipsy camps and deporting illegal immigrants found in them. Dozens of officers in riot gear descended on a settlement near Lille shortly after dawn to oversee the evacuation of some 200 Roma living in mobile homes.
One hundred people were evicted from a site in Lyon, with similar round-ups happening in other major cities including Marseille. Caravans and huts were destroyed in the Belleville area of central Paris on Wednesday, making another 100 people homeless.
‘Many of those evicted will be flown home to Romania,’ said an interior ministry source, who insisted the deportations were aimed at ridding France of ‘illegal’ communities.
Greece has also begun a crackdown on immigrants, with Athens claiming the country faced an ‘invasion’.
The policy being pursued by France’s socialist government was formulated by former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy, who was frequently accused of pandering to the far right. His government linked Roma camps with crime, suggesting that many of the thieves and muggers operating in big cities were homeless Romanians.
Many expected the more liberal socialists to show a more relaxed attitude toward immigrants, especially those from European Union member states. But Manuel Valls, the new interior minister, said the camps were a ‘challenge’ to ‘people living together’.
He insisted the police would uphold all court orders aimed at dismantling them.
Neighbours of the camps often complained about noise and anti-social behaviour, as well as serious crimes, said Mr Valls.
Humanitarian organisations have also linked the camps to ill health, including serious diseases such as tuberculosis.
Mr Valls said everything would be done to ensure that vulnerable people, and particularly ‘children and pregnant women’, were rehoused as quickly as possible.
Mr Sarkozy started a purge on Romas in the summer of 2010, pointing to the fact that up to 15,000 were living in camps across France. Mr Sarkozy even proposed that police travel to Romania to fight trafficking and other crimes committed there by Roma.
In turn, Roma groups accused Mr Sarkozy of ‘ethnic cleansing’, pointing to the fact that gipsies had been targeted by the Nazis during the Second World War.
They said that the purge was all part of a generally racist strategy adopted by Mr Sarkozy against all foreign groups, including some six million Muslims living in France.Romania has been a full member of the European Union since 2007, and its citizens can enter France without a visa. But they must get residency permits if they want to settle long term and work. Britain, like France, has transitional controls on Romanians seeking to settle in the UK.
Until next year only those Romanian migrants who have a job or can support themselves are allowed to stay in Britain.
[Daily Mail Online - Video available at the end of article]
wow… never seen this one before…
A local Romanian mayor has just forcibly evicted over 38 Roma families from their accommodation — and is now forcing them to live in a toxic, decommissioned chemicals factory. Small children are already in hospital after chemical exposure, and the situation is so horrifying a respected Romanian newspaper is comparing this to Auschwitz. But the Romanian Prime Minister can stop this shocking treatment.
This factory ‘accommodation’ is still filled toxic remnants of the factory, shut down in 2005 and known locally as “The Death Plant”. Outrageously, Mayor Cătălin Cherecheș has joked that Roma are falling ill from the “cleanliness” of the factory. He’s hoping to win votes by appearing ‘tough’ on Roma ahead of an election on Sunday, but we can turn these horrible acts against him. The local Mayor is a member of the Prime Minister’s Social-Liberal Union, and if we pressure the PM Victor Ponta to speak out against this abuse, we can force the Mayor to close this death factory and re-house the victims.
As a Romanian, I’m deeply shocked by the way these people have been treated. But the new Romanian PM is looking to establish his credibility in Romania and Europe — so let’s make sure he does the right thing. Sign my petition to call on the PM to demand the Mayor apologize and re-accommodate these innocent Roma!
There are currently only 392 signatures… I posted to Facebook, and now here and twitter. I hope we can get this thing blown out of the water.
Please help! SIGN HERE
“Today, if you live in Hungary and you are Roma, Jewish or a member of the LGBT community, you have a problem.”
A 1937 letter from Berlin I read a couple of years ago said: “The streets are clean, people have jobs. The café’s, restaurants and terraces are filled every day. The women are lovelier than ever. Yet, there is this strange undercurrent. All this marching and uniforms, it makes me uneasy. One hears things about beatings and about people being taken away, disappearing. Jews and others. We try not to talk about it, not to think about it. Yet it feels like a beast is awakening, ready to destroy.”
