Aj, Rromale!


Mišto aviljan ka o Aj-Rromale! Kado blogo si pe kultura thaj nevimata le Řomenge, thaj vunivar le Phirutnenge. Na dara te de amenge vareso te arakhes, kaj interesno tumen si. Te interesnil pe kongodi te žutil amen le blogosa, phen amenge!
Welcome to Aj-Rromale, a blog about the culture and world news of Romani, and sometimes Travellers. Please, feel free to submit anything of interest that you find. If anyone is ever interested in helping to run this blog, please let us know!

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Pe-l fotura po kado vebsajto! Le fotura thaj nevimata po kado sajto naj amenge, te či phenas. Sa le kreditura dinile si, thaj das bišajimo vebsajtosko ke šaj arakhas e informacija.

Te dikhes tire butja po kado vebsajto, thaj či mangan, ke avile kathe, te phen amenge thaj ame durjaras les.

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romalgbt

golden-zephyr:

Found a website today - Romalgbt - that is (unfortunately for most of my Roma followers) in Czech and is basically a free clinic for people in the Czech Republic. They offer an ear and free counseling to anyone who needs help.

romalgbt

Their tagline says it all: “jsem také člověk” - I am also a person.

They have pages about coming out, places of interest, links and how to contact them. It’s SUCH a great thing to see… Generally, LGBT is considered taboo (marime) by the older generations and we’re not even allowed to talk about it… so this is a great development. For my Czech followers:

“Ahoj holky a kluci,

vítejte na stránkách první romské LGBT (lesbické-gay-bisexuální-transgender) poradny. Proč zrovna romské? Protože i mezi námi jsou příslušníci LGBT menšiny. V našich rodinách je ale tohle téma často tabu a kolikrát nám chybí někdo, s kým bychom si mohli normálně promluvit.
I proto jsme založili poradnu, na kterou se můžete kdykoliv anonymně a zcela bezplatně obrátit, pokud:

- řešíte svou sexuální orientaci

- bojíte se reakce rodiny

- bojíte se reakce okolí (kamarádi, spolužáci, pracovní kolektiv)

- vaše rodina už to ví a má s tím problém, včetně toho, že čelíte fyzickému nebo psychickému nátlaku

- jste obětí šikany ve škole nebo na pracovišti

- řešíte jakýkoliv jiný problém, který souvisí s LGBT tematikou

Jak nás můžete kontaktovat?

Nejlépe e-mailem na adresu uvedenou v kontaktech. Záleží na vás, jestli dáváte přednost písemné nebo osobní komunikaci. Můžete nám svůj problém popsat, anebo jen mailem poslat telefonní číslo a my se vám ozveme.

Sami jsme prožili něco podobného co možná prožíváte teď vy, tak se nestyďte a klidně se ozvěte, jsme tu pro vás.”

Tagged: RromaRomaRomaniGypsyLGBTRomalgbtCzechreblog

Slovak TV: British authorities taking Czech and Slovak Romani children from their families [ROMEA]

golden-zephyr:

Starting on Monday of this week, an investigative reporting series on the Slovak television channel Joj has been mapping the completely scandalous behavior of social workers in Great Britain who have been taking children away from Romani families living there. The families are originally from either the Czech Republic or Slovakia. One social worker took three children away from a Romani family originally from the Czech Republic when their youngest son was only six weeks old. British authorities have not given any reason as to why the children were taken away. The family is said to have taken exemplary care of them.

To view the episodes online (in Slovak only):

21 August: http://www.joj.sk/relacia-noviny/noviny-archiv/2012-08-21-noviny-tv-joj.html

22 August: http://www.joj.sk/relacia-noviny/noviny-archiv/2012-08-22-noviny-tv-joj.html

“It’s a terrible feeling. No one has been able to help us - the powerlessness,” father Štefan David says in the news report. After the children were taken away he reportedly attempted suicide out of desperation.

“Three social workers stormed into our apartment with about six police officers,” mother Lucie Matejová said. The children’s father was put in handcuffs and their three children were stolen from them before their very eyes. “It’s very hard to look at their empty beds and pram,” the mother said.

The video footage clearly shows that the family is living very well and that their home is in exemplary order. “I still don’t know why they took them,” the desperate mother told TV Joj reporters.

