We started work over a week ago, but have been too busy to blog until now. Between Roma Galas, Festivals and meetings with remarkable people we have had little time for ourselves, but now we are settling into a rhythm and can at last enjoy being here.
We are (as always) very lucky with the people we meet who are interested in what we are trying to do and are keen to help us to do it.
Firstly we must mention Kata, the Editor of Amaro Drom the Hungarian Roma Magazine. She is someone who makes you feel as if you had known her for years (instead of for just an hour last year.) She has already introduced us to many Roma musicians and artists and tonight she takes us to a restaurant called 'Giero' in the middle of Budapest, run by two Roma women chefs. Food reviews are our speciality!
Then there is Iringo, a lawyer from the Roma Legal Advice Centre who is adept at making appointments and fun at the same time. She is also an avid photographer of the VIIIth District - look at her blog - 8ker.blog.hu
These two women have found for us the most amazing interpreter, Zsuzsi Zsusa who is knowledgeable about all things Hungarian. Describing herself as a 'Hungarian Central European mix' there doesn't seem to be anything she doesn't know (at least something about). She speaks Swedish, English and a little German; without her on the team we wouldn't be able to talk and relate to the Roma people we are trying to reach. She lives in the VIIIth District and has such an engaging way with her that people are immediately put at heir ease. Today she confessed that she talks so much sometimes her jaw aches! Oh really?
We are beginning to explore the VIIIth district of Budapest where many Roma live and have found the cheap Teleki Market - beautiful sour cherries and fresh dill - a good local restaurant with authentic food and a cheap bar to hang out in when it is raining !! which it has been doing a lot of lately - just to make us feel at home !!!
Much more of the VIIIth district to come.
We have also been back to the Lumen Foundation to meet with Gergely Laszlo who has asked us to give an informal talk about our work on June 22nd which we are very happy to do.
Iringo, Kata and two old fogies from Wales!
Zsuzsi Zsusa (try saying this with dentures) our amazing interpreter with a hard hat acquired at the 'free market' at the community centre - does she know something we don't?
Gergely Laszlo at the Lumen Foundation, an artist run gallery and cafe in central BP
A 'red letter day' for Gergely - he has just made his first batch of hummous unaided - and good it was too!!!
Laura Barsy, Flamenco Dancer Performing at the Roma Gala, Thalia Theatre on Thursday 28th of May.
The Gala featured Roma musicians and performers who get a stipend to study their artform. This was the 20th year of this event. We have many photos which we will show in time - but have to get all their names together first.
Laura Barsy giving an interview prior to the performance
In the Green Room at the Thalia Theatre before the Gala