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.
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Te dikhes tire butja po kado vebsajto, thaj či mangan, ke avile kathe, te phen amenge thaj ame durjaras les.
Trin or shtor beshes pauli kennā yeck o’ the Petulengros dicked a boro mullo baulor adrée a bitti drum. An’ sig as he latched it, some Rommany chals welled alay an’ dicked this here Rommany chal. So Petulengro he shelled avree, “A fino baulor! saw tulloben! jāl an the sala an’ you shall have pāsh.” And they welled apopli adrée the sāla and lelled pāsh sār tacho. And ever sense dovo divvus it’s a rākkerben o’ the Rommany chals, “Sār tulloben; jāl an the sāla an’ tute shall lel your pash.
GUDLO XL. EXPLAINING THE ORIGIN OF A CURRENT GIPSY PROVERB OR SAYING.
Translation: “Three or four years ago one of the Smiths found a great dead pig in a lane. And just as he found it, some Gipsies came by and saw this Rommany. So Smith bawled out to them, “A fine pig! all fat! come in the morning and you shall have half.” And they returned in the morning and got half, all right. And ever since it has been a saying with the Gipsies, “It’s all fat; come in the morning and get your half.”
Leland, Charles Godfrey. The English Gipsies and Their Language. New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1873. Print.
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.
“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.
A commemoration service will take place at the Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial in London, at 12 noon on 3 August for the 500,000 Roma who died as victims of the Nazi genocide during the Second World War.
Those attending will wear replicas of the badges worn by death-camp inmates, yellow stars and white triangles embossed with ‘Z’ for Zigeuner. White and yellow flowers will be laid, a black-edged flag lowered and a minute’s silence observed, followed by the singing of the Romani national anthem, which includes the line “The Black Legion murdered them.”
This commemoration is linked with the observance beside the Holocaust Memorial stone in front of the Palais de l’Europe, Council of Europe, which is held by the European Roma and Travellers Forum.
On the night of 2/3 August 1944, the SS carried out the final liquidation of what was known as the Zigeunerlager at the Auschwitz death-camp. Witnesses say the last 3000 inmates, mostly women, children and old men, fought back with their bare hands as they were forced into the lorries taking them to the gas-chambers.
In a statement the Roma said: “We are concerned that today we ‘Gypsies’ are again being made scapegoats, often in the media. We are seeing all over Europe the re-emergence of anti-Roma racism and violence on a growing scale. Witness the acts of wanton home-destruction, forced move-ons, evictions and deportations, vigilante attacks and arson, and racially motivated murders.
“Therefore in remembering the Holocaust, we urge all to help combat racism and halt the downward spiral that could in another dark epoch result in a second genocide.”
Ifan Jones Evans and Shan Cothi will go on tour in a Gypsy caravan for an S4C TV series
The Gypsy traditions of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are being celebrated in a week of community events.
Music, dance and food take centre stage at the events taking place to mark Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month.
Celebrations start on Monday in Cardigan and continue in Newcastle Emlyn, Crymych, Newport and Fishguard, finishing in Rosebush on Saturday.
TV presenters Ifan Jones Evans and Shan Cothi will tour the region in a Gypsy caravan for a nightly series on S4C.
Isaac BlakeRomani Cultural and Arts Company
Called Y Sipsiwn (The Gypsies), the programmes will examine how the Romany Gypsies have left a lasting legacy on Welsh life and history.
The events and programmes have been organised in collaboration with Isaac Blake, director of the Cardiff-based Romani Cultural and Arts Company.
“Y Sipsiwn is a contemporary series which also looks at the history of the Romany Gypsy tradition and so helps to create an awareness of the background and history as well as the situation of the community today,” he said.
“It will, hopefully, balance out some of the negative media preconceptions and challenge the myths and stereotypes.”
The Amigos, Lowri Evans and Radwm are among the musicians taking part in the community events, along with local food producers, poets and folk dancers.
Meanwhile in Cardiff, an event on Monday at St David’s Hall will celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture with films, live performance, art and children’s activities.
An exhibition about the city’s Gypsy heritage is on show at the Cardiff Story museum until August.
