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!

Regarding the content on this website!
The images do not belong to us unless stated. All credit is given to the owner and websites linked up if we can find the information. The same goes for the news articles.

If you ever see your own work on this website and you do not want it to be shared here, please contact us and we will remove it.

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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Traditional Romani Dress: The Picture Guide


Ruska Romani (Kalderash of Russia)


Polska Romani (Kalderash of Poland)


Căldărari (Kalderash of Romania)


Kalderash of Ukraine


Kale Romani

Manouche (Kale Romani of France)


Iberian Kale (Kale Romani of Spain)


Romanichal (Kale of the British Isles & America)

(The group that popularized the “Gypsy” Vanner & the Romani vardo)
Sometimes, I feel so… betrayed.
Hoya hoya hoyahoya paranoia.No ti dura.
(She is very light in complexion. The Romanichal vary in skin complexion & hair color, just like every other Romani sub-group)

Kàlo (Romani Kale of Finland & Sweden)


(Romani of Austria & Germany)


Xoraxane (Romani of Turkey)
File:Smyrne Group of Gypsy.jpg

Lovari (Romani of Hungary & Slavic countries)


Machvaya (Romani of the Balkans & Southern Hungary)


Gurbeti (Romani of the former Yugoslavia)


Romani of Macedonia
File:Macedonian Gipsies.jpg

Rroma (Romani sub-group dispersed from Northern Italy to the Balkans)


The Romani are separated into various nations, sub-groups, tribes & family groups. The division & self-identification among Romani is rather complex. In short, we are divided into four categories: Vlax, Sinti, Kale & Rroma.

The Kalderash are the largest Vlax nation. The Ruska & Polska Romani, as well as some Eastern European Romani groups who self-identify by their country are part of the Kalderash Nation.

The Lovari are another sub-group of the Vlax Nation. The Machvaya of Serbia & other small Balkan groups are essentially branches of the Lovari. Over time, separation occurred between Romani of the Balkans & their Lovari parent group. Some Romani still self identify as Lovari-Machvaya, or Balkan Lovari, others self identify only as Machvaya or their respective Balkan group.

The Gurbeti are also considered part of the Vlax nation, though they do not always self identify as such. 

The Xoraxane, the Romani of Turkey, are generally lumped under the Vlax nation, though they no longer self identify as Vlax. The Xoraxane are the Romani who settled in Turkey, while splinter groups continued to migrate north into the Balkans & other parts of Europe. Their settlements are some of the oldest Romani communities in the world, though many young Xoraxane Romani no longer speak the Romani language.

The Rroma are dipsersed throughout Central & Southeastern Europe. They are generally identified by the region in which they live; Carpathian, Burgenland, Balkan, or Greek. They contain sub-groups such as the Ungrika of Hungary, the Lucani & Calabresi of Italy, and the Aškalija & Yerlii of the Balkans.

The Sinti are a Romani group who settled in the region of Austria, Germany & the former Czechoslovakia. There is sometimes contention as to whether the Sinti are a Romani sub-group as they often self-identify ethnically as Sinti, not Romani. However, their language, though influenced by German, is considered a dialect of the Romanes language, and is most closely related to the Kale dialect family.

The Kale are Romani who settled in regions of Western Europe. They consist of the Manouche of France, the Romanichal of the British Isles, the Kalo of the Nordic countries & the Kale of Spain, sometimes called the Gitanos.

As stated previously, self identification varies greatly amongst Romani. This explanation is a general overview & not in any way definitive of how certain Romani sub-groups may identify themselves. For example, my family self-identifies as Lovari-Machvaya, while many Machvaya no longer identify with this parent group. Also, Romanichal often simply identify as Romanichal, without mention of their Kale parent nation. Much of our self-identification depends on where a particular Romani sub-group has settled & from where they migrated and when. There are few Machvaya in Serbia who acknowledge their filial relationship with the Lovari, but there are Machvaya in America who continue to do so because they left this region before the groups become more geographically & linguistically separated.

There are also many Romani groups that have come about through different sub-groups continually inter-marrying with one another. We are not, at least not at the moment, in any way capable of tracing & identifying every single sub-ethnic population of the Romani. What is shown & discussed is of the most well known & documented Romani groups. There are over 80 identified dialects of our language, at the moment. There are likely far more than 80 self-identified Romani sub-ethnic groups.

The pictures above show general dress of these various nations & groups. Notably, the Sinti have managed to assimilate more in to mainstream society, and are perhaps the most assimilated of the various Romani groups. However, Germany & Austria had long forced assimilation through radical laws that went so far as to take the children of Sinti families & place them in families of non-Romani to be “civilized”.

