New gypsies: International Romani Day, 8 April

“Tata, we are gypsies, right?,” my then 6-year old son Karol asked me. We were looking at a map, talking about his diverse friends in school, why we have moved from the “yellow house” to the “blue house” to the “white house” in the past two years, and our future plans to move elsewhere.

Well, yes! We are in a way gypsies (or here: gitanos ). . . not by blood but by choice of lifestyle. We roam albeit slowly; arrive at a place we like and absorb the good things that we like and need to absorb like language (here, Andalu/Spanish) and unique aspects of a culture (here, flamenco). 

We’d like to immerse ourselves in the culture of our new home, make a few new friends, give what we can, share of our time. . . And when it’s time move on, we roam again!

 

Today is International Day of the Gypsy People (Dia Internacional del Pueblo Romani/Gitano):  “A day to raise awareness of the human rights problems experienced by Roma.”

In Jerez de la Frontera, there is an event sponsored by Unidas Podemos (United We Can) at Cine Astoria with a concert by artists like Tomasa Peña and Fernando del Morao.  While we have no affiliation with the Unidas Podemos political party, it is worth mentioning its call for “diversidad es riquieza” (diversity is richness) that affects all the marginalized groups of any society, living in the fringes, the borders . . .  beyond the borders of our minds and of this little big town called Jerez. 

Here’s what the Unites States government has to say about International Roma Day today  and here, the United Nations Regional Information Center’s International Day of the Roma.

We raise a glass to you gitanos, gypsies, nomads, roamers, freedom riders. . . old and new, living and dead, digital or not… on this special day for humanity. Ole! ole! ole!

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