Y Sipsiwn (The Gypsies) is on S4C from Monday to Friday, 25-29 29 June at 20:25 BST, and on Saturday 30 June at 21:00 BST.
A month of events and special series of TV shows aims to change the perception of Gypsies in Wales, and there’s not a wedding – big, fat or otherwise – in sight. Nathan Bevan investigates
From the gaudy, oversized wedding dresses festooned with fairy lights, bare-knuckle boxing and pre-teen girls dirty dancing in full make-up, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding succeeded in whipping up national tabloid scandal from the minute the credits rolled on its very first episode.
And the only thing bigger than the frock horrors and culture shocks supplied by that notorious Channel 4 series was its viewing figures.
For millions, this was probably the only image they had of those “secretive, marginalised and little-understood communities” – as the broadcaster’s press bumf put it – that exist on the periphery of the perceived social norm.
But it’s one that’s far removed from the romanticised tales of Romanis like Abram Wood, the so-called ‘King of the Gypsies’, who supposedly introduced the fiddle to Wales in the early 18th century and whose descendents played in the courts of European royalty.
There was once a time when people believed the world to be flat, a time when people had no knowledge of those they shared the planet with, a time when it took months, not hours, to reach faraway lands. Yet, here we are in 2012, living in a globalised society where we are surrounded by cultures from across the world, where money is the only barrier from reaching the other side of the planet, and where overseas communication takes only seconds. Indeed, it would be safe to say that the United Kingdom is a multicultural state – there has undoubtedly been significant immigration, particularly since World War II. Yet, perhaps what is remarkable is how well these immigrant populations have, across generations, retained both cultural and ethnic identity, and the scope in which the United Kingdom has allowed these communities to do so.
Indeed, it would be wrong to suggest that the preservation of minority identities has been achieved without challenge. There has been a historic and well documented presence of ethnic and racial tensions in post war Britain, for example - the 1958 Notting Hill Riots, the 1981 Brixton, Toxteth and Moss Side Riots and the 2001 Bradford Riots. Yet, despite the presence of far right extremists, such as the British National Party and English Defence League, the United Kingdom does offer protection to racial and ethnic minorities through legislation, such as, the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Equality Act 2010. While it cannot be denied that racial and ethnic discrimination are still present both institutionally and within society itself, the United Kingdom is a state not characterised by fascism but by, though I use this term loosely, ‘equality’.
Since the expansion of the EU, and the growth of so-called ‘Islamic terrorism’, there has been a degree of scare mongering tactics, promoted by the likes of the Daily Mail, used to bring multicultural policies into dispute. Baa baa WHITE sheep, the nativity is banned, halal meat in your children’s school dinner, immigrants stealing our jobs and sponging off our welfare state, social housing filled with foreigners, terrorists have more human rights than us, they can’t speak a word of English!!! Of course, while these myths seem to be brought up in conversation increasingly more, it appears the majority of society do not wish any harm upon our minority communities – take for example- ‘My Tram Experience’ , the Shilpa Shetty race row, or the public trial ofLiam Stacey.
Yet, underneath this veil of racial and ethnic tolerance, there is something very unsettling – something which tears apart and refutes every promise of equality legislation, something that disgraces the UK’s claims of multiculturalism, and something that leaves only devastation, destruction, and deprivation in its path: Antiziganism.
So what is Antiziganism? It is defined, on Wikipedia, as “…hostility, prejudice or racismdirected at the Romani people…”, yet as the majority of British people fail to differentiate, let us include ‘hostility, prejudice or racism’ towards Irish Travellers as well. But surely, in multicultural Britain, there is no room for these attitudes? It appears not, indeed one may say what they wish about the Romani and Travelling people with a simple get out clause: “I’m not Racist, but….”
If we replace the words ‘gypsy’, ‘gypo, ‘pikey’ etc. with racial slurs such as ‘nigger’, ‘paki’, ‘wog’, ‘coon’ and ‘chink’, can it really be argued that these attitudes are not racist? The ethnic minority status of Romani and Irish Travellers is neither recognised nor accepted by the British public. Instead, there are still widespread misconceptions that Gypsies and Travellers are merely a white underclass – ‘chavs’ in caravans – there by choice and thus somewhat deserving of discrimination. However, both Romani Gypsies and Irish Travellers have been granted legal protection under the Race Relations Act and thus have legally recognised ethnic minority status. Still, prejudice and discrimination against the Romani and Irish Traveller communities has remained unchallenged, tolerated and unpunished.