These lines came to mind while I was sitting on a terrace drinking coffee on a square just off Vaci Utca, the famous Budapest shopping street. Last week I was in Budapest as part of a group at the European Youth Centre that trained young people to counter online hate.
In Budapest the streets are clean and beautiful, everybody laughs and smiles, while the Hungarian Guard, a paramilitary outfit modelled on the SS, marches in the street and people are beaten up. Today, if you live in Hungary and you are Roma, Jewish or a member of the LGBT community, you have a problem.
During recent years, waves of anti-Roma violence, antisemitic attacks, bumper-stickers with the text ‘Jew free car,’ homophobic attacks on the annual Gay pride parade, antisemitic defacement of synagogues and Jewish graves, all became ‘normal.’
In 2010, during a recent speech by the mayor of Budapest, right-wingers shouted slogans such as ‘send Jews to the concentration camps‘ and ‘Jewish pigs!’
“Vilified for claiming Holocaust restitution”
In Hungary, antisemitism and hate against gypsies were always present, but they were swept under the carpet by communist governments. The new constitution however, does not protect the rights of Gays and Lesbians. Roma live in fear and the Jewish community tries to endure the new pogrom-like atmosphere. Before World War II, there were half a million Jews living in Hungary. Now there are only 100,000 and they are under growing attack and vilified for claiming Holocaust restitution.
Márton Gyöngyösi, Hungarian parliament member for Jobbik (Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom),a Hungarian radical nationalist political party, has said: “It has become a fantastic business to jiggle around with the numbers of dead Jews.” Last month, another Jobbik MP, Zsolt Baráth, held a speech in parliament reviving an anti-Jewish blood libel from 1882.
During a briefing I attended by Hungarian NGOs and other experts, it became clear that the current situation is dire. Peter Molnar, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Media and Communication Studies at Central European University in Budapest, and a former Member of Parliament remarked, “Right now, if I have to make a hierarchy of the minorities under attack in Hungary, I would say first the Roma, then the Jews and then the LGBT community.”
In 2010, during the last Hungarian election, Jobbik became the 3rd party of the country, winning 17% of the vote. The coalition government that was formed after the election, does not have Jobbik in it – but the largest party, the nationalist conservative Fidesz relies on Jobbik support and openly tries to please and appease it. Jobbik itself denies being fascist or racist, but its leader, Gabor Vorna, says that Jobbik is not democrat.
In a smart back-stage, front-stage strategy Vorna has created the Hungarian Guard, who march the streets in Nazi uniforms and have been said to be responsible for most of the hate crime and attacks against Roma, Jews and LGBTs. On top of that, unaffiliated skinheads and neo-Nazis create even more trouble. During 2008 and 2009, a number of Molotov cocktail and gun attacks against the Roma community resulted in the death of six Roma. The killers were neo-Nazis.
“Jobbik loves extreme Islamists and especially Iran”
So, does Jobbik like anybody? Well, ‘normal’ Hungarians of course, who are, in a familiar sounding mythology, the descendants of a great and pure Central-Asian ‘Turkic’ race, which also includes the Persians. It may therefore come as no surprise that Jobbik loves extreme Islamists and especially Iran, feeling very comfortable with shared antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
This is not 1937, but it seems there are too many similarities including a bad economic situation, high unemployment, the Euro-crisis, inflation of the Forint, the national currency as well as anti-democratic strong leaders about to take over.
As the saying goes, ‘history repeats itself the second time as a farce.’ Well, for a start, there is very little farcical about repeating pogroms.
Hungary is not Germany in 1937 and Hungary is not the only European country suffering under an increase of populism, neo-Nazism and extremism. But, Hungary could well be a new flashpoint.
While I was having my coffee, I read on my Blackberry that the Budapest monument for Raoul Wallenberg had been desecrated. Hanging from the statue were pig legs covered in blood.
All of a sudden, the coffee didn’t taste so good.
In 2010, former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, in an unwitting allusion to the 1937 letter from Berlin said, the “monster is at the door, threatening to crush Hungarian democracy.”
I don’t like coincidences like that at all.
