Unpopular opinion of the day:
Being patriotic and loving your country is one thing, however, I think there is another message hidden in these innocent looking promotions. Another message that is blatant in it’s exclusion. Who is that message about?
Several years ago Romanian government wanted to change the country name. Why? To erase any kind of confusion between the ‘Rroma gypsies’ and the Romanian people.
Statements such as “Romanians can be the main attraction of this country. Romanians that show genius, spirit, charisma and old fashion authentic talent and passion. In a nutshell, valuable people”
In short—anyone who is not Rroma.
Rroma don’t have opportunity to show genius or talent and they are not considered valuable people.
If today is the National Day of Romania, then it is also the National Day of all the Rroma who are Romanian. Although victims of severe discrimination and oppression by their government and by many Romanian people, some Rroma have still managed to overcome everything and become well-noted people. These include (to name but a few):
Romani sculptor, graduated at the University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania. Resident in Vienna, has exposed his works in several international art contests, mainly in Austria, Romania, Croatia and Japan
(Roman, Romania, 11/6/1912 - München, Germany, 14/8/1996)
Sergiu Celibidache was undoubtedly one of the greatest orchestra conductors of the 20th century. He belonged to the numerous Romani minority of Romania. He was the Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 1945 to 1954 and of the Orchestre National de France from 1973 to 1975. Celibidache was also the guest conductor of the Orchester des Süddeutschen Rundfunks, Stuttgart, and co-operated with the Münchner Philharmoniker. By personal conviction, he refused to recording his performances for commercial purposes.
Maestro Ion Voicu
(Bucharest, Romania, 8/10/1923 -1997)
Considered the best violinist of Romania of all times, Ion Voicu was the founder of the Chamber Orchestra of Bucharest in 1969. He has performed with the most prestigious orchestras as the Berliner Philharmoniker and the London Symphony Orchestra, and with celebrities like Yehudi and Hepzibah Menuhin, David and Igor Oistrakh, Henryk Szeryng, Leonid Kogan, Cristoph Eschenbach, Monique Haas, etc.
(Găeşti, Dâmboviţa, 6/4/1941)
Gheorghe Zamfir is the most famous nai (pan-flute) virtuoso. Graduate as conductor in Bucharest, has introduced the pan flute in the most varied musical genres and has created the nai-organ style with innovative interpretations. He has performed in concerts worldwide, including Carnegie Hall of New York. For his achievements, he has received the Order for Cultural Merit of France, and the title of Chevalier of France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Zamfir has also published essays and poetry, and is also a painter, having presented his works in exhibitions. He has also a foundation for humanitarian and cultural purposes.
(Brăila, Romania, 1/12/1931)
Called “Mr. Jazz of Romania”, is a pioneer of Jazz music in his country and an outstanding performer, mainly as pianist. He belongs to a Romany family of long musical tradition. He has played and recorded with many of the greatest Jazz artists, has been awarded with the Price of Excellence by the Union of Romanian Composers and has received an honorary membership of the New Orleans Jazz Academy. He is also the founder of the Romanian Jazz school and the President of Romanian Jazz Federation.
Thanks for listing all these accomplished people. I wasn’t aware that de ce Iubesc Romănia has refused to list Romania’s ethnic minorities of accomplishment, but if so, that’s a darn shame because all the people you listed are great Romanians, too, and well deserving of praise for their gifts to humanity.
My birthplace….though it was several incarnations ago. :)
In Bucharest, a flash mob against discrimination
Last Saturday, in downtown Bucharest, two young Roma women were harassed by a group of young men. Out of the blue, the group of young people started an argument. When the boys become more insistent, the girls asked their friends for help. All of a sudden, the girls began to dance around the boys, to the tune of a famous Roma song.
After a few seconds, the boys responded, and started to dance in return. In just a few minutes, they formed two camps, one of girls, other of boys and both began to duel through dance. The two sides soon found sympathizers: for the girls camp, Roma, Romanians and even Chinese, while the boys were able to draw on their side the Romanians and even an African-American youth. The dance duel lasted for about four minutes, after which young people instantly dispersed.
This flash mob dance was organized by the Roma non-governmental association “Romani CRISS”. “The flash mob’s purpose was to convey the message “Say NO to discrimination “. What we want to convey through dance, and with the help of young people, is simple: regardless of ethnicity, color, occupation, sex or age, we are first of all PEOPLE”, says Ms. Margareta Matache, the executive director of the “Romani CRISS” organization, in an interview for www.romatransitions.org.
Other participants in the flash mob included Roma actors (Doinita Oancea, Madalin Mandin), Romanian actors (Carmen Tanase, Ionut Ghenu, Andrei Goncz) and young people of all ethnicities and nationalities who wished to join in. The event took place under the guidance of the choreographer Ioana Macarie and of the assistant choreographer Mircea Ghinea.