The situation of each Romani nation & our various groups differs from country to country, even from family to family. Though, one can see the cohesive nature of this traditional dress. Given that we began our diaspora over one thousand years ago, relatively speaking, little has changed of our culture & language since we first entered Europe. 

The young Romanichal girl that is depicted, though her population as been separated from the Vlax for over five hundred years, and many miles, still traditionally braids her hair the same way as the Vlax Romani who remained in Eastern Europe. It is rather remarkable that we have managed to maintain our culture & language in this ever-changing world.

Tagged: photohistorycultureromanigypsysintecalekalemanouchekaaleromanichal

Rromane Sikljarimata and'o Teksasosko Universiteto (Kethano Drom) →

Dino sako bersh vajka primovare vajka tamne si ekh kurso angla e graduacija p’e rromane sikljarimata (and’o katalogo buchol “Gypsy Language and Culture”), thaj seminari partikolar si vunivar dine e maj vuche rrundoste pala e graduacija.

And’o universiteto si panch-shov membrura e fakultetoske intereznime thaj kaste si materiali pa’l Rrom ande penge klasura, thaj i sas membrura ande’l komitetura PHD thaj MA. O universitato e Teksasosko and’o Austin atunchi si but lacho than kaj te arakhen Tjiro kvalifikacija edukacijalni.

E vatra le kursoski si ande o dept. lingvistikalno numa si vi ande Studiji Azijane, Studiji Evropeane, Studihi Etnikalne, Studiji Slavichne thaj Evrazijane, Radio-Televizija-Filmo, Antropologija thaj Sociologija.

O ilo le kursosko si e chib amari. Vrjamasa e sikavimaske hatjerenas sar te parruven tekstura ekha alavarjasa, gazhikanes-rromanes thaj rromanes-gazhikanes. Le sekciji uladajile perdal o semestro, thaj keren fokus pe amari historija, e migracija, e kultura, o politik, e muzika, le xajimata, le munchi, o Porrajmos, e rrobija, e antirromizmo, e imazha le Rromengi, thaj e edukacija. Trubul Tuke te kines 390-patrjangi klishka le kursoske, katar o Speedway Copy ande o Dobie Mall (512-478-3334).

P’o pervo djes kam dav e anava vuni avre klishkjange kaj trubul Tuke. Kurso si kaj musaj te ramon makar tranda patrja ande duj hertiji – jekh avela arakhimata originalne thaj e aver avela rivju — so Tu gindis pa romano vaj shojo (filmo) kaj si les rromane xarakteri.

So maj, ekh dopashin Tjire paledne moleske avela katar shtar eksaminaciji kerde phandade klishkjansa and’o klaso perdal o semestro. Kol djesendar o universiteto phendjas ke mangel te barjol pesko fokus pe’l chiba thaj le kulturi ande e Sudazija¬kothal o spidipe maj te prinzharel e rromane sikljarimata feri shaj barjol. Aver universitetura ande’l Statura Kidine kaste si kursura p’e Rrom si The New University, Washington State, UCLA, Princeton, Michigan, Chicago, Maryland aj Pittsburgh.

Kethano Drom

Tagged: newsromanigypsylanguagecultureTexasUSAUSAmericaAustin

Roma teenagers go from Serbian slum to world stage →

BELGRADE — Ibrahim Gasi, his parents and brother live in a cardboard hut in a muddy Belgrade slum packed with scrap metal, but the young Roma singer has already starred on the stages of Montreal, Paris and London.

The 20-year-old Gasi, better known by his nickname Bibi, is the lead singer in a show highlighting the plight of the Roma, one of Eastern Europe’s most discriminated-against ethnic groups.

"Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats", starring Bibi and a dozen other Roma youth, tackles the casual racism they encounter in Serbia, a Balkan nation still grappling with the legacy of ultra-nationalist politics and the 1990s’ wars that stoked longstanding ethnic tensions.

"How much longer will we take this segregation?" sings Bibi in the Roma language. "We don’t ask for much, just a little respect and to be in touch."

The Roma, often called gypsies, a racially charged and outdated term, are an ethnic and often transient group originally from India that has been persecuted for centuries and sent to Nazi death camps in World War II.

Despite laws protecting them in some countries, Roma still face daily discrimination.

"In a bus, I very often meet a group of youth who start insulting me that I am a gypsy," Bibi said. "Even some kids in school that were friendly used to tell me ‘You are gypsy, I can’t hang around with you, my mum and dad don’t let me.’"