The Irish traveller community, will indeed always contend with the fact that they are a distinct yet Irish minority, thus the British public view them merely as Irish immigrants, undeserving of ‘special treatment’. However, unlike Irish Traveller’s, perhaps what is most detrimental to the recognition of the Romani people’s ethnic minority status, is the exact opposite- their lack of a motherland. It seems easier for society to accept one’s minority status, if they can be pinpointed on the map. Andrzej is from Poland, he is Polish. Abena is from Ghana, she is Ghanaian. Kamran is from Pakistan, he is Pakistani. Anna is from England, she is A GYPSY? It seems if Anna is white, if Anna is British, then Anna should subscribe to white British ideals and culture. Anna’s motherland is England. Anna is not an ethnic minority.
If we look past skin colour, caravans and scrap metal, there is a fascinating history to be discovered. It is thought that the origins of the Romani people lie in India. Linguistic research has revealed links between the Romani language and Indo- Aryan languages such as Hindi and Marwari. What is more, similarities have been found between Romani and Indian blood types. Indeed, when the Romani people arrived in Britain some 500 years ago, their appearance was thought to be Egyptian – hence the creation of the term Gypsy. What is clear is that Romani people are a separate ethnicity, and that their culture has been shaped by origins that lay outside of mainstream British and European societies. Thus, one cannot become Romani, one can only be born Romani.
Perhaps what is perplexing is this preoccupation with choice versus ethnicity, for even if one could chose to be Romani, would this make them deserving of such extreme discrimination as the Nazi extermination (Porajmos). Indeed, the majority of society remains shocked by the Holocaust, the mass extermination of the Jewish people, yet Judaism is a religion – one may choose to convert and thus ‘become’ Jewish. Does this make a convert to Judaism deserving of discrimination? Do they deserve to die? After all, it was their choice. The simple truth is that hundreds of thousands of Romani people were murdered by Nazi Germany and still to this day they have not been giving the recognition that they deserve. Atrocities and discrimination against the Romani people are erased from the history books, and snubbed by the mainstream media.
June 1st marks Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month. Unlike Black History Month, there will be no celebrations in our schools, no special broadcasts on BBC Radio, no series of documentaries on TV. Perhaps if we’re lucky, More4 may play reruns of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, and a far left blog may write about our heart-rending tale, read only by those with an already established interest in our community. If you wish to learn more about the Romani people, you can read about our dirty thieving ways in the Daily Mail, or watch a documentary about one great big extended Irish family that represent the thousands of Romani people in the UK, or why not ask your mum’s friend’s sister’s husband’s colleagues’ daughter’s cousin about that time 3 Romani’s, out of a possible 300,000, stole her son’s bike. It seems, there is no place to celebrate Romani culture in the United Kingdom, only a thousand reasons why we should hide who we are. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History month comes once a year but Gypsy, Roma and Traveller discrimination is an all year party. Some choice.
A new exhibition looking at the history of Gypsy and traveller communities in Cardiff will open at the Cardiff Story museum on Friday.
“Pots n Pans: A Cardiff Gypsy and Traveller Way of Life” has been organised by The Romani Cultural and Arts Company to explore the traditions of Gypsies and travellers in the city.
There will be photographs, objects and stories about what it was like growing up on the city’s Shirenewton and Rover Way Gypsy sites now and in the past, and details about travellers’ traditions such as cooking and food, and why china always takes pride of place in trailers and modern day wagons.
Pots and jugs made by children aged five to 14-years-old at the Shirenewton Gypsy site’s home club will also go on display at the exhibition, and it is hoped some of the children will come along to see the launch on Friday.
All the artefacts will be displayed in the Cardiff Story’s city showcase exhibition space.