SOURCE: JewishInfoNews (written by Ronald Eissens)
The Greek neo-Nazis who won almost 7 % of the vote in early parliamentary elections last weekend and who are now represented by 20 MPs have been boisterously celebrating their unheard-of success. The chair of their Golden Dawn organization, Nikos Michaloliakos, has said of their victory: “Veni, vidi, vici [I came, I saw, I conquered].”
“I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who voted for us,” 55-year-old Michaloliakos said. He made no secret of his satisfaction over the fact that his party, which scored points with its anti-European, anti-immigrant rhetoric in a country beaten down by a deep economic and social crisis, far exceeded the results of the many other groups who criticized its extremism.
“The hour of fear for the traitors of the homeland has arrived,” Michaloliakos thundered at the party’s press conference. The online news server of the daily To Vima reported that he had several journalists ejected from the conference because they did not stand up when he entered the room. Agence-France Presse reported him as ominously saying, “This is just the beginning” to the foreign correspondents whom his movement has charged with spreading lies about his ideology.
However, Golden Dawn had already demonstrated prior to the elections that its critics were correct. “We want to expel all illegal immigrants. We want to get their stench out of here,” party representative Frangiskos Porichis told dozens of adherents during a rally at Athen’s port of Piraeus. He then promised that deportations would start immediately after the elections, should his party win, to be followed by the deportation even of those immigrants who have legalized their residency.
A selection of the European countries with right-wing extremists in parliament:
In 2005, the extreme-right nationalist party Attack, which agitates against Jewish, Romani and Turkish people, declaims against Bulgaria’s membership in the EU and NATO, and rages against international institutions “sucking Bulgaria dry”, surprised everyone by scoring seats in parliament. The party’s main slogan is “Bulgaria for the Bulgarians”. The party earned electoral success in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2009 as well. It also drew attention last year when its adherents attacked Bulgarian Turkish Muslims during prayer in the capital, Sofia.
The Finnish party Real Finns is becoming more and more popular. The party first got into parliament in 1999 when it won a single seat. Last year it won 39. The party is classified as a nationalist, populist formation. It lobbies against the EU and the euro, declaims against the instruction of the Swedish language in the schools, and calls for stricter immigration policies and harsher punishments for serious felonies. Unlike similar parties, it does not have a neo-Nazi past to contend with.
In the most recent parliamentary elections, the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) party got into parliament for the first time. The party is classified as an ultra-right movement. It declaims against immigrants and Romani people and has also made anti-Semitic declarations. It also wants to introduce a ban on “the promotion of sexual deviancy”, which commentators say is aimed at homosexuals. The existence of the extremist National Guard in Hungary is linked to Jobbik. This court-banned paramilitary group has won favor for its fight against “gypsy crime”, among other things.
In the lower house, the Party for Freedom (PVV) is now represented and is leading a massive campaign against the “Islamization of the country”, calling for restricting immigration and “defense of Judeo-Christian traditions”. The founder of the party, Geert Wilders, left the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in 2004, in part because he disagreed with its support for the entry of Turkey into the EU. He then founded the PVV. Wilders recently caused a sensation and prompted criticism by calling on all Dutch people to report to the authorities any “iniquities” committed by people from Central and Eastern Europe. In the past he has also been charged with instigating hatred against Muslims after he publicly compared the Koran to Mein Kampf, the book by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, and labeled Islam a fascist ideology held by terrorists. In his short film “Fitna” (Disruption) he overlaid footage from terrorist attacks with the recitation of verses from the Koran. Due to the collapse of negotiations on budget cuts within the minority cabinet, which included the PVV, the government of the Netherlands fell in April.
In the Russian parliamentary elections, the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia regularly scores points. The party is popular among extremists and people who believe Russia has lost its position as a world superpower. It lobbies against minorities and all non-Russian elements in society. It was established in 1989. One year later, Vladimir Zhirinovsky took the party helm and has been its chair ever since. His indiscriminate attacks on his opponents, his nationalist statements, and his rioting have added their notorious colors to the Russian political scene.
In Sunday’s parliamentary elections, the radical nationalist ultra-right party Golden Dawn made it into parliament for the first time. The party’s significant theme is its loathing of immigrants. The party attracted voters with a program that includes the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and the installation of landmines along the Greek border with neighboring states through which immigrants most often access Greece. Some members of the party are suspected of having committed violence against immigrants. The roots of the party extend as far back as 1980, but it was not officially registered until 1993.