Local Romani people have already protested the situation in front of the court. They all say the family took good care of their children and lived an orderly life. “These parents are excellent, they took care of them,” one protester said. “We will fight for them,” says another as the crowd chants “Give us back our children!” A court hearing on the removal of the children was supposed to be held yesterday but was postponed.

Authorities have also removed five children from a Romani family originally from Slovakia. “We would like to return home, but we’re not going anywhere without our children,” says mother Veronika Č.

TV Joj attempted to determine the reason the children were removed from their families, but no British officials would comment on the case. Children can only be removed from the custody of their biological parents under the supervision of social workers.

The parents are also complaining that the rooms in which they are officially allowed to visit their children are completely empty, without beds, tables or toys. They are permitted to visit them for 90 minutes only, during which time social workers monitor and record everything. The parents say the children are often hungry and ask them for food, but they are forbidden to bring them home-cooked meals. Witnesses say the situation is one of psychological terror.

ryz, TV Joj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

Tagged: RromaRomaRomaniGypsyROMEASlovakCzechUK

image

golden-zephyr:

„Das ist die Straff der einschleichenden Zigeiner“ (Toto je trest pro vluzující se Cikány). Výstražná dřevěná tabule z rakousko-českého pomezí. Nové Hrady, počátek 18. století.

(Ze sbírek Národního památkového ústavu, ú. o. p. v Českých Budějovicích)

Warning wooden boards from the Austro-Czech border. New Castleearly 18th century.


[Source: 
Druhá směna - Jak využívat dějiny Romů ve výuce na 2. stupni ZŠ, a new textbook for how to teach the history of the Roma in secondary education]

Tagged: gypsyRromaRomaRomaniCzechnewtextbookeducation

Police prevent neo-Nazis from attacking Romani residents of Břeclav

golden-zephyr:

Convening shortly after noon today, approximately 2 000 people set out from the Břeclav train station to express support for a 15-year-old boy who was brutally beaten last weekend by three allegedly Romani men. One of the conveners of the event was the right-wing extremist Workers’ Youth (Dělnická mládež - DM), some of whose members are neo-Nazi sympathizers.

Immediately after the start of the march, the DM and the Workers’ Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) seized the initiative to transform it into an anti-Romani event. The crowd then divided into two groups on the square, one listening to DSSS leader Vandas and the other engaging in discussion with Mayor of Břeclav Oldřich Ryšavý.

Demonstrators started assembling just after noon in front of the building of the main train station in Břeclav. At 13:00 they set out on a march to T.G.M. square and back. The event was scheduled to end at 15:00.

The original plan was to prevent demonstrators from accessing Romani neighborhoods in the town. The public spaces on two squares and 11 streets were reserved by the pro-Romani initiative Hate is No Solution (Nenávist není řešení). Together with Břeclav residents who disagreed with the neo-Nazi march, the initiative held an alternative event, a common lunch for all citizens of Břeclav without prejudice, on the lawn in front of the elementary school at Sovadinova 3.

ON-LINE REPORTING IN REAL TIME

16:28 - The situation in Břeclav is completely calm. Our on-line reporting is over. Thank you for your attention, we will report more information in an article summarizing today’s events.

16:02 - Volunteers from the IQ Roma servis association have been in the Romani locality all afternoon. “Tensions between the majority population and Romani people here are palpable. Many various groups are marching around the town right now. One small group of people was here, but they seemed more like drunks to me. They were carrying open beer bottles, some even had to be carried themselves. The police handled it and have the situation under control, it’s quiet here. IQ Roma servis and the Břeclav Roma hope the perpetrator of last weekend’s incident will be apprehended as soon as possible. Events like this one today just escalate tensions further,” Wail Khazal of IQ Roma servis told news server Romea.cz.

15:30 - A rambling group of people is now in Riegrova street. According to our information they are not radicals, but local youths who have been fortifying themselves with alcohol.

15:21 - The police anti-conflict team is convincing the neo-Nazis in Riegrova street to disperse.

15:19 - Czech media outlets are reporting that the organization of the demonstration was completely chaotic.

15:15 - The organizers of Sunday’s shared lunch in front of the elementary school have now arrived in the Romani locality in order to support the residents. They have unfurled their banners inside one apartment building.

