When she was a teenager, Alina Serban, a Roma, never told classmates that she lived in a shack and never imagined she would one day study in New York, perform Shakespeare or showcase her own play.
In her young eyes, even university studies seemed far out of reach.
"Why am I lying to myself? Go to university? This is nonsense!" she cries out in her one-woman show that has people talking even before it premieres Wednesday in one of Bucharest's big jazz and theatre clubs, the Green Hours.
"The dirt in this courtyard has been devouring me for six years, how can I even dream of leaving this place?
"I will marry, have a lot of children and let my husband beat me until all my dreams fall out of my head," she says in the play.
But 23-year-old Serban beat the odds -- and wants to spread the message.
Her play, entitled "I, undersigned Alina Serban, declare," tells her story, that of a determined girl who fought deprivation and serious discrimination against a minority still degraded in everyday Romanian expressions.
"'Don't do like the Gypsies do', 'If you don't behave, I'll give you to the Gypsies': every time I heard such phrases in the street, I would bite my tongue and think: 'I don't care'," Serban recalled.
A big part of her battle was embracing her Roma identity.
"I had to hear non-Roma tell me being Roma is cool to accept who I am," she confessed.
Romania is home to Europe's biggest Roma minority. Officially, they number 530,000 but pressure groups put the figure as high as 2.5 million, saying most do not declare themselves, fearing discrimination. Many live in dire poverty, some without official IDs. Less than one percent of Roma make it beyond secondary school.( Collapse )
Sar o Paj
an anthology of poems by Romani women
Hedina Tahirović Sijerčić
The idea for this book first came to me in October, 2008, during my participation in the seventh Romani Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. During a conversation with Dev Bhardway, Director of the India Intercontinental Cultural Association, Mr. Bhardway asked me if I would be interested in publishing my Romani and English work with them. Subsequently, I began to think about asking our women to support my idea to publish the first Romani women’s anthology of poetry. ( Collapse )
c/o Marko D. Knudsen
Vote Roma !!!! ENG / ROM / DEU
ERTF Charter on the Rights of the Roma is online for a referendum for all Roma over the world.
Please share this info all Roma people!!!
Voting ends on this Sunday (11/10/09) midnight Central European Time.
Vote, be part of the Roma History and decide for yourself!
( Collapse )
I want to say right off that I'm American, and I don't identify as Roma in any way. My grandparents are Romanian, though one grandmother would sometimes say she was Hungarian. This grandmother recently passed away and I was having a Romanian friend translate some of her old documents for me when he said to me, "I didn't know you were a gypsy." He says that her maiden name, Badila (or Badilia, her writing is sometimes unclear), is a Roma name and she wasn't either Romanian or Hungarian. I feel terrible that I'm only learning about her life now that she's gone, from old papers rather than her, but I wanted to know if this was true, and if it is, whether there's any way I can learn more about where and how she might have lived before coming to America.
Thanks if any of you know anything about this, and sorry to bother you if this community isn't the place to ask this question.
Just wanting to introduce myself. I'm Catherine, I'm from Australia. I'm of gypsy heritage on my mothers side (ether my great-grandmother or my great-great grandmother) and I'm interested in learning more about my heritage. People make fun of me in highschool because of it, even the teachers told me I was making it up. I was told there were no such things as gypsys, and that people that called themselves gypsys were just a group of people, nothing special about them. I was told blatantly that gypsys were not a culture, not an ethnic group, just a bunch or posers basically. That really hurt me because I know that I'm a gypsy by blood because I can feel it. I think it makes me special and interesting, and I would really love to learn more about it, learn romani eventually and go and see what my true romany gypsy family would have lived like.
There's a new website and listserv for children (teens, probably) and adults who have Romani heritage and were adopted by non-Roma.
(There's a separate group for adoptive parents: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/karfin)