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Andrey Beskorovaniy

Minute for Mission: International Roma Day

It humbles me the extent to which our Roma friends and colleagues practice hospitality, always laying a table for us with whatever they have. They are among the poorest of the poor, marginalized by a society that feels threatened by an alien culture living in their midst. I don’t use the word alien as a negative, just a reality. They are a people with deep traditions, a strong sense of family and community, their own language, their own music, their own style of dress. They do not wish to be assimilated, but they do wish to live in peace with their neighbors, if it is only possible. Often, should a job be posted, as soon as a Roma man or woman applies, it is not available. The Roma are also subject to violence (pogroms) and blamed for any bad incident that takes place in a community. It is assumed that they will steal what is not nailed down.