Lillie Bramley, from The Romani and Cultural Arts Company, said: “We’ll be looking at the heritage of Gypsy travellers. It’s about breaking down the stereotypes and celebrating the Gypsy culture.”
The “Pots n Pans” exhibition will run from Friday until August 28.
From June 16-30 there will be a second exhibition at the Cardiff Story museum by international Romany artist Delaine Le Bas, and both exhibitions coincide with Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.
I recently posted information about a Roma rights activist, Toma Nikolaev, who is facing extradition from the UK back to Bulgaria, where his life is in danger. There is a petition (here), but it is well documented that LETTERS, actual physical letters written by MANY people are a better source of providing justice. So, I ask you, no I humbly BEG you to help Toma (and ALL Roma rights activists, myself included) by writing a letter to the addresses below.
I have included the blurb from the petition website as an inspiration to form a letter. I will probably include the text as it stands, along with some more personal information about why it’s important not just for Toma.
Toma Nikolaev is a well-respected Roma rights activist and former candidate MP. Persecuted in Bulgaria due to his criticism of the apartheid that excludes most of Bulgaria’s 700,000 Roma, he was directing editor of the bilingual newspaper DeFacto until its closure.
Fearing for his life after a bomb was placed near his home, Mr. Nikolaev sought asylum in the UK. A long, uncompleted process followed during which Nikolaev continued to help fellow Roma. He joined the campaign to save the Dale Farm community, which was broken up by the riot police assault on the estate on 19 October 2011.
On April 8, 2012 Toma Nikolaev attended a sit-in front of the Bulgarian Embassy in London to mark Roma Nation Day. Shortly after he was arrested under a European warrant and he spent three days in custody before being released on bail. He is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at 9:30am on 22nd May.
This is the first time a prominent Roma political activist has been brought before this court, which is reserved for extradition and terrorism cases.
Mr. Nikolaev faces extradition back to Bulgaria, where he would have to continue a prison sentence imposed for his criticism of the government .
The Roma in Bulgaria make up 8% of the population, live mostly in segregated neighbourhoods and are suffering 70% unemployment. In this condition of social exclusion, Roma activists are subject to judicial and police persecution, as well as violence from nationalist and racist movements, in particular the Atak Party. That is why we believe it is unsafe for Mr Nikoleav, his wife and children, to return to Bulgaria and appeal to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court to dismiss the extradition proceedings brought by the Bulgarian state and allow Toma Nikolaev to remain in the UK, where he wishes to apply for political asylum.
Our appeal is also addressed to Queen Elizabeth II, and the Government and Parliament of the United Kingdom. We are asking them to intervene in the case of Toma Nikolaev, thus offering the European Union and the world an example of civility and respect for human rights. We also urge the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres; the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay; the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks; the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and all civil society not to remain indifferent to a paradigmatic case of the current conditions of the Roma people and those who defend their rights.
We hope there will be a just and humanitarian verdict in the case of Toma Nikolaev, and extend to all recipients of this appeal our best regards.
This is the blog of an independent documentary project about Roma migration and integration into British society by photographer and writer Ciara Leeming.
The work has developed out of a series of written stories published in 2010-11 by the Big Issue in the North, the Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement, and a collaborative book project,Elvira and Me.
Roma Britain is open ended and will develop organically. Eventually I hope it will bring together a series of smaller projects which are participatory in nature, and use photography, words and audio to challenge some of the common stereotypes of Roma.
Funding from Arts Council England and a Homelands Commission from Side Gallery in Newcastle is allowing me to expand this work. Support for the Elvira project came from the Lipman-Miliband Trust and the Big Issue in the North Trust.
For more info please see www.ciaraleeming.co.uk or email email@example.com. An interview with me about this work can also be found here.
I now have some hard copies of Elvira and Me to sell. Please contact me for details.
Leading activist Toma Nikolaev, editor of the one-time bilingual DeFacto, is facing extradition proceedings from the UK which if successful could result in his imprisonment in Bulgaria.
Arrested recently on a European warrant Nikoleav spent three days in custody before being released on bail. He is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court at 9.30am on 22 May.
