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international roma day

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.

Minute for Mission: International Roma Day

Some words can’t be adequately translated — the foreign-language version just doesn’t do justice to the original. One such word is tabor, a Romani word signifying a group of Roma people, typically related by blood and/or marriage, who live and travel together.

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.

Minute for Mission: International Roma Day

International Roma Day is an opportunity for those of us who know little about the Roma (often pejoratively called “gypsies”) to learn about and celebrate their culture, history and people, moving past stereotypes and media depictions.

Minute for Mission: International Roma Day

International Roma Day is an opportunity for those of us who know little about the Roma (often pejoratively called “gypsies”) to learn about and celebrate their culture, history and people, moving past stereotypes and media depictions.