Are "gaźe" (non-Gypsy people) friends or enemies?

This is one of the challenging questions that was raised by our users after the release of the first videos back in 2009.

We used Roma/Gypsy celebrities in the videos to get messages out and to recruit users.

One idea behind building the social network was to reveal the cultural assets Roma/Gypsy ppl consider a secret code and to share concrete stories where some members managed to successfully engage with the gaźe, non-Roma ppl.

So Kis Grofo (Little Grofo) is a 17 year old male Roma singer from Szolnok, countryside of Hungary. At the age of 16 he already had several millions of views of YouTube although very few mainstream ppl was familiar with his music at that point.

In one of our earlier videos (the first video in this mission report) we posted Kis Grofo a question whether he has Hungarian or only Roma friends in school and he said he had both Roma and non-Roma friends.

Many of his fans challenged him saying that gaźe hate Gypsies and that ‘our #1 celebrity’ shouldn’t make friends with ppl who come against us.

With Little Grofo coming in with his replies we opened up a new space of discussion where the end result was that users agreed to keep the site registration open to anyone, so today anyone interested in meeting local young Roma, or is interested in getting acquainted with Rromani culture is warmly welcome to register.

So we learned that musicians can be powerful peer-influencers among the Roma communities too!

This is an attitude we believe will have to proliferate across all Romany communites. If we want to be accepted by the ‘others’, then we’re gonna have to make the first steps in opening doors to our cultural values so the outsiders can better understand our reactions, our behavior and the cultural, social and political phenomena related to Roma/Gypsy people.

Although Facebook has won the battle of social networking and therefore we are now looking at converting the social networking platform to a music platform. We’re having issues with identifying the necessary funds to achieve the development goals but we’re not giving up of course. Any ideas are warmly welcome!

We also started identifying the successful non-Roma stories where non-Roma managed to engage with the Roma people. We are aiming to build a community of pro-Roma thinkers and believers where it’s not your ethnicity that counts but your engagement to help Roma people advance with integration.

So the new mission with is to go for building a community of Roma friends and not continue building a community of Roma enemies. Tupac’s ‘You ain’t never had a friend like me’ is very popular among young Roma too :slight_smile:

Today we have 30K signups from all over the world and thus this is the largest Roma community in the online world today.

Actually the interactions we’ve been having on inspired my music with Gypsy Magic City. You can listen to some of my tracks and watch the first video released on this page:

Enigmatic and mysterious, warm, deep, tribal

Gypsies remain the major precursor of the phenomena of osmosis. Gypsies really have fascinated me for a long time, because their music is made ​​of effusion of fury and excess sentimentality, indomitable and warm, deep and tribal. But also because I am attracted to creating osmosis between cultures (the Francosphere and the Anglosphere).

Gypsy people remain very enigmatic and mysterious. Scapegoats of our sedentary world, objects of social rejection, Gypsies continue their search beyond our technological and social upheaval. Playing with traditions, thanks to their versatility and sense of improvisation, Gypsies have always adapted their style to those encountered in their wanderings.

I suppose that Gypsy people represent as much mystery as the Inuit people of Canada. No, we do not all live in igloos over here!

Good luck with your projects. I really enjoyed the music (this threw me back in the past and reminded me very good memories), and I clicked on ‘I like’ the Facebook page.

Thank you Lyne :slight_smile:

What an amazing and inspiring comment there! Thank you so much Lyne! :slight_smile:

I love the expression you use “creating osmosis between cultures”. Been having discussions with Romany/Gypsy ppl globally on where the Gypsy & non-Gypsy osmosis is to the benefit of both cultures and so far South-America, especially Brasil seems to be a place where “Rromanipe”, the secret code of the Gypsy ppl is flourishing and local mainstream ppl are interested in learning about it. Although there isn’t an influx of Gypsies to the country, yet :)))

But how do we smooth the way towards peace in post-communist countries especially where today ppl are murdered for their ethnicity? Any examples you can recommend for consideration will be highly appreciated. Oh yes, and I also love the Inuit analogy  :))

Music illuminates the darkness of the mind

Euh… how to smooth away towards peace?

The world today presents a spectacle that is not at all reassuring. There is such a clash of views, such a conflict of opinions, hate, orgies of crime, violence and wars, and massacres. As the situation exists, there appears to be no way out of the present chaos and confusion.

Can anyone suggest a solution to these problems? Is there any way to bring about unity and harmony to the nations? Why is the human population drifting helplessly toward a possible disaster without raising a finger to avert it? There has occured a disorientation of the intellect, which attaches more importance to wealth, possession, or power than to life itself. The tense situation of the world cannot endure for ever. A state of saturation must come about, sooner or later, beyond which it would not be possible to proceed further. Every intelligent person who cursorily glances at the newspaper or watches television can see the deterioration and rot that has set in the world structure, leaving no area immune where one could draw a breath of relief.