It is believed that his arrest may have been triggered by the Roma Nation Day protest outside the Bulgarian Embassy on 8 April. During a rememberance ceremony the same day at the Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial, members of his new Roma London BG group drew attention to the fact there have been more than 21 racially-motivated murders of Roma in their home country.
During the ten year Save Dale Farm Campaign Nikoleav and members of his family joined protest marches in Basildon against plans for the massive assault on the estate which eventually took place on l9 October 2011.
In was in October that he fled Bulgaria a second time while briefly released from prison for an appeal hearing after serving part of a sentence imposed following his public criticism over the failure of the government to fulfil obligations undertaken as part of the Roma Decade. Nikolaev has continued to lobby from London.
“Segregation in education,” says Nikolaev, “and neglect of the Romani mahalas amount to apartheid and we can’t rest until that ends.”
Disputing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appraisal of achievements half way through the Decade, Nikolaev says in many ways Roma were better off under socialism.
Nikolaev became prominent on the Bulgarian political scene when he stood for parliament after helping form Kupate (United), an alliance of Romani organizations. Kupate contested seats in a hope to win a foothold in the Sobranie but had limited success.
Instead of benefitting from democratic freedoms, the 600,000 Roma in Bulgaria suffered after l989 from a nationalist backlash and corruption in government. Most recently they have been menaced by the strengthening of the neo-fascist Attack Party.
With his family in danger – a bomb was alledgedly placed near his home – Nikolaev sought asylum in the UK. Like many such cases, his was never fully processed and remained in limbo for several years.
During that time, Nikolaev formed an association in London and became vice-chair of the Trans-European Roma Federation, created to assist asylum seekers from Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic, before those countries joined the EU. He then returned to Bulgaria and started Defacto, becoming one of the most outspoken opponents of anti-Roma racism and a thorn in the side of the Bulgarian establishment.
Messages of support can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In February, Glasgow hosted a national event “Scotland’s New Migrant Communities – Meeting the Needs of Roma. This event was attended by over 50 delegates from across Scotland with representation from Local Authorities, charities, NGO’s, statutory organisations and politicians.
The purpose of the event was to explore how we meet the needs of the Roma community and look at European, National and City based perspectives on emerging challenges and good practice. The event included presentations from Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Police, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Scottish Government and a keynote opening from the Deputy First Minister for Scotland who expressed her strong support for the Roma Net programme and the local Roma community in Glasgow.
Round table discussions were an important aspect of the event during which delegates discussed the themes of education, community engagement, health, housing and employability. Some important key messages came out of these discussions, one of which being the need for multi agency working, as well a new networking opportunities with many Roma Net partners making important links with organisations and practitioners from around Scotland.
(BETHANY) Thanks to Hollywood, most people either see gypsies as romanticized crystal ball gazers or thieving criminals.
Award winning artist JoEllen Brydon knows different.
The Mount Pleasant resident’s art tells the stories of people she meets - friends, neighbours, strangers - of her ancestors rooted in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland and of the people in her beloved Cavan hills.
Her work has also painted a unique look at gypsies that she’ll share during the Manvers Township Historical Society’s annual meeting on Saturday, April 21 at Aunt Laura’s Tearoom in Bethany.
The presentation showcases her large scale installation, Lost Histories: The Gypsies of 1909, illustrated with images of her paintings as well as historic photographs.
It is believed that Gypsies, or Roma - their actual name, which has mistakenly led many to believe they are from Romania - originated in India in the 1600s. Forced out of the country due to famine or war, they migrated across Europe.
Some took part in a mass migration to North America in the late 1800s but did not receive a warm welcome, noted Ms Brydon. Strange-speaking outsiders, they were often chased out of stores; even if they had money. Many were forced to steal, exacerbating their ‘bad reputation.’
One group that emigrated through Mexico and into the U.S., ultimately found themselves crossing the border at Sault Ste. Marie, arriving in the Kawarthas in 1909.
“They first wound up in Bobcaygeon,” said Ms Brydon, noting they were soon asked to leave and winded their way toward Peterborough.