15:12 - News server Novinky.cz is reporting that as many as 3 000 people participated in the march to support the injured boy. “However, the radicals experienced a fiasco, as no one was interested in the speech by the head of the Workers’ Social Justice Party, Tomáš Vandas,” writes the news server, referring to the fact that the crowd on the square divided into two parts.

15:06 - The neo-Nazis are verbally assaulting Romani people with racist insults. Cries of “Gypsies to the gas chambers” and similar slogans can be heard.

14:59 - Our correspondent reports that the riot police, without using force, have pushed the neo-Nazis away from the vicinity of the buildings occupied by Romani residents in Břeclav. Police have now entrenched themselves at the intersection of Husova and Riegrova streets.

14:53 - Oxana Zhyvachivska, the mother of the injured boy, has spoken to people on the town square in front of the town hall. “Thank you for coming out in such numbers,” she said.

14:47 - The crowd of neo-Nazis in Riegrova street, which is predominantly inhabited by Romani people, has grown by about 100. Police are calling on the neo-Nazis to disperse. Riot police are slowly moving against the crowd.

14:39 - News server tn.cz reports that the former Mayor of Břeclav, Dymo Piškula, has suggested that the state should force every Romani person to work.

14:36 - A group of about 30 neo-Nazis has separated itself from those returning to the train station and entered a street in the Romani neighborhood. The riot police are forming themselves into ranks to prevent them from attacking local Romani residents.

14:34 - The demonstrators leaving the square are now verbally assaulting the organizers of the lunch in front of the elementary school in Sovadinova street.

14:32 - News server Tn.cz reports that the organization of the protest march has failed. The crowd on the square is now chanting anti-Romani slogans.

14:22 - Some residents of Břeclav are remaining on the square to discuss the situation with the mayor. The number of participants is falling as people go home.

14:16 - Our correspondent on the scene reports that after a small group of about 15 neo-Nazis tried to get into Romani-inhabited buildings, a riot police van immediately arrived in the locality.

14:01 - The crowd on the square has divided itself into two groups. The larger group is standing with Mayor Oldřich Ryšavý in front of the town hall. The other group of demonstrators is standing near Tomáš Vandas and listening to his speech, during which people in the crowd are shouting harsh racist insults about Roma. Vandas has also attacked the mayor. “He’s a yellow-belly afraid for his seat. My fingers are crossed for you, throw out your mayor,” Vandas told his supporters.

13:55 Mayor of Břeclav Oldřich Ryšavý has repeated his request for residents to distance themselves from the right-wing extremists. The crowd has whistled him down. The mayor also told the crowd that police patrols in the town will be reinforced.

13:54 - The local Břeclavský deník has quoted Jan Neugebauer, the organizer of the alternative Sunday lunch in support of the beaten boy, as saying: “We are against racism, we don’t want to provoke the Břeclav residents, and we do not like how the Workers’ Youth has exploited today’s event.”

13:52 - South Moravian Governor Michal Hašek has been on the scene since morning. Prior to the start of the march, he told the Czech Press Agency that he firmly believed Břeclav residents would not be incited to displays of anti-Romani sentiment during the march. Unfortunately, the residents of Břeclav never heard that statement.

13:47 - The right-wing extremists are continuing to take advantage of the march in support of the injured boy to perform political agitation and collect signatures in support of the presidential candidacy of their leader, Tomáš Vandas.

13:38 - Demonstrators on T.G.M. square want Mayor of Břeclav Oldřich Ryšavý to speak.

13:34 - Small groups of neo-Nazis are wandering around Břeclav. Some are driving through the Romani localities. Our correspondent on the scene says these isolated, violent neo-Nazis pose a threat to Romani residents. The police helicopter has stopped monitoring the square and is monitoring the situation elsewhere.

13:31 - The local Břeclavský deník reports that some of the people on the square do not know the DM and DSSS are taking advantage of the situation. “I live in Břeclav, I heard about the attack, and I joined to express my support for the idea that people can’t just do whatever they like here, whether the assailants were Romani or not,” said resident Jaroslav Jeřábek. He said he had no idea the march had been convened by the DM.

