I just discovered that Rumer Godden‘s story for children, The Diddakoi, was actually made into a TV drama by the BBC in 1976. If you go to this page, and scroll down, you can see some pictures from the original series. I have been trying to find a video or a DVD of this television drama, but so far I have been unsuccessful. I will keep trying.
According to this BBC article, Madonna, the American pop star, made comments in support of Gypsies and against the discrimination they face during a concert in Bucharest in Romania, although she was booed by the fans for her comments. Madonna explains Gypsy comments.
Madonna has said she was “compelled” to comment on the discrimination against Romany Gypsies while on stage in Romania, despite being booed by fans. The 51-year-old was jeered by the audience in Bucharest after saying the discrimination “made me feel very sad”. ..
Madonna paused during her two-hour show to say: “It has been brought to my attention, that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe – it made me feel very sad. We don’t believe in discrimination, we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone.”
The star uses a group of Roma musicians on her Sticky and Sweet tour… Publicist Liz Rosenberg said… “Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief statement.”
This BBC news report tells about how Gypsy gangs use children to beg and steal money: How Gypsy gangs use child thieves
It appears to be true. It is unfortunate because a common stereotype of Gypsies is as thieves. Here, for example, is part of the Wikipedia entry on Romani:
Many fictional depictions of the Romani in literature and art present Romanticized narratives of their supposed mystical powers of fortune telling, and their supposed irascible or passionate temper paired with an indomitable love of freedom and a habit of criminality.
Here is more from the BBC article:
Madrid police say that 95% of children under 14 that they pick up stealing on the streets are Roma from Romania.
Because the age of criminal responsibility in Spain is 14, there is little they can do.
More than 1,000 Romanian Roma live in just one of the many camps that lie on the outskirts of Madrid.
The conditions are appalling – rats roam freely amid the rubbish, and there is no sanitation.
Every day children from the camp head out into the city to steal and beg, and many are beaten by their minders if they do not return with money.
There WILL be an examination – July 24th. (In today’s class, I said there would not be an examination: that was incorrect).
I will tell you more about the examination next class – July 10th. It will be a reading and writing exam, based on the two textbooks we have used this semester.
July 3rd lesson plan.
- “Diddakoi“, page 24 ~ page
- Watch 2 sections of the movie Kes This movie was made at about the same time as the Diddakoi book was published. The main character, Caspar, is not a gypsy and he is older than Kizzy and has a brother. There are a few similarities: he has no friends (like Kizzy), is bullied (like Kizzy), and although he has a mother, she does not look after him well and they hardly ever see each other.
- Caspar steals a young kestrel and takes it home. Then he steals a book on falconry to learn how to train the kestrel. He trains the kestrel.
- We see Caspar at school, taking a sports lesson. He is not good at sports, he does not have any kit, and he is bullied by the sports teacher, who behaves rather childishly.
- What differences or similarities do you see between Britain of the 1970s and Japan of today?
N.B.: many of you wrote that in Britain the age of voting is 21. This is incorrect. In Britain the age at which people can vote is 18. In the movie, the librarian tells Caspar that, in order to borrow a library book, he must get the card signed by someone over the age of 21 and on the electoral roll (i.e. someone who lives in that city).
Write a report about chapter 3 of Diddakoi. Your report should be about 150 words. It must include:
- a summary of the main (key) points or events of the chapter
- an explanation of why these points or events are important for the story as a whole
- a comparison with another story you know, your own experience, or a news item
- your evaluation of the chapter: did you learn from it? If so, what? Be specific, and give details from the chapter.