Monday, June 13, 2011

Roma in Rome

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4 Comments:

Blogger Pints in NYC said...

I've read that there is much discrimination against the Roma, and that the Roma tend not to cultivate the towns in which they temporarily settle.

I have one Roma in my family, wonderful person. I also once taught a Roma who was very sensitive to said discrimination but again came from a wonderful, hardworking family.

So what gives?

10:29 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Romany was one of the two languages spoken to me as a baby, up until age one when my great-grandmother passed away. My grandmother pretty much left the culture behind.

I've had a few encounters (or run-ins) with Gypsies over the years. I was cursed by an old lady in Arica, Chile once, and had to take refuge in a church. She shook a chicken foot at my crotch and said I'd never have a woman. Tell that to my wife!

Once, back in a residential neighborhood in Santiago, everybody started shutting and locking their doors and windows when a group of Gypsy women appeared walking down the street. It was like a tornado was coming in or something. It was really, really weird.

In Buffalo, NY, a Gypsy family moved in to the other half of a duplex I was sharing with some college friends. Their business was black-topping driveways in the Fall. They'd leave town before the first snow washed away the black-top, which was really black paint.

Isabel Fonseca's Bury Me Standing is a good introduction to the culture, warts and all. Having an ethic that states it's alright to rip-off non-Gypsies doesn't help their integration in Europe.

10:54 PM  
OpenID danightman said...

Isabel Fonseca's Bury Me Standing is a good introduction to the culture, warts and all. Having an ethic that states it's alright to rip-off non-Gypsies doesn't help their integration in Europe.

Which is the reason one of the words for being ripped off is "gypped."

Perhaps the one way that the stereotypes against the Roma will finally die is to embrace the Gospel & the Church, whose universalism is all embracing.

BTW, there is an article in Andrew Cusack's blog on "Civilized Barbarism, Barbaric Civilization."
One quote related to this:

“Despite my inclinations to the contrary” – that is the telling phrase. It is that typically Christian idea, to accept the limitations of race but restrain oneself from the errors of racism. (We must beware each and every -ism). And for every Americano sneering at the North, there is an Estadounidense who sneers at the laziness and corruption of the South. “Why don’t these people WORK?!?” (The answer: because there are more important things to do: namely, to live). Of course, both are right – and wrong.

And that is the frustration of reality: you will never find your Utopia to live in, except in the realm of the imagination, or – God willing – in the next life. You merely have to find the place where you are comfortable with the accommodations you’re forced to make.

8:17 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Excellent Cusackian quote.

10:57 AM  

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