13:26 - The situation on the square is unpredictable. DSSS leader Tomáš Vandas wanted to make a speech, but a large portion of the demonstrators ignored him and moved away, taking up positions in front of the town hall, where they are discussing the situation with the mayor. Vandas has tried to speak to the crowd, but the original organizers of the march, the friends of the beaten boy, don’t want him to speak, our correspondent on the scene reports.

13:20 - News server Tn.cz reports that prior to the march, police officers found loose paving stones stashed away along the announced route.

13:16 - The march, led by the neo-Nazis, has made it to T.G.M. square.

13:11 - Banners are being carried that read: “Gypsies, you’ve fucked up”, “Let’s stop gypsy terror”, and “While the town hall sleeps, the gypsy murders”.

13:08 - The neo-Nazis are chanting: “Where are those whores?”

13:07 - The local Břeclavský deník reports that police officers in front of the train station have determined that one of the neo-Nazis is carrying a tonfa. People are starting to chant the racist slogan “We want a white Bohemia” and to whistle.

13:04 - The march has transformed from one in support of the beaten boy to a racist march against Romani people. People are carrying signs reading: “How nice it is when no gypsies are in town”, “Only in Bohemia is the nation terrorized by an ethnic minority”. Some are chanting: “We don’t want them here!”

13:03 - The local organizers of the march have managed to halt some of the demonstrators. Only right-wing radicals are heading to the town square.

13:02 - The right-wing radicals are ignoring the local organizers and are leading the march through the town. The local organizers are doing their best to stop participants from marching with the DM and DSSS, but the radicals are continuing to escalate the situation and doing their best to provoke people to join the anti-Romani protest.

12:58 - Petra Vedrová, spokesperson for the South Moravian Regional Police, told the Mediafax press agency that “We estimate the number of marchers at 2 000 people for the time being, of whom about 150 are radicals.”

12:52 - The number of marchers is rapidly rising. News server Tn.cz reports 2 000 people standing in front of the train station. Some are starting to chant anti-Romani slogans.

12:44 - The predominantly Romani localities of Břeclav are completely calm.

12:37 - About 1 000 people are standing in front of the train station. Our correspondent says the crowd includes both local residents and right-wing radicals. People are chanting and whistling.

12:32 - Police have not yet noted any incidents. “Most people are mobbing the train station, but we have not yet noted rioting or anything like that,” the local Břeclavský deník reports South Moravian Regional Police spokesperson Petra Vedrová as saying.

12:29 The correspondent for news server Romea.cz reports that a group of about 20 locals has just verbally assaulted him because of his skin color. “Luckily they just attacked me verbally,” he reports.

12:26 - About 30 people are on the lawn in front of the elementary school in Sovadinova street holding a protest against neo-Nazis in Břeclav and in support of the beaten boy. They are having lunch together and holding banners that read “Hate is No Solution”, “Stop Nazis” and “Only three people are guilty”.

12:18 - The DSSS has taken advantage of the march in support of the beaten boy to distribute political propaganda and gather signatures for the candidacy of Tomáš Vandas for President of the Czech Republic.

12:13 - The first demonstrators are meeting up at the train station. The leader of the DSSS, Tomáš Vandas, can be seen standing in front of the vestibule.

10:40 - In the Romani localities of Břeclav there is total calm, nothing is happening. “Many police officers are patrolling Břeclav. Vans with riot police in them are driving around, the police helicopter just flew by a moment ago,” the Romea.cz correspondent reports from the scene

Romea.cz

Tagged: RromaRomaRomanigypsygypsiesczech republicczechROMEA

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Many Roma suffer from poverty and unemployment

Tagged: photoromanigypsyCzech

Source: dw-world.de

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"Roma live in practically every corner of the earth"

(source: Romani Literature)

Tagged: photoromanigypsyRomaniaMacedoniaCzech

Source: oocities.org

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Vladimír Burjan

(source: PALADIX foto-on-line)

Tagged: photogypsyromaniczech

Source: paladix.cz

Leading international ob-gyn organization issues new ethical guidelines on sterilization

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has issued its first new ethical guidelines on the performance of sterilizations in 10 years. The revised guidelines address the conditions under which it is ethical for doctors to perform sterilizations. So far the guidelines have been translated into Romanian, a country where allegations have been made of the involuntary sterilization of Romani women, which has also occurred in Hungary and in communist Czechoslovakia and its successor states. Why have these guidelines been issued, and do they have a real chance of influencing medical practice in the countries where sterilizations are performed? News server Romea.cz interviewed human rights expert Gwendolyn Albert on these developments.