In the elections of 2010, the Swedish Democrats got into parliament for the first time. This party, which calls itself nationalist, is demanding a halt to immigration and has labeled Islam as the greatest threat to Sweden since the end of WWII. The party succeeded in getting attention with a campaign advertisement in which a group of Muslim women wearing burkas and pushing baby carriages cuts into a welfare line in front of a Swedish pensioner with white skin. The party also lobbies against homosexuals and is famous for its euroskepticism. Analysts have labeled the party ultra-right. Human rights defenders and left-wing formations have labeled it a neo-Nazi party. The party is now doing its best to rid itself of the image of an extremist party.
In Germany, extremists are not represented at the national level. The neo-Nazi, populist NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands - National Democratic Party) is, however, represented in the state assemblies in Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania and Saxony. In the Czech Republic, the Workers’ Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) closely collaborates with the German NPD. For the time being, the DSSS has won only one political office in the Czech Republic, a town council seat in Krupka.
Who wants to move to… somewhere in Africa perhaps? …South America? …Mars? Mars sounds good. Let’s go to Mars.
I want to be a colorful bohemian carefree gypsy, I want to be…
The most cherished and highest value the Gypsy people have is their freedom. I have been asked to stop using the word GYPSY and because of this I am inspired to write the following. I do not believe in censuring of any kind and especially of a word so beautiful and representational as GYPSY!
So I decided to write this Jenn, late 20’s, living in Louisville with her hubby and blogging about whatever crosses her mind…who decided to try to prohibit me from using the word GYPSY…feeling that because she wrote something she has the right to ban people from their freedom of speech. orginal post
I must say I quite enjoyed writting this and had some lovely memories in the process. I will say the history part might be a bit repetitive.
Why don’t we start with a bit of GYPSY history?
It is possible to trace Gypsies back to their origin: the Sind area of India (today south central Pakistan — the mouth of the Indus). Three separate emigrations occurred over the course of about four hundred years, traceable today in three identifiable linguistic populations: the Eastern Gypsy (Domari) in Egypt and the Middle East, the Central Gypsy (Lomavren) in Armenia and eastern Turkey, and the Western Gypsy in Europe(Romani) (Romany refers to the people, Romani refers to the language, Rom refers to a man or the people as a whole.
THESE ARE THE ONLY “GYPSIES” YOU MENTION IN YOU “ESSAY”.
I want to make the observation that although this last group is the population most widely dealt with it is not the only one that exists.
…and contrary to your definition of Gypsy as a SLUR…quote ”First, gypsy is a slur. No matter what you think, it has been a slur for centuries”. Gypsy (or Gipsy) originates from the Greek word for “Egyptian”, Αιγύπτιοι (Aigyptioi, whence modern Greek γύφτοι gifti), in the belief that the Romanies, or some other Gypsy groups (such as the Balkan Egyptians), originated in Egypt. (by the way its very easy to find in Wikipedia)
Next. This is where I, and many others like me get the idea of “GYPSIES” as...quote, “Being free spirited, moving from place to place,” (as you so ardently criticized us in your essay for believing) Only maybe because THEY ARE and they have been nomads for centuries and here is why….
The cultural group that would later become the Gypsies led a semi-nomadic life in India, and has been tentatively identified as the Dom, which has been recorded as far back as the sixth century. The Dom performed various specialized jobs such as basket-making, scavenging, metal-working and entertainment, traveling a circuit through several small villages each year. This semi-nomadic life allowed the Dom the opportunity to easily flee when battles threatened the area in which they lived, and apparently did so three times during the Middle Ages. The European Gypsies are perhaps the original refugees from Mahmud of Ghanzi’s wars, for all sixty Romani dialects contain Armenian words, suggesting that they passed through Armenia in the early 11th century on the way into the Byzantine Empire.
Again…THESE ARE THE “GYPSIES” YOU ARE PROBABLY TALKING ABOUT, THE ROMA, SINCE YOU DO LIVE IN LOUISVILLE… (KENTUCKY I’M ASSUMING?) AND I DONT REALLY THINK YOU HAVE ANY ROMA LIVING THERE AS YOUR NEIGHBOURS… (but then I could be wrong, since there have been Gypsy immigrations to America and I have actually encountered some in Mexico).
