Last Edited: Saturday, November 12, 2011 08:08 AM -0600Last Updated: Saturday, November 12, 2011 08:08 AM -0600


Caste, racism, assimilation, and multiculturalism: 1. Pollution and sacrifice among the Roma (Nov 2000 - 2007)

Agnes Daróczi (español)

Co-director of the Invisible College (Lathatatlan Kollegium in Hungarian) of the Romaversitas Foundation, Agnes Daróczi is a Roma intellectual and activist. In her own words: "We put together the two words—Roma and universitas—because our aim is to create the new Romani intelligentsia, a small mass of well educated persons who never forget where they come from, never forget the community they belong to and for whose benefit they have, of course, to work." An ardent devotee of Mario Maya's flamenco dance, Agnes has a warm voice that is very talented in delighting her friends both through song and the narration of paramisja (traditional Romani tales).

 Visit the Romaversitas Foundation homepage

The Romaversitas website was created by Angela Kocze, Aladar Horvath and Agnes Erdelyi.

 Visit the Invisible College in Budapest 

The Invisible College, Lathatatlan Kollegium in Hungarian, based in Budapest exists largely through the politico-cultural vision and philanthropic generosity of George Soros, the philosopher-financier of Hungarian Jewish descent.

Aparna Rao and Michael Casimir (español)

1975a Some Manus Conceptions and Attitudes. In, F. Rehfisch (ed.) Gypsies, Tinkers and Other Travellers: 139-167. London: Academic Press.

1975b Some Aspects of the Symbolism of Fire among the Sinti. Roma 2: 10-13.

1983 Zigeunerähnliche Gruppen in West-, Zentral- und Südasien. In, R. Vossen (ed.) Zigeuner - Roma, Sinti, Gitanos, Gypsies. Zwischen Romantisierung und Verfolgung: 166-189. Berlin: Ullstein.

1985a Les nomades méconnus. Pour une typologie des communautés péripatétiques. L'Homme XXV(3): 97-120. [reprinted as Nomadi disconosciuti: per una tipologia delle comunité girovaghe. In, L. Piasere (ed.) Comunité girovaghe, comunité zingare: 149-68. Naples: Liguori Editore. (1995)].

1985b Zur Rolle der Frau bei den Zigeunern: Vorurteile, Ideale und Realität. In, G. Völger, K. von Welck (eds.) Die Braut: Geliebt, verkauft, getauscht, geraubt. Zur Rolle der Frau in Kulturvergleich: 650-55. Köln: Stadt Köln.

1987a The Concept of Peripatetics - an Introduction. In, A. Rao (ed.) The Other Nomads. Peripatetic Minorities in Cross-Cultural Perspective: 1-32. Köln: B�hlau Verlag (Kölner Ethnologische Mitteilungen Bd. 8)

1993d (A. Rao, M.J. Casimir) A Stereotyped Minority: "Zigeuner" in Two Centuries of German Reference Literature. Ethnologia Europaea 23(2): 111-24.

2001/2002. Vanishing Cultures and Struggles for Survival: The Crises in Peripatetic Lifestyles. Bulletin for Urgent Anthropological Research 41: 63-80.

2003c (A. Rao and M.J. Casimir) Movement of Peoples: Nomads in India. In, V. Das. (ed.) The Oxford India Companion to Sociology and Social Anthropology: 219-261. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

2003d (A. Rao, M.J. Casimir) Nomadism in South Asia: an Introduction. In, A. Rao and M.J. Casimir (eds.) Nomadism in South Asia. Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology: 1-38. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

2003i (M.J. Casimir and A. Rao) The Historical Framework of Nomadism in South Asia: A Brief Overview. In, A. Rao and M.J. Casimir (eds.) Nomadism in South Asia. Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology: 43-72. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

2004 (M.J. Casimir) "Once upon a Time..": Reconciling the Stranger. In J. Berland, A. Rao (eds.) Customary Strangers and Persistent Others: Peripatetics and their Contexts in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Westport, CT: Praeger. (2004).