Read More

Tagged: newsromanigypsyEuropeHungaryCzechSlovakia

Source: romea.cz

Romani activists demand Czech PM discipline those responsible for police failure in Rumburk

Romani activists demand Czech PM discipline those responsible for police failure in Rumburk Litvínov, 28.8.2011 16:57, (ROMEA) 3Share

According to unverified information issued by the Czech Press Agency, there is relative calm in Šluknov district today, but the tension has not been relieved. No demonstrations or protests have been announced, but police remain on alert, according to Petra Trypesová, spokesperson for the Děčín Police. Last night several dozen extremists met in Rumburk and threatened to thrown petrol bombs, but no such incidents occurred. The Czech Press Agency reports that police riot units were allegedly on alert, and police officers are said to have followed and monitored various small groups of people.

Romani members of the Forum CZ association and Roma Aven Jekhetane, a Facebook group against racism, are outraged by the exacerbated situation in North Bohemia and have written an open letter to Czech PM Petr Nečas. News server Romea.cz publishes their letter in full below:

Esteemed Mr Prime Minister,

We are turning to you and the government you lead with serious concerns and outrage over the exacerbated situation which is currently playing itself out in the Šluknov foothills in North Bohemia. Citizens of Nový Bor, Rumburk and Varnsdorf are radicalizing with the support of the media and radical extremists using mobile telephones and social networking sites. As a result citizens who are members of the Romani national minority are suffering dangerous threats to their health and property and serious restrictions to their personal liberty.

We Roma are completely aware of the seriousness of the felonies committed recently in the above-mentioned towns and we condemn those crimes. We remind you that these were crimes committed by individuals who are now being prosecuted according to the legal order currently in force and that under no circumstances should the principle of collective guilt be applied, as is happening today through the media and on town squares. That sort of undesirable “advertising” and generalizing statements harms and threatens all Romani people living in the Czech Republic.

In this context we must remind you and the Government of the Czech Republic not only of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, through which the Czech Republic has committed itself to upholding human rights, but also of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in particular, Article 4. Allow is to also remind you of the preamble to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the Constitution of the Czech Republic, and Article 24 of the Constitution.

Mr Prime Minister,

You are certainly aware of the fact that you bear primary responsibility for the state in which the Romani national minority currently finds itself, not only because you are Prime Minister, but also because by law you are chair of the Czech Government Council for National Minorities. What steps have you personally taken to see that the Government intensively concerns itself with the issue of anti-Gypsyism, racism, segregation, or social exclusion so that the situation would not get so far out of hand as to result in attacks on Romani people? What conditions have you, in your position as Prime Minister, created so that Romani people in the Czech Republic won’t be living on the periphery of society, won’t be excluded from it, won’t be forced to live in conditions comparable to regions where people suffer from a lack of food and civil wars are waged? What are you doing so Romani people won’t have to flee their homes because of fear, poverty, and racial attacks?

In Rumburk, 1 500 people gathered on the square to protest crime. However, after the opening speeches, a mob of people marched through the town for an hour and a half without police intervening at all, through neighborhoods where they did their best to attack local Romani people, even though their march had not been announced to authorities and police had legal reasons to immediately disperse it and ensure public order. In the end, the mob attacked a building where Romani people live, destroying the fence around it, threatening local citizens who are members of the Romani national minority and obstructing their liberty.

During Saturday night and Sunday morning, people assisted and supported by the Czech Police stood in front of Romani homes and threatened to throw the Molotov cocktails they had with them, directly endangering the lives of Romani people in Rumburk. None of the people making those threats were ever charged with so much as a misdemeanor. Police restricted the movements of correspondents and journalists working for news server Romea.cz and prevented them from properly documenting these events.