(source: Roma Transitions)
More on why it matters that people check for reliable sources before believing just anything….
Free online documentary about Vlad the Impaler. Don’t be easily impressed by modern-day killers. If you’re interested in gore and murderous stories, go for the historical figures. They were exponentially more fascinating and did so much more damage.
Vlad is especially interesting to me, I’ve been reading every article I could find on the man for a few years now. I have fond memories staying up all night with my good friend Madison just reading aloud stories of Vlad.
This was in response to a post made by someone called hellray, but rather than just re-blogging it to post my thoughts, I removed the link to the video because it was yet another peace of non-journalism based on the sensational claims of the Transylvanian Saxon propaganda of the 15th century that was, in part, responsible for me losing my throne in 1462. *rolls eyes*
Now, I don’t want to diminish that many of the things I actually did were terrible in their own right, but I never even came close to killing 40,000 of my own people, let alone 100,000. At most, I was responsible for the deaths of about 15,000 of my own people, well over 90% of whom fell in battle against the Turks. And as to the Turks themselves, yes, I was likely responsible for about 30,000 of their deaths in battle.
Regarding torture, what non-history-buffs fail to understand is that all of us princes of the era used it as a tool of governance. Yes it was cruel and yes it was a crime against humanity, but I had no “driving need to torture”, as one of the “experts” on this so called “documentary” termed it. And, outside of impalement — a technique I learned from the Transylvanian Saxons, which I knew would be terrifying to the Turks who had not been accustomed to its use (again, I am in no way defending my actions, here, I am only trying to give an historical context) — outside of impalement, I doubt I used the many other forms of torture spelled out in the German propaganda pamphlets. I say “I doubt” as I can’t speak with certainty here because I don’t remember much from that incarnation and I’m basically going on what little reliable evidence exists from that time in history.
It bothers me immensely that people not only repeat the exaggerations and outright false accusations against my character, that were begotten by those German propaganda pamphlets, but that many of those same people are still — for reasons I cannot fathom — attracted to me-as-an-historical-figure. If you seriously believe I did all those things and took some sadistic pleasure in doing them, then why aren’t you running in the opposite direction? I could see taking an interest in someone equally as “evil” as you and others seem to think me, but who was actually an important historical figure — say, Henry VIII, Genghis Khan, or for that matter my personal Voldimort, Mehmet II the Conquror of Constantinople, as he liked to style himself.
But why me?
Think about this for a minute: I was ruler of a small principality, one of several that existed between two large powers, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire; I ruled for only six years (which was, granted, longer than most of my immediate predecessors); and I didn’t accomplish anything like what I could have accomplished had I been in power for much, much longer. No, I think the reason, ultimately, why people find me fascinating has little to do with me, and everything to do with that Bram Stoker novel and its repeated Hollywood adaptations. I know there are many who will protest that they are genuinely interested in me and not the vampire Count, really, cross their hearts and hope to die (and then rise from the grave), but I am not unaware that I carry a mystique that I can only attribute to the World’s collective unconscious having conflated Stoker’s vampire with me. And this process of merging my identity with the fictional character has been aided and abetted by various novels, movies, and anime, such that I doubt anyone is immune to seeing me through the filter of a supernatural fiction.
On route between Ojdula and Oituz - Transylvania - Romania
Somehow at the word Gypsy I always think about Esmeralda from Hunchback of Notre Dam. This is obviously a skewed perception. For many of my friends and me, our first exposure to the ‘Gypsy people’ was while watching the Walt Disney cartoon.
However, it was when we lived in Romania, that I learned about the fate of thousands of Gypsies who were victims of prejudice in the developing east European country. The Gypsies, also known as the Roma people, live on the sidelines of the bustling and thriving main cities of Romania such as Bucharest. They’re literally scorned as the scum of society. I remember my friends would warn us to beware of the Roma, for they have a reputation of stealing and committing crimes.
A huge debate is raging in Europe over the fate of these people. An Economist article states, ”Scapegoated abroad and the victims of prejudice at home, eastern Europe’s Roma are the problem no politician wants to solve”. France’s decision to expel thousands of Roma immigrants was met with opposition from most of the world. Yet nobody comes to the rescue of ‘Europe’s largest stateless minority’.
The debate is long and invites fierce debate from all sides. Today, I thought I’d continue with the theme from yesterday and post more photos of the Gypsy camp that I visited in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I hope this post gives you some food for thought.
Nora Luca - Monika Juhasz (from the movie Gadjo Dilo by Tony Gatliff)