Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cause I'm a Gypsy. Are You Coming With Me?

Little Maria is the girl with no identity. She was found in a Gypsy settlement harboring with adults whom authorities believe are not her biological parents. The reason why? Simply because of her blonde hair and blue eyes amidst the dark-haired Romani culture.

Lately, there has been much spotlight on the Gypsy culture, both good and bad. With shows like, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, it is easy for people to get a skewed outlook on Gypsies. The show
boasts big, lavish dresses, beautiful young Romani marriages, and wild wedding receptions that usually end with the first fight. However, most Gypsies can not afford to have this life. The majority have little education and live in poverty, settled in “gypsy camps” throughout Europe. They make their homes out of plastic, mud, and ruins. Those who are more financially able can afford a mobile home.

Throughout the years, European authorities have been cracking down on gypsy settlements illegally placed on government land. They arrive with no notice and bulldoze the entire site, forcing the Gypsy to find a new home. Hence is how they afforded their nickname, “travelers”. This spotlight leads to an inside look on the actual culture. It is shown through technology such as the television and the internet.

It is easy for one to come to the conclusion that the Romani are an oppressed culture, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They encase a lively spirit twined into them through decades of tradition and history. Although most have a negative of of the Romani, one should still take it upon him or herself to question the ethics of their removal. In many ways, little Maria represents the Romani culture as a whole: without a true identity, possibly stolen, and often neglected.

Gypsy Camp Sarajevo
‘Cause I’m a Gypsy. 
Are you coming with me?
I might steal your clothes 
and wear them if they fit me.
Never made agreements, 
just like a Gypsy.
And I won’t back down 
‘cause life’s already bit me.
And I won’t cry. 
I’m too young to die 
if you’re gonna quit me.
‘Cause I’m a Gypsy.”
- Gypsy by Shakira

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