At a recent Belgrade performance, singers and dancers from the show — known by its acronym GRUBB — challenge the audience about the stereotypes they often face.

"All Roma people are thieves!" reads one message flashed onto a huge screen, as Bibi and his friends ask the audience if they have ever stolen anything.

More than half the people in the theatre sheepishly raise their hands.

"So, it is not only Roma people who are thieves," conclude the amateur actors, who fuse wild hip-hop dance moves and live brass music with traditional Roma songs.

Afterward, 16-year-old Nikola Milovancevic said he felt ashamed.

"When they say how we use expressions like ‘You are fighting like gypsies’ in everyday speech. We say that without a single thought that it can hurt someone," he said.

The show premiered in Belgrade last May and has since played monthly in the Serbian capital.

Its international success came with a London performance last summer, followed by a show at the Montreal international jazz festival that triggered standing ovations and sell-out performances.

The show is backed by RPoint, a British educational group that holds workshops to teach Roma kids to sing and dance — but there is a catch.

"They have to go to school regularly and be good students," RPoint spokeswoman Aleksandra Radetic said.

Serbia has one of Europe’s largest Roma populations, officially set at about 100,000 though the number is widely thought to be as much as five times higher.

Many, especially those living in slums, have never been registered or have no identity documents.

Few of the 86 percent of Roma who finish mandatory schooling at 14 make it to university level. In Bibi’s slum, residents collect scrap metal to make ends meet.

Bibi said in one school he attended nobody wanted to be friends with him or three fellow Roma students.

"They didn’t even obey teachers’ orders to play sport with us in gym class. It hurt a lot," Bibi said, explaining why he first quit school at age 11.

With RPoint’s support, he returned and now hopes to finish high school.

Hundreds of Roma children aged eight to 20 have taken part in RPoint’s music classes in Belgrade and Serbia’s other two largest cities, Nis and Novi Sad.

But it was only when Canadian theatre director Serge Denoncourt got involved that the project developed into the “GRUBB” show. After working with the kids for three years, Denoncourt said he was overwhelmed by their talent, and by their problems.

"They have dignity but they don’t have anything to be proud of, now we have to give them something to be proud of," Denoncourt said.

Apart from plans to return to Montreal, a possible 2012 European and American tour is being discussed. Denoncourt said he is even in negotiations with Broadway.

For its young stars, the show is already changing lives.

Dancer Kristijan Demirovic, who lived in Germany for 12 years, said when he returned to Serbia people “looked at me as if I was from Mars”, perhaps because he had developed a more confident attitude.

Performing in the musical has boosted the 18-year-old’s self-esteem.

"There is no better feeling than when you see 800 people watching you and applaud," he smiled. "It tops everything."

For Bibi the change is literally concrete.

"Before, I had to move from one slum to another every six months. This year, we plan to move into a real house," he said proudly, as his performance earnings have allowed his family to buy their first property.

(source: Subasic, Katrina. “Roma Teenagers Go from Serbian Slum to World Stage.” Google News. 28 Feb. 2012. Web. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gZufVLFLhpu5eaw16Wsx1DfIsoLg?docId=CNG.d4a3f70f7b7469fb07da6f41f13d037d.1e1)

Tagged: newsromanigypsycultureSerbiaBalkans

Sorsfordító találkozások - előzetes →

Read in English by means of Google Translate

December 11-én, vasárnap 11 órakor kezdődik a Sorsfordító találkozások roma magazin következő adása az Echot Tv-ben. A Műsorban többek között a nemzetiségi  színházról, irodalomról, a cigány nyelv és műfordítás helyzetéről lesz szó. A tartalomból:

- Amikor a cigány kultúráról beszélünk, többnyire a zene, a tánc, esetleg a hagyományos mesterségek és a képzőművészet jut az eszünkbe.Sokkal kevésbé ismerjük a cigány írók, költők, műfordítók munkásságát és mostoha sors jutott osztályrészül a színházi előadóművészeknek is.

December 11-én kezdődik az Arcus Nemzetiségi színházi fesztivál. Az egy hetes, több helyszínen zajló rendezvénysorozat programjában három roma társulat is szerepel. December 11-i műsor a Karaván Művészeti Műhelyt kereste fel. (Interjú Nyári Oszkárral)

- Ha a cigány irodalomról esik szó elsőként Lakatos Menyhért és Bari Károly neve jut eszébe mindenkinek. Azt már kevesen tudják, milyen színes és sokoldalú a kortárs cigány alkotók munkássága.