In this context, we remind you of the unjustified police intervention earlier this year against a religious gathering in Krupka (Teplice district), when police dispersed a peaceful gathering even though the crowd included children, clergy, senior citizens and women. Recently in Most, with the assistance of the Czech Police, followers and promoters of the Ku Klux Klan, calling themselves the “Order of the Cogwheel” (Řáda ozubeného kola) freely marched through the streets and among buildings where Romani people live. Even though the marchers’ faces were covered, police found no reason to disperse their assembly. Police intervention would have been entirely justified in Rumburk.

Through these shows of force, the Government and governmental actors are inciting citizens to racial intolerance. Some politicians are making speeches that exponentially magnify [non-Romani] people’s feeling that the only solution to various cases of felonies committed by Romani people - which the media are intentionally highlighting - is genocide, perhaps using the army to commit it. (Editor’s Note: See the remarks made by Czech Senator Doubrava).

For the reasons outlined above, we demand you immediately discipline those responsible both at the Interior Ministry and at the Police Presidium. If you yourself are unable to ensure the security of all citizens irrespective of their nationality, you should tender your resignation to the Czech President.

We hereby inform you that we will be filing a detailed report on this entire incident to international institutions monitoring human rights and freedoms.

Respectfully yours,

Miroslav Kováč

on behalf of the Forum CZ association and Roma Aven Jekhetane, a Facebook group against racism

Miroslav Kováč, on behalf of the Forum CZ association and Roma Aven Jekhetane, a Facebook group against racism, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

[Source: Romea.cz]

Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzechLitvínov

Source: romea.cz

Czech Republic: Movement calls on citizens not to escalate tensions

The “Citizens for the Town, the Town for Citizens” movement (Občané městu, město občanům - OMMO) has issued the following statement on the situation in northwestern Bohemia:

The situation in northwestern Bohemia has palpably escalated in recent days. The entire affair has several levels to it, the most fundamental being the poor economic and social situation in places where people are now living in complicated conditions. It is desirable to differentiate that situation from the criminal activity linked in particular to violent crimes such as the one committed in Rumburk. Such crimes should be investigated and those responsible should be punished according to the law.

The performance of such crimes is related to the overall escalation of tensions and the bad atmosphere predominating in society, and is related to how the results of economic and social reforms are impacting various social groups. On the other hand, it is not possible to passively watch the dangerous and heterogeneous (for the time being) activation of various groups whose intention is not to find solutions, to make room for them to be enforced and to maintain calm so they can be implemented, but whose intention is the further escalation of tensions toward a possibly violent outcome. In this sense we consider the engagement in these matters of some highly placed legislators and politicians across the political spectrum to have been unfortunate. Their public appearances and statements are making the situation even more confused and uncertain.

In this sense, we forcefully call on the authorities, both political and professional, to remember their responsibility to society and their own civic role and to thoroughly distance themselves from the very dangerous tendencies now tending toward several dangerous analogies from our past. We mean, for example, the period before World War Two, when various manifestations of cultural, ideological, racial, and social intolerance were turned not only against individuals, but against entire groups of inhabitants and made a very malign contribution to developments in this country.

We call on all reasonable citizens not to let themselves be stirred up to unconsidered displays of malice. Let’s do our best to distinguish the causes and effects of current events in society. Let’s create active pressure on political representatives at all levels of executive and legislative power, including municipalities, to stop seeking reasons to intensify social differences and to instead renew their efforts to craft political tools to resolve the situation. A further escalation in tensions could mean losses for society as a whole - not just personal losses, but the society-wide loss of an atmosphere of calm, a sense of our values, and the feeling of human solidarity and mutual trust.

Hana Svobodová, 1st vice-chair of OMMO, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

[Source: Romea.cz]

Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzechMost

Source: romea.cz

The Language of the Roma


The Romani language, even though it is now comprised of a number of different dialects, belongs to the family of Indo-European languages in a group that includes other languages of Indian origin, such as Hindi and Bengali. The affinity of Indo-European languages is revealed in various terms, such as the Czech bratr, English brother, Sanskrit bhratr, Romanyphral (an aspirated p, not an /f/ sound). Romany, however, is far from a unified language. Due to the diaspora of individual groups of Roma, there are a number of main dialects of the Romani language, although Roma from different parts of the world are able to understand one another.

The vocabulary of all dialects of Romany, just as in other languages, is made up of original words, loan-words, and newly-invented words.

