©Toussaint Dileau. All rights reserved. Traduit de l’originale entitulée “Les Autres Victimes de l’Holocauste”
Others were the only population besides the Jews who were targeted for extermination on racial grounds in the Final Solution. They arrived in Europe about the year 1300 from India which they had left nearly three centuries before as a military population of mixed, non-Aryan origin assembled to fight the invading Muslims. Their entry into Europe, via the Byzantine Empire, was also the direct result of Islamic expansion.
As a non-Christian, non-white, Asian people possessing no territory in Europe, Others were outsiders in everybody’s country. Other culture also ensured–as it still does–that a social distance be kept between Others and gadje (non-Others), and thus their separateness was further reinforced.
Continue reading “The Holocaust: The Other Victims” – Toussaint Dileau
© Ronald Lee, June 2009 all rights reserved
Until this century, Roma were basically an illiterate people. Except for a small number of individuals, most Roma and Sinti in the many countries where they lived were unable to read and write. Some did learn basic reading and writing skills but contributed next to nothing in the way of literature about Roma by Roma except for a mere handful of individuals,. In the latter 19th century and especially after The First World War, a small Romani intelligentsia appeared in some of the countries of Eastern Europe and newspapers were published in Romani. In the former Soviet Union, under Communism, there was an attempt to integrate Roma into the educational system and a considerable but unknown number of Roma were educated. Others, living in the villages and the hinterlands remained illiterate. Mass education among Roma really dates from the end of the Second World War with the Communist governments in the former Soviet Bloc Countries.
Continue reading “Roma and Education” – Ronald Lee
©Ronald Lee, 2002, all rights reserved
While there are many Black Virgins and Black Madonnas in the Christian countries of the Mediterranean and elsewhere, the black statue worshipped by the Roma. at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Camargue in the South of France stands out as something of an enigma. The actual origin of this statue is lost in antiquity and there is no doubt that a Black Goddess must have existed there long before Christianity. According to some authorities the village now known as Les Saintes Maries de la Mer was originally known as Ratis, which means raft in Latin, and later, the church itself , which is shaped like a boat, and dates back at least to the 12th century, was for some time known as Notre Dame de Ratis (Our Lady of the Raft). There is also evidence that in the first century AD, Artemis, Cybele, Isis and the Celtic Triple Goddess, Matres had temples there (1).
Continue reading “The Romani Goddess Kali Sara” – Ronald Lee
© Ronald Lee, 2003, all rights reserved
Much has been written about Flamenco music and what contribution the Roma have made to its development and continuity. In the past, many authorities whose knowledge of Romani history and that of Spain was peripheral have stated that Flamenco is a mixture of various elements, Spanish, Moorish, Jewish and Romani and that Flamenco evolved through a mixing of these musical traditions over a long period of time. When examined in the light of recorded history, this theory seems to be total mythology as far as the Roma are concerned.
Continue reading “Roma and Flamenco: Myth and Reality” – Ronald Lee
©Ronald Lee, 2009, all rights reserved
“Until lions have historians,
Stories of the hunt
Shall always glorify the hunters.’’
— African proverb
The Mystery People and the Pseudo-Egyptians
For almost five-hundred years after we Romani people appeared in Europe in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, Europeans were asking where we had come from. By then, we ourselves had forgotten our origins in North-Central India although in 1422 some Romani newcomers did tell Italians in Forli, Italy, who asked them where they had come from, that their original homeland was in India. (Muratori, 1731, Vol X1X: 890) This remained buried in the archives until recently (Informaciako Lil 7-9, 1992). Our Indian origin only started to become known in the latter 18th century among a select group of scholars such as pioneer Heinrich Grellman.
Continue reading “A New Look at Our Romani Origins and Diaspora” by Ronald Lee