Ebből a gazdagságból kaphattunk ízelítőt a Cigány Tudományos és Művészeti Társaság által a közelmúltban szervezett irodalmi délutánon. (Részletek a rendezvény programjából és beszélgetés Pató Selam újságíró-műfordítóval)

-A gyermeki fantázia sosem pihen. Hogy milyen megtermékenyítő erővel bírhatnak a cigány írók, költők versei a fiatal korosztályok képzeletvilágára, arról a következő összeállításból is képet kaphatunk.

(A Lakatos Menyhért Józsefvárosi Művelődési Központ gyermek alkotó körének munkái)

(source: Kethano Drom)

Tagged: newsromanigypsyliteratureculturetheatreHungary

DrabarniFortune Teller


Characteristic features of traditional Roma professions are high proportions of flexibility and independence. In contrast to dependent wage workers they sell services and trade to the majority population. Contact with the Gadže is limited to purely economic interest. This independence is guaranteed by carrying out the professions together in economic communities.

Irrespective of whether the group leads a settled or nomadic life, in a traditional Roma community all members have the same occupation – provided that the conditions allow it. Comparable with the Indian caste society there is a relation between the group and the profession. Also those groups who have been forced to assimilate try to maintain these structures to a smaller extent.

The relevance of the traditional professions for the ethnic identity of the respective group is further emphasized by the fact that many Roma groups name themselves after their main occupation:

Bută Rromane

E romane bùtyange śerune xaraktera si o fleksibiliteto taj o biumblavdipe. Na sar e butyarne so umblavena pe penge pokinatar, von bikinen penge sevimata (servizo) taj keren śefto e gadźikane populaciasa. O kontakto e gadźenca numaj pala śeftura aćhol. Kado biumblavdipe si garantuime khatar o fakto, kajso e rom butyarena ande ekonomikane jekhetanipe.

Naj vastno/importanto e grupa te si phirutni vaj beśli, e tradicionalna rom sa jekh butyi kerena ande jekh kumpania – kana e krujalimata mekena kodo. Sarso vi maśkar e Indiaki kast sistema, arakhela pe relacia maśkar e grupa taj e profesia, i butyi so kerela. Vi e grupe so zumade te bilaren maśkar pende e gadźe, zumaven te inkren kadala strukture sarso śaj.

E tradicionalone grupangi etnikani identiteta si zurardo khatar o fakto, ke but romane grupi buśona pala pengi tradicionalno butyi:

(source: Culture / Kultura Kaskosan Wiki)

Tagged: romanigypsyartcultureoccupationtribeKalderariKalderashLovariLovaraUrsariDrabarniLautariChurariChurara



I’ve seen a screening of this film by my friend Meshakai Wolf. I highly recommend htis story of language, culture, displacement and following your passion in life. 

Sunday Nov. 13th
7:30 p.m.
Kaufmann Theatre
American Museum of Natural History
Get tickets here

Synopsis: As a songwriter and poet, Muzafer Bislim collaborates with the biggest names in Romani pop music and is gaining renown with an invitation to the International Biennial of Poets in Paris. But his masterpiece, a handwritten, 25,000 word, multi-dialect dictionary containing the oldest and most obscure words in the Romani language remains largely unknown. Seeing the trip to Paris as an opportunity to have the dictionary published, he gathers up the amassed pages of his life’s work and heads to France to save the legacy of the dying Romani language.

Tagged: romanifilmmoviesdocumentaryculturegypsys



deep look from the gipsy village by energeticspell on Flickr.

Tagged: gipsyromaculturevillageromaniaruralcetatenithebestpicturegallery


THE second series of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is being blocked because of a row with ­travellers where bosses wanted to film.

The show was due to be screened next year but f­amilies at Dale Farm, ­Britain’s biggest gypsy site, have barred producers for “misrepresenting” the community.

Spokesman Jake Fulton said: “The residents do not have the energy to talk to the crews the whole time.

“They feel they were misrepresented in the first series and do not want them on the site anymore.”

But Channel 4 is confident the series will be finished and said not all families had opted out of the show.

A spokesman added: “We filmed there recently, have good relationships with a number of people and are still in contact.

The first series was a fair and accurate representation of what happened during filming, and we hope to continue to tell the story of Dale Farm in the next.

The 400 travellers living illegally at the former ­scrapyard, in Essex, recently lost a 10-year battle to stay at the site and will be evicted on September 19.

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday backed the £18million forced ­clearance.

He said: “I certainly give my support to Essex Police and to all the county and district councils that have been involved.”

