Friday, 8 May 2009
Tina and Roma with Bear, Near Obrovac, Yugoslavia 1988
Mami, Annemarie and Roma Children, Duisburg am Rhein April 1991
4 days ‘till liftoff !
Just a few days ago we received the latest educational production, from the Romani Project at the School of Languages, Linguistics, & Cultures, Manchester University, a DVD-ROM called ‘Romani Tales,’ It is really interesting, FREE and follows in the wake of their previous (also excellent) interactive journey to the Romani Language (2007)
‘… its aim is to promote awareness of Romani culture and its diversity across the communities of Roms, Gypsies and Travellers in the UK and across Europe. Young people are invited to follow the narratives of Romani people from ten different countries who share with us their thoughts about work, school, marriage and traditions. They can listen to people’s attitudes to Romani people and are prompted to reflect on their own attitudes. Those who know some Romani can follow the narratives in the original sound, as told by the speakers’ says Professor Yaron Matras, the project coordinator.
It is surprising how little people, know about Gypsies and what they do know almost always conforms to the stereotypical view.
Very few people seem to have actually met any Gypsies in situations other than doorstop encounters where they were selling something or at the movies where they are generally portrayed as degraded characters.
This is one of the reasons why we are making this journey … to try to unhinge the stereotypes.
I wonder if my brothers (thank you for your posts) or nephews have come across Ricardo Quaresma of Inter Milan ? He’s a fantastic football player apparently – he’s also a Gypsy.
Marli, the Portuguese bartender in Manchester on the Romani Tales DVD tells us about Quaresma and informs us that Gypsies are colourful, landless but culturally interesting and although they are associated with poverty they are also associated with great richness.
He also recommends ‘Gogol Bordello’ – a Gypsy Punk Band – if you havn’t heard them you are really missing something …. ‘utza, utza, utza !’ (phonetic)