The solutions can be provided by the genius and tireless efforts of a band of gifted individuals.

Creators of beautiful gypsy music can demonstrate, with their passionate and vibrant music, vibrating harmoniously with our bodies and minds, that luxury and over-abundance are not necessary for the bloom of the inner person, since the zest of life and happiness flows form the inner fountain of our being.

Music helps us travel beyond thoughts, beyond doubt, beyond pain, beyond mortality. Music illuminates the darkness of the mind as a flash of strong lightning cleaves the darkness of the night, leaving man transformed with but one glimpse of the inexpressible splendor and glory of nature.

May sublime music enlighten and bring peace to the minds of all!

Please don’t stop the music :slight_smile:

Hey Lyne,

I felt like drinking your words while reading your comment :slight_smile: Thanks for the beautiful contribution!

I have been wondering since my childhood about how I should deal with the negativity in the environment I live. The best way I managed to develop is to avoid it and to concentrate on something positive instead. I should always be able to identify and opt for the benefit of anything happening with me or around me that most people would perceive as ‘wrong’ or ‘harmful’.

Being part of a poor post-communist regime, being a member of an oppressed group of people, living in an environment where you and your family members keep bumping into discrimination for your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion, and therefore being blamed for things you have never caused yourself requires a strong personal character and most of us do not believe we were born to be heros.

Actually very few us believe that our own individual actions can make the change around us. How do we spread this belief around? How do I pass my own solutions to others and influence their decisions so they also go for the ‘GO FOR’ and not the ‘GO AGAINST’ strategy.

I also believe in the power of music. Although as per my experience it goes together with dance hand in hand and I consider both music and dance as a gift to humanity that help us navigate through everyday difficulties with ‘bad’ thinking and feeling.

So then if I raise the question on how to react to racism, discrimination, oppression so that both you and the people perceived as coming against you will benefit from it, then my advice would be ‘don’t stop the music and keep on dancing unti everyone joins in’.

Be selfish be generous

“Be the change you want to see in the world” (Ghandi)

I love to watch this video, “Be selfish be generous”

Like you, I look for solutions to bring more harmony into this world. I do not have all the answers. But I follow my heart, and I do what I think is right. I speak about what I care. I do not bother about what others think of me. I just go for the stuff in which I believe and I set aside fears and criticisms. I try to be the closest as possible to who I am. By doing this, I managed to grow and unleash a powerful energy, which lays dormant in every human being.

We cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves. Once we succeed at doing this, life gives us the gift of its grace: an energy which can be compared to a powerful organic electric current of which the body becomes the generator. This enhanced energy can then be used to serve and help others.

Just worry about building your own inner strenght, and you will contribute a great deal to change the world.

The right pattern of life essential for mankind: a united world, abolition of war, demolition of armaments, disbandment of armies. An environment more in harmony with nature. A life more natural and simple. Removal of barriers between man and man, inculcation of altruistic and humanitarian principles, social equity, and universal brotherhood.

A very interesting and complex topic

I think that that the topic about the relationship between Rroma people and Gagè is very complex and it is an on-going process. I worked as volunteer in Macedonia and Romania with Roma children and I could see that their life conditions are very hard and that they still have to face many difficulties and discriminations. I could see that they have a lot of qualities and that singing and dancing is part of their life. On the other side I think that the societies are living many changes and that there is not a fixed “culture” but all of us are part of “cultures” that are changing and that are putting always on discussion everything and this is, in my opinion, something normal and constructive.

Now I am working as teacher and animator with a group of Sinti (Italian Rroma) youngster and I can see that they are living a very particular and difficult process of socio-cultural transition. They always speak their language among them but, at the same time, they are losing some of their cultural heritage (songs, poems and especially traditional jobs); they can’t do the jobs of their parents but, at the same time, they are not seen like “peers” by Italian youngsters and even sometimes they didn’t perceive themselves as “Italian”. Some educators and social workers heve defined them “youngsters on the edge” because they live a life suspended between two worlds and two times.

This is one of the points I am interested in but I would like also to talk about prejudices and discrimination in Italy towards Rroma and Sinti people because this is a big topic and the racism toward them is even increasing as well as is increasing the ignorance and the “closeness” of Italian people toward Rroma and Sinti.

Figuring out peer 2 peer spaces…

Hi Davide,

How do you work and is there anything in particular you are interested in better understanding related to your work? do you know of learning environments or projects where you are seeing the opposite, or at least neutral (i.e. anyone is welcome) in Italy? I’m curious about what “works”, or what individual people are doing that seems to be effective and can be adopted by others with little resources or reliance on large systemic change…