Deyan Kolev

Deyan Kolev, who addressed the 2003 International Roma Conference held in Stockholm, is a young and talented Roma ethnologist and teacher of Philosophy deeply devoted to the preservation of Romani cultural heritage both through his books and his social work at the Centre for Tolerance and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue AMALIPE (Friendship) of Veliko Turnovo region. We introduce here some excerpts of traditional Romani legends collected by Deyan Kolev in Bulgaria. The given legends can be found at AMALIPEs website:

Gypsy legends collected in Bulgaria (2005)

Dileep Karanth

Foreword to Danger! Educated Gypsy: Selected Essays by Ian Hancock (November 2010)

Ian Hancock, Danger! Educated Gypsy: Selected Essays, edited by Dileep Karanth (University Of Hertfordshire Press, 01 November 2010), 288 pages. ISBN-10: 1902806999, ISBN-13: 978-1902806990.
"My teacher, Professor Ian F. Hancock, is an unusual man: unusual in his background, in the breadth of his interests and in the range of his accomplishments. He was the first Gypsy to be awarded a doctorate in the UK; he is perhaps the only person to hold three doctorates without having finished high school. His book The Pariah Syndrome – the first to document the enslavement of Roma in Europe – came as a revelation to those who were accustomed to think of slavery as an institution restricted in modern times only to Europe’ colonies. Another of his books, We Are the Romani People, also the first of its kind, has become an authoritative source for teachers who wish to present the Romani self-statement to their students. Author of over 350 publications, esteemed teacher to generations of students and tireless spokesman for the Romani peoples of the world, Ian has achieved much fame and even some notoriety in his eventful lifetime. This collection of select writings is an attempt to introduce this dangerously educated and educating man through the medium of his work. Within its covers you will find poetry and song, stories and scholarship, bitter criticisms and friendly advice."

Hans Caldaras

Member of a reputed Romany (gypsy) family living in Sweden since 1898, Hans Caldaras belongs to the same blood lineage as the famous writer of short-stories, Katarina Taikon, and the jeweler in silver, Rosa Taikon. Originally from Russia, the family had migrated from Romania. Hans experienced in his childhood the life of the last wandering Roma in this Scandinavian nation. He rapidly became renowned for his recordings of traditional Roma music and for his live and televised performances in Sweden and other European countries. His book of memoirs, an immediate best seller currently being translated into several languages, has shaken the conscience of Swedish society by exposing crude evidence of the radical xenophobic measures implemented against minorities by a socio-political disposition that is otherwise generally seen abroad as the ideal rule of the welfare state. Hans is now a prominent activist and project leader at the Roma Cultural Center in Stockholm, having organized hand-in-hand with Fred Taikon such successful events as the Romany Writers Meeting (June 2003) and the Roma International Cultural Conference (Nov 2004). He was elected in the latter event to be a board member of the Roma Cultural Committee for the international promotion of Romany language, art and folklore.

Joaquín Albaicín (IRWA profile)

Born in Spain, Joaquín is a "writer, sniper and chronicler of artistic life," who has written extensively on his Romani heritage, which he sees as deeply rooted in Indian tradition. See his En Pos del Sol: les Gitanos en la Historia, el Mito y la Leyenda (Ediciones Obelisco,  Barcelona, Dec. 1997). His aunt Maria, his uncle Miguel and his own mother Maria were all great flamenco dancers. His grandfather Rafael was a famous bullfighter. Author of six books published in Spain, he is currently finishing a book on the mystery of Grand Duchess Anastasia, an essay dealing with the Medieval legend of Prester John's Kingdom and a biography of Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, last Czarist Officer fighting the Bolsheviks in Mongolia (and believed by the Mongols to be a tulku of Mahâkâlâ and a precursor of Gesar of Ling). He is a member of the International Romani Writers Association (IRWA). Joaquín and Sunthar for the first time in Madrid on 22 July 2001 at the Illáraz's.

