opre roma!

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Opre Roma!!!

There were (and are) precious few depictions of Romani women that don’t fall back on negative and harmful stereotypes. We are not allowed to be human- instead we’re told that all we are is fortune-tellers, thieves, and exotic dancers.

Spoiler: We’re not.

Esmeralda & Notre-Dame de Paris are undoubtedly problematic portrayals. But- as a child- it was all I had. Here was a character who looks like me. Here was a character who seemed comfortable in her identity and fought for what was right. She’s stuck with me for a reason. I explore her character for a reason.

Happy International Romani Day. May our generation create characters who aren’t caricatures.

Opre Roma!

{ Feel free to reblog. Our culture is worthy of pride and celebration}
It is International Rromani Day.

Today many of us will be posting about our lives, our families, and Rroma issues. Some of us will be tagging posts with the g-slur in order to flood that racist tag with REAL rroma instead of white hipsters. 

other tags to check out: 

#realrroma

#internationalrromaniday

#internationalromaniday (these two are spelled differently)

Najis tuke for your support and understanding. OPRE ROMA!!

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This white face comes from three generations of my Romani family living in Wisconsin as “Hungarian immigrants”, refusing to acknowledge their heritage, marrying strictly white people, and even scrubbing their faces and hair with lemon juice to try to lighten their brown skin. It wasn’t until last year that my grandfather gathered his wife, seven children, 27 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren around to “come out” to us as Rroma and tell us about his family and the horrors they faced. He told us about how they fled, his mother with him in her womb, to Wisconsin just before the Holocaust, and how every day his 6 year old sister came home crying every day because she had slightly darker skin, a long nose, and heavy eyebrows. How his mother would lather her children in sunscreen, make them wear floppy hats and long clothes to protect their skin from darkening any more. His sister would scrub her skin with lemon, and soak her hair in lemon and peroxide to lighten it. No more! No more whitewashing of my people! Today is International Roma Day, and I will not silence my culture any longer. OPRE RROMA!!!