[Source: Daily Mirror]

If it’s such a ‘fair and accurate representation’ then why are the families protesting?

Oh wait, could it be because they’re being forcibly evicted from their fucking homes and people like Kate Moss are not even getting off their stuck-up little arses to give a shit? Oh, they’ll take the culture, they’ll appropriate shit down to London and back, but actually support people when they’re in need? Not a fucking chance. All these people who “love” the show, and “love” the people, and “want a gypsy wedding/lifestyle/family/girlfriend” … but not ONE single VOICE is raised against the treatment they’re receiving. Not even the producers of the show—who’ve raked in TONS because of it…

Says something about the status of travellers the world over—not just in the UK. Also says something about appropriation and romanticism of the ‘gypsy’ culture…

I am SO ANGRY over this right now.

I don’t identify (personally) with the subset of travellers who mostly live in Dale Farm or in the TV shows. But, they are nevertheless my people. There are Romani living there too—and old Pavee families…

Just… so speechless.

Tagged: RomanichaltravellergypsyDale FarmChannel 4appropriationcultureUgh



Roma people making food, taken in Romania. 

Tagged: RomaniaRomaRomanigypsyculture

Gypsies: The Other Americans — Preview #1

The first cinéma vérité study of ethnic Gypsies (Roma) in the United States, this award-winning 1975 documentary depicts the culture and traditions of a Kalderas tribe of Gypsies living and working in Los Angeles. The film contrasts traditional customs with contemporary modes of survival in this often-stereotyped and misunderstood minority. It features first-person interviews with Roma, narration by Roma, and a wide range of activities: a Saint’s Day celebration (Slava), Easter, Christmas, wedding, fortune-telling, car repairing, music making, and dancing. The wedding of two children, both thirteen years old, seems to belie any discussion of change; but life has changed for Gypsy-Americans. There is less wandering, children are receiving better educations, and men’s and women’s roles are adapting more and more to American lifestyles. Nevertheless, the old attitudes of prejudice, antagonism and fear that have plagued ethnic Gypsies for centuries remain, while the newer demands of modern American society must also be confronted.

Gypsies: The Other Americans DVD available at:

Tagged: videoromanigypsyculturedocumentaryAmerica

Source: youtube.com

Magiska skrinet - E sumnakane romane paramicha →

Magiska skrinet

Magiska skrinet- E sumnakune romane paramiche aven palpalal, pandj neve paramichenca pe diferntne romane dijalektia ando SR-radio romano.

Magiska Skrinet  - E sumnakune paramichi

Magic box- The golden Romani stories return again with five new stories in different Romani dialects in the Romani SR-radio.

They have MP3s for download, streaming, and also a podcast. The stories are written out in full-text.

Tagged: storycultureromanigypsyliteraturepodcast



The Romani & Indian Flag

Flag of the Romani people:

The flag consists of a background of blue and green, representing the heavens and earth, respectively. The flag also contains a red chakra, or spoked wheel, in the centre, representing the itinerant tradition of the Romani people.

Flag of India:

Gandhi first proposed a flag to the Indian National Congress in 1921. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya, an agriculturist from Machilipatnam. The original design Gandhi was presented with included two colours, red for the Hindus, and green for the Muslims. In the centre was a traditional spinning wheel, symbolising Gandhi’s goal of making Indians self-reliant by fabricating their own clothing. The design was then modified to include a white stripe in the centre for other religious communities, and provide a background for the spinning wheel. Subsequently, to avoid sectarian associations with the colour scheme, saffron, white and green were chosen for the three bands, representing courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively. A modified version of the Swaraj flag was chosen; the tricolour remained the same saffron, white and green. However, the charkha was replaced by the Ashoka Chakra representing the eternal wheel of law.

(excerpts from Wikipedia)

Through & through despite the centuries that have passed and the culture that has diffused Indians & Romani are connected so much deeper than origins, as the chakras present in both flags show.

Tagged: GypsyRomaniflagIndiaculturehistory

Herdeljezi in California (2005)

This is a short story on Herdeljezi Festival 2005, filmed in Sebastopol, California. Main topic is humanitarian work done by Voice of Roma in helping Romany communities in Kosovo.

Project was produced for Voice of America, Serbian service and is in Serbo-Croatian and English.

In Serbian

Source: Archive.org

Tagged: romanigypsyhistoryculturehumanitarianKosovoCaliforniaAmericaHederleziDzhurdzhevdan

Source: archive.org

Part II

Source: Archive.org

Tagged: romanigypsyhistoryradioculture

Source: archive.org