Anyway from 1100 and during the next 200 years, the Gypsies slowly advanced southwest into Arabia, Egypt and North Africa, northwest into the Byzantine Empire and established themselves in the southern Balkan countries (Serbia, Moldavia, Bulgaria, Hungary and the surrounding area) before 1300. They entered Dubrovnik (modern-day Yugoslavia) before 1362, and had blanketed the Balkans by 1400.
The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries came as close to a Gypsy Golden Age as there had ever been. Gypsies covered Thrace, Macedonia, Greece, Yugoslavia and Rumania long before the Ottoman Turks conquered those lands. There was a large population at the seaport of Modon in the 1300’s, on the most popular route to the Holy Land, settled in the Gypsy Quarter, a tent-city just outside the city walls sometimes called Little Egypt. This exposure to pilgrims and the attitudes and privileges accorded to them may have led the Gypsies to adopt pilgrim personas once they spread into Western Europe.
By 1417, Gypsies were recorded in Germanic cities. In 1418, several thousand Gypsies under a leader called Count Michael showed up in Strassbourg. Gypsies were entering Brussels and Holland by 1420, Bologna in 1422, and showing up in Rome in July of that same year. They travelled into Spain by 1425 and Paris by 1427. By the middle of the century, rulers and town governments started banning Gypsies, usually citing theft, fortunetelling, begging and sometimes espionage as the reasons.
At this point their meteoric expansion westward stopped for almost a century. Groups traveled east from the Balkans into Russia, establishing themselves in Siberia by the early sixteenth century but they did not enter Great Britain until 1514, probably because a completely separate ethnic group, the Tinkers, already occupied Britain and performed the same roles Gypsies did in other countries: nomadic entertainers, knife-grinders, pot-menders, woodworkers, transient field employees and so forth. The impetus to enter the British Isles was probably given by late fifteenth century Spanish policies ruling against and banishing Gypsies. With nowhere else to go, they entered Britain, then finally Norway in 1544 and Finland in 1597.
Yes Jenn, the Gypsies have been persecuted and hunted… but so have the Jews… and I hope you don’t start censuring references to the word JEW, or try to keep me and others from posting for example “I want to be a errant Jew and travel the world”, because you find it’s a negative and stereotypical association that could disrespect the jewish people? Yes, the identity of the Gypsy as a separate people is still strong enough for them to remain the brunt of prejudice and hatred, a fact hammered home by the killing of half a million by the Nazis during World War II. Now, it may only be a few generations until any idea of nomadism is leached out of almost all Gypsies, but still NO, you have no right to try to censure a word.
…and YES I agree there is violence, racisim and hatred against the Roma people going on at the moment, and all those things we know about. But again, that does not give YOU the right to censure and prejudge ME, or for that case any other who’s intentions are clearly non discriminatory. If you are truly interested in doing something for the Romani people maybe you should get more involved and become an advocate for human rights, travel to the countries where the live and are being persecuted, support and defend them, act and not just talk Jenn…but please, don’t tell me I can’t put the word GYPSY on my humble tumblr blog, because its truly pathetic.
And now another huge NO to your, quote “When you dress like this, you are spitting in the face of that culture” if I do dress like these images I posted, which I really don’t, just sometimes wish I did because they inspire me. I love the flowy dresses, long skirts so used in Flamenco, the colorful scarfs, the lovely freedom their clothing allows the body, the natural movement it has, but that you so sadly tinted with uglyness…Quote ”It contributes to the fetishization and sexualization of the Roma. Women are assaulted physically and sexually, because of this type of thing. They are raped, simply because they are believed to be “Easy” because of these “Positive stereotypes” you’re so quick to buy into”. Jenn, wow, thats a bit quick to judge dont you think?
Personally through posting these images I am celebrating the beauty of a culture I happen to appreciate and respect greatly, a culture I have had the opportunity to encounter in various occasions in my life and for which I have a high regard for its traditions and its people. Funny enough this winter I bought an original Roma vintage blouse from Roma Gypsies in Berlin selling at the Christmas market, who have absolutely no problem in me “dressing like this”.
