European Roma Movement
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1928 - International Day of Sinti and Roma
Today weâ€™ve been asked by our Blogerette
Sekhmet aka The Black Cat
aka Andrea Pavel to post the following :
The 8th of April is celebrated worldwide as the â€śRomano Divesâ€ť â€“ the international day of Roma and Sinti as it is the anniversary of the first international congress of the Roma-Nation which took place in London in 1971, where the Romani Union was founded. It was the first (and Roma have been in Europe for over 500 years) organisation founded by Roma that was accepted by the ONU.
I want to say this.. The discrimination against Roma and Sinti began 500 years ago when they arrived in Europe. It is nothing that developped, nothing understandable. It is the pure greed and racism of Europe that put this people through slavery, banishment and inacceptance which reached its peak in Porrajmos, the holocaust of the Sinti and Roma during the third Reich. More than 1,000,000 Roma and Sinti died in the concentration camps of the NAZI-Regime.
Instead of getting better, the situation of Roma and Sinti today seems to become worse and worse, especially in the past 20 years we have observed an exorbitant expression of intolerance and segregation. France deported the Roma. Italy was so nice to provide them with â€ścampsâ€ť outside of the cities, close to garbage dumps or any other detrimental and environmentally unacceptable places. The situation of the Roma in Italy is absolutely equivalent to the system of Apartheid and I am happy the ERRC (European Roma Rights Center) has also officially declared it as that.
The Problem is, that even though multiple european countries have (finally) accepted the Roma as a minority, meaning as part of their nation, discrimantion, hate and racism have not stopped, only gotten worse. I want to remind you of February 4th 1995 when four Roma men where brutally murdered in Austria because of their ethnic affiliation, of the Roma and Ashkali in Kosovo who were raped, murdered, banished and terrorized by albanian extremists after the arrival of the NATO â€“ and KFOR troops in Kosovo who only watched in silence, when their houses were burnt down. Over 20.000 houses in 75 villages were destroyed and european institutions have thus far rebuilt 200, leaving thousands of Roma, Sinti and Ashkali homeless and exposed to albanian racist terrorists.
I wonder how many people outside of Europe actually know who those people are and how many people in Europe use the term â€śRoma and Sintiâ€ť instead of just calling them â€śZigeunerâ€ť â€śTiganâ€ť or any other word that is equivalent to the word â€śNiggerâ€ť.
I also wonder how many Sinti or Roma know about this day and how many of them, who are actually in a position to contribute to this day and make it a much more known event, are ready to admit that they are a Sinto or Roma.
The aim is to integrate Roma and Sinti into their national laws and to assimilate them.
I wonder how that is going to work, when the countries they live in deport them to who knows where and tell them to go home.. but sorry France, Hungary, Romania, Italy.. where does a NOMAD go when being told to go home???!!!
I understand that introducing a day like this might be helpful to striking awareness of the issues Roma face all over the world but am I too naive to ask for education? Educate the world about our people first, educate the Roma, educate the Sinti, stop portraying them as Europeâ€™s BIG DANGEROUS PROBLEM, stop denying how many of them died in the holocaust and stop selling the romantic Esmeralda type of sexy gypsy lady. Stop allowing any douchebag with no place to live to call him/herself a gypsy and think itâ€™s cool. Start a programme within the Ghettos to teach Roma and Sinti the tools to help themselves. Rich, successful, assimilated Roma and Sinti, stop denying you are one just because Europeans told you to be ashamed of our beautiful culture. Start helping your own people realize that, yes, they do have a problem and keep the EU out of it. No one without any genuine interest in helping Roma help themselves should be part of this International Day of Roma and Sinti.
This day should be about true integration and respect towards cultural diversity.
Text: Andrea Pavel
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