Original words are old words of Indian origin and words borrowed long ago, from Iranian languages, from Armenian and a number from Greek as well, in other words, from the countries through which all groups of Roma travelled on their way from India to Europe. This part of the Romani language is universal, and these words still survive in modern usage and appear in every dialect of Romany.

Loan-words are those that were picked up by Romani groups as they spread out through Europe, from the tongues of the countries they travelled through after they left Asia Minor. In the case of the Slovakian Roma (who make up the majority of Roma in the Czech Republic), these loan-words come primarily from Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Slovak, Rumanian, Ukrainian, Polish, and German (from it’s Swabian dialect). The words incorporated into Romany in this fashion are terms for what was unknown to them at the time. This vocabulary is unstable and is often replaced by words from a new contact language, in the case of Slovak Roma living in the Czech Republic, from the Czech language.

The newest words in Romany, neologisms, which every living language has, are created words or foreign words that are borrowed from the environment in which the Roma live. Like the Czechs’ current fight against English, however, the Roma attempt to create their own words for new things.

In the lands of the former Czechoslovakia, there are three main dialects: Slovak, Hungarian, and Wallachian (from the southern part of Rumania). The Slovak dialect is the most common, spoken by 80% of Roma in the Czech and Slovak Republics, while the Hungarian and Wallachian dialects make up an additional 10% each. The Roma who speak the Wallachian dialect are able to communicate with other Roma around the world most easily.

A written grammar of the Romany spoken in the Czech Republic, along with a Romany-Czech, Czech-Romany dictionary, was written by Milena Hubschmanova, Hana Sebkova a Anna Zigova, and published in 1991 by Pedagogicke nakladatelstvi (Pedagogical Publishing).

The pronunciation of Romany is phonetic, that is, it more or less corresponds to the way it’s written. Therefore, Czechs are able to read texts written in the dialect of Romany prevalent in the country as if they were written in Czech. This holds true for most Romany dialects, that they are written to correspond to the pronunciation of the given language of that country. For instance, the word for man in Romany is written manus (with an inverted circumflex over the s) in the dialect of Romany spoken in the Czech Republic, but in Romany texts published in English, it would be written manoush or manush.

Unlike Czech, Romany has aspirated consonants, or sounds pronounced with a light breath. The four sounds aspirated in Romany are: kh, ph, th and chh. The aspirated consonants give different meanings to the letters, so their omission or mispronunciation can lead to misunderstandings. For example, the word perel means to fall, while pherel means to gather.

There is also a sound used quite often in Romany that the Czechs don’t use much, the ‘dz’, pronounced like the ‘j’ in English. Romany also uses the soft ‘l’, pronounced the same as it is in Slovak and Polish, as something between an ‘l’ and a ‘w’. Romany also has soft consonants like Czech, pronounced like the first ‘n’ in onion, which are identified by accent-like marks. For example, in e dila (floor) the ‘d’ is hard, but in o d’ives (day), pronounced ody-ivess, the ‘d’ is soft.

Romany also uses articles, unlike Czech, and has eight declensions as well as an indirect declension. Seven of the declensions correspond more or less with those in Czech, with the extra being the ablative case. Words are also declined according to male and female gender, singular and plural.

To ilustrate with an example from The Patrin site, originally published by the UNESCO Courier, using the plural of phral (brother) to demonstrate the uses of the declensions:

Nominative:phrala(the brothers as a subject)Genitive:phralengo(of the brothers)Dative:phralenge(to the brothers)Accusative:phralem(the brothers as an object)Vocative:phralale(brothers!)Locative:phralesta(in/on the brothers)Instrumental:phralensta(with the brothers)Ablative:phralendar(by the brothers)

Nouns are declined according to whether they are original or borrowed words. Nouns and adjectives in Romany are used in the diminutive very frequently.

Verbs are expressed the same as in Czech, in either the infinitive or by person (first, second, or third), in past, present or future tense, in the singular or plural, in the perfective or imperfective, in declarative, imperative or conditional mode, and as active or passive. The infinitive is introduced by the word te (te kerel - to do), the negative by the word na (kerav - I do, nakerav - I don’t do), and the by word ma in the imperative (ma ker - don’t do that!). Verbs are conjugated by modifying their endings with word stems.