So in general I think you are WRONG, and although I do see the good intention behind your cries, I also see a terrible ignorance, great anger and frustration that is being sheltered in the form of a blog. I believe the problem is not in naming something, that is what language is for: the problem is in the intention behind the language: tha is the true racism, the true hatred and the violence; those things unfortunately exist in a realm so tangible, so true that its beyond the written word, its reality. THIS my fellow blogger is something I will never be a part of.
So please, I know you feel you are defending a cause, and by all means keep it up but leave my humble blog alone, let me enjoy the beauty these images and these people. THE GYPSIES have shown me and given to the world great beauty, far from the trouble let me be inspired by their music, their dance, their clothing… their freedom, color and joy, their nomadic spirit and great love of life. Let me enjoy the image the word GYPSY brings to my head, without your making it feel like a dirty word. For me it stands for so much more than the racism and violence you see, for me it brings back amazing memories. It evokes all the times I’ve danced flamenco with the Gitanos in the caves in Granada, Spain, or been in dark smoky tablaos in Madrid as a student, or read Garcia Lorca talking about “El Duende” and the Gypsy Cante Hondo. All the times the Yugoslavian Roma girls came to my apartment in Naples for coffee and glypse at a Payos life, me, but more than that I erned their trust and they were my friends! Or memories of long conversations with the old Mexican gypsy of Romanian descent that had the stance of a queen, long flowy skirts, eyes like the sky and a green parrot on her shoulder, I don’t know how she managed but the cigarette never fell off her mouth. She was part of a family of Gypsies that traveled around the coast of Mexico taking cinema to the most remote places in the country, memories of dancing, singing, eating fish with our hands in the middle of their caravans, surrounded by goats, chickens, children and laughter. All this is what the word GYPSY means to me. As does the memory of my Flamenco teacher in New York City: Teresita La Tana, holding on to stories of past glory, dancing in the theaters of New York for presidents and having standing ovations, she was old but still a proud beautiful Gypsy that mastered the castanets like nobody I’ve seen.
So I suggest you end this censuring of others, specially when there is no real call for it and its just an expresion of an obvious frustration you are not handling correctly, this going around looking for the Tag “Gypsy” and pointing your righteous little finger…saying (quote)“YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO THESE THINGS”. because you become just as much fascist as the people that you are are beating the Roma Gypsies for having such a strong sense of self expressed in their culture. So I say I resist! I resist you and what you stand for, the same as they have resisted for millennia to be quieted. I have every right to these things. I have a Gypsy spirit, Gypsy is also an idea, a concept, not only a people, I have traveled the world and call it all my home, and I will continue to say Gypsy, gypsy, gypsy …or “Atzinganoi,” the Byzantine term or “Zigeuner” in German or the French “Tsiganes,” in Italian “Zingari,” the Hungarian “Cziganyok.” Romanian “Roma” and the spanish, with whom I’ve had most contact “GITANOS” and can say in my mother tongue! VIVA LA LIBERTAD!
How dare you.
HOW FUCKING DARE YOU try and monopolize our history this way. You think one website tells you everything about our history? You think that we are not aware that there are many different kinds of people labeled under the slur of gypsy.
You are everything that is wrong with this world.
You have no right to appropriate the word. Wikipedia is edited by people, and unfortunately people like you keep putting in that ‘gypsy’ is a lifestyle or clothing choice. As many times as I take that out, some asshole replaces it.
It’s only in the US that people act like this. So pretentious and privileged as to have no regard for others.
I saw your original post but did not reply. I was too angry. Too upset.
But what do MY feelings count? The feelings of the minority you obviously care so little about?
You cannot change the meaning of a word just by wishing it so. You claim to know words and claim that intent is magical. Intent has nothing to do with it. You cannot make a wolf into a sheep just by calling it so. I’ve said this many times. I am so tired of little girls like you pissing all over my peoples graves with your stupidity.
I’ve explained nicely, I’ve avoided replying, but I CANNOT STAND WHEN PEOPLE LIKE YOU TRY TO USE OUR OWN HISTORY AGAINST US, as if we were some how ignorant of our own travel and our own past. I know more about any of that than you’ll ever be able to copy-paste from Wikipedia.
