Friday, April 15, 2011


The following is a comment sent into the blog in response to the entry on Romani in America  VOA.  It is so eloquent and heart felt that I asked for and got permission to publish it as a blog entry.
Thank you so much for your comments Lydia

"I don't know if what I have to say is of any real importance but I really enjoyed reading this article cause it got me thinking.

I'm 3rd generation half Roma half Mexican, so I face race issues quite regularly. First it usually infuriates me whenever I see, hear or am in any way confronted with somebody playing "Gypsy". Whether it is a "Rock 'n' Roll Gypsy" which is popular amongst youth, just people who travel a lot or someone who is just a bit wild; they use the word so casually, as if it holds no real meaning to any people or souls. Yet it is as complete in meaning as any human life is.

This casual and inaccurate cultural theft should be as offensive as when it is taken from any other people. However you'd be surprised with what people get away with in the arena. Despite my anger I know that us Roma ourselves are partly responsible for this.

We live in hiding and so we do not exist. If only we would come together more openly, display ourselves and show that we are an engaging reality. Yet at times we are instead afraid to be who we are even with one an other. I think it is possible to remain ourselves and still become American.

I was not put in school but that does not make me uneducated. In fact I find my knowledge often goes beyond my peers. At a meager 19yrs I don't know if that means anything, because who knows something about anything at 19?

My mother is as traditional as she can manage and makes sure she passes down all that she can. My point being I view it as possible.

When it comes to racism I have to tell you I've faced more of it because someone recognized me as Mexican not for being Roma. When I was a child my mother made sure I understood I wasn't to let anyone know I was half Roma. When I got older I realized this was not for the general population but for the Hispanic community around us.

I believe Roma face more discrimination in South and central America. While it is important to make the general population understand we exist we also have to realize that the Hispanic population is now America's largest minority and their thoughts, ideas an opinions will have a growing impact on the nation in time to come.

So yes shouting we exist is good but changing the opinions that such a large segment of the population have of us would be an incredible place to start. So in the end I think Roma need to cast aside their fears and face the world despite what may happen. We needn't be ashamed and we should not be scared that we will loose ourselves in America. My mother used to say Gypsies have no homes, all homes are our homes and all people are from our home. The Roma people are everyone from everywhere but who you are is up to you."

By Lydia Valdez on ROMANI IN AMERICA - VOA on 4/14/11
Lydia raises so many good points in this comment.  I think anti Romani racism is less flagrant because no one knows who we are.
Lolo Diklo's main purpose is to make others aware of our presence and the reality of our lives, here in the US and also throughout the world.
The traveling museum has been really effective in doing that.
Again I thank you Lydia and encourage comments.  I think Lydia could start a grand dialogue with her thoughts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG. Until that moment I did not know of Roma existence. Yes, speak up and be heard. Be seen. Be a part of everything.