The verb to have doesn’t exist in Romany. Possession is expressed by word structure, in a similar fashion as in Russian.

Adjectives and adverbs are made comparative and superlative the same way as in Czech, and somewhat similarly to English: a suffix is added to form the comparative and then an additional prefix is added to form the superlative ( baro - velky - big, bareder - vetsi - bigger, jekhbareder - nejvetsi - biggest).

The usage of vy and ty (the formal and informal you, used in practically every European language but English) has adapted to the Czech surroundings: while many Roma until recently used the third person plural (them) when talking about a respected or deceased person and children addressed their parents and grandparents in the formal vy (you), this custom has died out in most cities and towns and the use of the formal and informal you is the same as in Czech.

Of course, it must be remembered that these rules may vary among the various dialects of Romany, and we are talking about the dialect presently spoken in the Czech Republic.

[Source: Romove.Radio.cz]

Tagged: RomanilanguagedialectCzechEastern Europe

Dissatisfied ethnic Czechs cruising Rumburk, no Romani people out

Local people in Rumburk reported earlier today that right-wing, ethnic Czech extremists were allegedly organizing and planning further attacks there with the support of others from around the republic. A public meeting was supposed to take place there at 21:00 CET this evening.

Fortunately, no attacks on any Romani people have occurred yet. Shortly after 21:00 CET the meeting location was occupied only by riot police and about 15 ethnic Czechs who were there out of curiosity. Police officers escorted them away from the scene.

The streets of Rumburk are calm for the time being. A reporter for news server iDNES.cz says small groups of unsatisfied locals are moving through the streets and some are cruising the town in cars. “However, there are no Romani people on the streets at all because they are afraid of additional attacks and threats,” news server iDNES.cz reports.

ROMEA, Czech Television, Mediafax, iDNES.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

[Source: Romea.cz]

Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzechRumburk

Source: romea.cz

Czech Republic: Romani residents protest in Rumburk against yesterday’s pogrom

Approximately 30 Romani people in Rumburk have met on the square to protest against yesterday’s unprecedented behavior by a mob of ethnic Czechs who marched through the town and did their best to attack local Roma without police intervening. The mob attacked a Roma-occupied home and destroyed a fence surrounding it.

"We are protesting against what happened here yesterday," a demonstrator on the square told Czech Television. The man also said many families had fled Rumburk prior to the mob’s spree yesterday.

VIDEO
Romani residents protest in Rumburk against yesterday’s pogrom

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

[Source: Romea.cz]

Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzechRumburk

Source: romea.cz

Czech Republic: Municipality and police refused aid to Roma threatened with murder

"On Friday evening a nine-member Romani family contacted me asking for help. They said their neighbors in Rumburk were threatening them and they were afraid," Robert Ferenc of the Čačipen civic association told news server Romea.cz. "They had already fled their house before noon. They walked through the forest and made it here to Krásná Lípa, where I asked other Romani people to take care of them."

The Romani family, which is not connected to any of the recent incidents of violence recently committed in Šluknov forest, is terrified by the current situation. “Our neighbor threatened to kill us. He said we would all be dead by nightfall, including the children,” the mother of the family told internet television channel ROMEA TV. She is an ethnic Czech and her husband is Romani.

The family did their best to contact the police and the Rumburk town hall, but no one would help them. “They told us we should leave and hide, that it didn’t matter where we went,” the woman described the scandalous advice given by the town hall. “The police told us to shut ourselves in our home and to call them if someone happened to bang on the door,” she said, adding that their next advice was the same as that from the town hall: “Leave and hide somewhere else.”

The family says other Romani people have been forced to flee Rumburk as well.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

[Source: Romea.cz]

Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzechRumburk

Source: romea.cz

Czech Republic: Romani family, threatened with murder in Rumburk, flees

Yesterday a Romani family was forced to flee Rumburk after their neighbors threatened to kill them. Neither the police nor the Rumburk town hall was able to help them. Temporary asylum was provided to them by Robert Ferenc of the Romani association Čačipen in Krásná Lípa.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
ROMEA

[Source: Romea.cz]

Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzechRumburkantiziganismracism

Source: romea.cz