The authorities intercepted them at Fowlers Corners. The men were arrested. The women and children set up camp in Morrow Park while the men went to court. The group later left Peterboroughh, following the railroad and telegraph lines to Pontypool where a large settlement was developed on what is now Telecom Road.â?¨Ms Brydon would have known none of this had she not found a photo relating to it at the Peterborough Museum and Archives. Wanting to learn more, she turned to the day’s newspapers. Eventually, she contacted Ronald Lee, a natural-born Roma, authority on Roma culture and now retired University of Toronto professor.
“It took a year to get it all together,” said Ms Brydon who deeply appreciated his help. “It was so interesting. There was so much news coverage. You rarely saw anything that blew up like this.”
Mr. Lee even introduced Ms Brydon to some of the descendants of that beleagured group.
She later developed the large scale installation that includes 22 paintings.
Ms Brydon hopes those who attend the event gain better insight into the Roma people.
“I’ve learned everything. I knew nothing before doing this project,” she said. “I hope people will get a better understanding of my work and the Roma culture.”
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and includes a candle lit lasagna dinner for $12.
For reservations or more information please call 705-277-2751.
The International Roma Day march in Cathedral Square. (METP-15-04-12AS105) Pictures: ALAN STORER/Peterborough ET
A VIBRANT festival celebrated the Roma culture in Peterborough yesterday.
Dozens of people came together to mark International Roma Day, parading from Cathedral Square to Peterborough Museum led by the Romani flag.
There then followed dancing and music, including internationally renowned singer Jozka Bartos and talented youngsters from Leicester.
There were also displays about Roma history and culture and lectures on the topic.
Mum of five Pachie Lister is an English gypsy living in Walton, Peterborough who went along to support the event.
She said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to stand up and be proud of our heritage.
“In a lot of countries it is still acceptable to be racist about the Roma, even in this country, making events like this even more important.”
The celebrations in the museum began with the Roma hymn Gelem Gelem followed by a welcome from Mayor of Peterborough Councillor Paula Thacker and organiser Petr Torak, from Peterborough Community Partnership Group (Compas).
International Roma Day is celebrated every year on April 8, but because it clashed with Easter the Peterborough event was moved to yesterday.
Mr Torak said: “It gives the Roma the chance to come together and celebrate our traditions. We all live far apart so it’s not often we can all come together like this.
“It’s also a chance for other people to see and understand the culture. If they know what their neighbours are doing there will be less community tension.
“We are so proud to be the first community group in Peterborough to use the newly refurbished museum and a big thank you to Vivacity for letting us use it.”
For hundreds of years Romani have suffered racism and prejudice because of the way we were stereotyped. A lot of hard work has went into changing people’s view of us around the world. This is being destroyed along with the reputations of our people. The Television Show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” promises a look into the “Gypsy” lifestyle. What they are really doing is showing a small group of Irish Travellers and then passing them off as “Gypsies”. There are many lies that are being peddled to the viewers as facts so that the show’s producers can make a buck. But they are doing it at OUR EXPENSE.
One of the many lies shows a supposed “Gypsy” tradition called Grabbing, where boys basically assault young girls in order to steal a kiss. You know we don’t do this. Its insulting to Romanies and Irish Travellers alike that this show throws us into a pile with no respect to who we really are. We have been severely damaged by the way this show spins “Gypsies” into a Jerry Springer Show. Our people are being depicted as trailer trash, alcoholics and thieves which is causing even more hatred and more suspicion in the Romani and Traveller communities. Do not participate in the negative portrayal of the Roma by participating in this documentary. These people are sharks who will use and abuse you and your family. They are soliciting our kids on Facebook already. They’ve contacted my daughter, my sisters and other members of my family. Chances are they are trying to contact your chavies too.
Do not trust them! A show like this can make HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars per season and will expose the way that you live and how you do business. They would pay you what amounts to peanuts. We have read dozens of reports from other Travellers and Romani in the United Kingdom about how our children are now the subject of even more abuse and are being bullied because of the lies produced in this show.
Take Action Now!
A potential class action lawsuit may be filed against the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding to show these greedy outfits that we’re not going to take this laying down. All Roma, Romanichals and Travellers need to join the fight by filling out this petition. Just click on the clipboard to be taken immediately to the petition. We appreciate your support!