Tag Archives: Romani

Madonna explains gypsy comments

Pre-1989 division between the "West"...
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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.”

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Gypsy children beg and thieve

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.

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Interactive Writing session #8: June 12th, 2009

  1. Review: what are the main themes of “Diddakoi“?
  2. A theme is a big idea. There are many smaller ideas in each chapter of the book. For example:
    1. Why is Kizzy’s Gran found dead outside the wagon, not inside it? Because gypsies want to die outside under the open sky.
    2. Why do the other gypsies burn the wagon? Because gypsy tradition says that nothing that belonged to the dead should be used or touched.
  3. Assignment:
    1. Re-read chapters 2 and 3 and pick out 10 new ideas or concepts
    2. Find an article, essay or interview in Japanese about
      1. either gypsies,
      2. or Rumer Godden.
      3. summarize the article or essay in 2-3 sentences, and provide the reference to it using the MLA style.
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