By posting mislabeled images on Tumblr, you are not celebrating anything. You are doing what YOU want, as your people have always done, with no concern for anyone else. Obviously, since you took the time to write this huge defensive post about leaving your blog alone.
I hope that all the Roma and other groups here do not leave your blog alone.
There is only ONE REASON that Roma and other groups have been nomads for centuries—and that is because of bigotry and hatred which has forced us to move whether we wanted to or not. You think your photos are innocent, but they are misrepresenting a whole group of people and only aiding in the mystification and romanticization which is often cited even in these cases. Oh but they’re nomads, they can go live somewhere else….
Also, your comparison to the word Jew is ridiculous and deliberately inflammatory. Don’t you know that the word Jew is actually what the people are called? It is NOT a racial slur. Yes, the Jews suffered in the Holocaust, as did my people, but the word was never applied to them as a purely racial slur as the word gypsy has been. The word was NEVER a positive word, even from it’s beginnings (the first written account in the 1300s by Simon Symeonis a Franciscan Monk who traveled from Ireland to Crete in Greece where he called the “Gypsies” accursed of Heaven and doomed to wander. Nice huh?
I don’t ever hear anyone complaining that the word Jew is a racial slur, do you?
You think that your blog is just a blog. Just as you think the word gypsy is just a word. You fail to see the consequence of your actions. Your blog does not just fall into some vacuum in cyberspace. It is indexed and logged and recycled every day by Google and other search engines. When you use the word, you are putting it out there—in the world—for many thousands of people to see.
You think you have the RIGHT to use the word because YOU said so…
That is a racist viewpoint. Would you say then, that you also have the right to use the word Nigger? or Spick? Because they are the same kinds of words. You really need to check your privilege and stop walking all over us.
You’re not being cute or clever, or even particularly smart.
You’re just showing your ignorance and privilege, which by the way, is a very ugly combination.
What the hell is this? O_o
Nice takedown of the OP at least, though it sucks that you have to keep repeating the same points over and over.
Dželem Dželem - Roma National Song.
So apparently it’s International Roma Day?
Also talented singers/musicians are talented.
I recently read something written by an amazing Rom (who I can’t name, or share what they wrote.. for reasons)… but it made me think a great deal about what I talk about here and how I talk about it.
I have fallen into the trap… the trap of letting my feelings define my experience. I feel shut out by American Roma, so I insist that they can’t understand a British Roma… or a European Roma. However, that insistence negates American Roma experience and continues to undermine their position here.
YES, there are differences between British/Euro Roma and American Roma—sometimes quite large differences, however,we are all Roma.
I realized that American Roma have experienced similar discrimination and oppression to Brit/EU Roma, only it has been perpetrated in a different, often less obvious way. There are a little over 1 million Roma in the United States (for reference, there are about 2 million Native Americans)… and they have been systematically oppressed for generations.
I suppose, what I am trying to say is that I am tired of the “I am Amerikan Rom so I am more Roma / I am EU Rom so I am more Roma”…
there is no better or ‘more’ anything… I find the attitude of Amerikan Romanichal particularly difficult to swallow—but, I am learning that these attitudes were born out of similar struggles that I (and fellow Brit/EU Roma) faced. We just came out of it differently.
It doesn’t matter.
We are all Roma.
And I wish that we could all understand this and realize that no one is “more” or “less” of anything…
Reblogging for a friend.
is one of my favourite Lotfitka phrases.
It means a “dark and thick forest”
My grandmother would tell stories of the čemnò ľignjò veš and the vošesko bilačho (evil spirits) who lived there. These were the bormolikò veš (haunted forest). The worst creatures who resided there were the vešeskiirò, or the goblins.
But, luckily for us, there was always a vošalo (forest guardian) who was looking out for the poor innocent children as they went to pick berries…
If a vešeskiirò came to attack them, the children would scream “O beng dur amendar!” (God, save us from the Devil), every time!! and the vošalo would call the karankoči (water spirit) who would come and finish off the vešeskiirò with her awesome water bending skillz (LOL!).
You know though, I’m still a bit scared of čemnò ľignjò veš and the vošesko bilačho!!!