 On the Origin of the Roma - talk [2001] - Spanish

 The so-called "Holy War" in Kashmir - newspaper article [Dec 1999 - Jan 2000] - Spanish

This article was originally written for the Spanish Muslim paper Amanecer ('Dawn'), which refused to publish it, thus ending Joaquín's collaboration with this magazine (they had previously published 3 articles by him). Joaquín argues that Pakistan is a nation without a political purpose that therefore needs the hobby-horse of Kashmir to justify its existence. As an agent of destabilization and a check on the expansion of Indian influence, it has well served the geopolitical purposes of (earlier the British and now) the United States (and till now...China). On the brink of disintegration, he foresees a future where the Pakistani populace might well end up demanding reintegration into a "Hindu" India where Muslims enjoy full and equitable rights of citizenship.

 Are we destined to die in Medzitlija  (Spanish)

Published in Spanish in La Clave, 20-26 Jun 2003. The Roma refugee crisis in  Kosovo: a challenge for the Macedonian government and Greece, current  president of the European Union.

 Interview with Rama P. Coomaraswamy (Spanish) - May 2003

Ljatif M. Demir

LJATIF M. DEMIR is a very well known writer and researcher, born within the Roma community of the Makedonian capital, Skopje. Particularly interested in the future of the Romani language, he founded the first magazine in this language printed in his country and is nowadays director of the trilingual magazine (Romani, Serbian and English) Horizonto. He is a member of International Romani Writers Association, as well as a member of Le Inja (The Nine), working group of the International Romani Cultural Network.

O Latif M. Demir si jekh sundo hramutno thaj rodlarutno tar-o Skopje (Makedonia). Jekh maskar lenqe but zurale intresse si i Romani chib. Ande pesko them vov das avri o angluno magazino an-i romani chib. Avdives vov si o serutno pe o magazino Horizonto (savo saj te ginel pe trine sibende, pej romani, serbicko thaj englisicko). Vov si jekh anda Internacional Romani Writers Association (IRWA)  thaj vi anda International Romani Cultural Network (Le Inja). Kon kamel te dzanel maj but  leste saj te drabarel lesqo CV an-i


Raya (espa�ol)

Former actress of the Teatr Romen from Moscow, Raya is a famous singer and dancer, who was born in a Roma family from the former Soviet Union. She joined the first Romani 'expeditions' that responded to the call made by the Indian Institute of Romani Studies by traveling in 1976 and 1983 to Chandigarh in order to pay a heartfelt homage to the ancestral motherland of the Roma and be warmly received by Indira Gandhi and other members of the Indian Government. While staying in India in the early 90's,  Joaquín had heard of her several times from the late W. R. Rishi, founder of the Roma magazine and a key name in the renaissance of Romani Studies in India. When he eventually had the opportunity to witness her spontaneous performance at the International Roma Cultural Conference held in November 2003 in Stockholm, he was very impressed by Rayas artistic temperament, just as he had been shortly before on seeing on the Berlin stage another Romani living legend: Saban Bajramovi�. Always Pashe Iagori ("near the fire"), as the title of one of her albums proclaims, Raya went back to Chandigarh to perform in the last festival organized by Rishi to commemorate the anniversary of Guru Govind Singh's foundation of the Khalsa. She has also placed her art at the service of the Roma refugees from Kosovo. Raya is undoubtedly a supreme priestess of a musical legacy that evokes the lost ambiance of pre-revolutionary Russia and whose powerful enchantment remains untouched. Since 1999, Raya—with the close assistance of her daughter Natasha Bielenberg, an excellent dancer, and her son-in-law Göran Janssen, a excellent musician—is involved in the organization of IAGORI, an International Festival of Romani Music held every year in Oslo, where she settled long ago.

 Visit the website of the International Festival of Romani Music (IAGORI)

The International Festival of Romani Music is held every year in Oslo in the first weekend of September.

Sunny Singh (español)

Sunny Singh was born in Varanasi. She received her education in various parts of India and the world. She has worked as a journalist, teacher, and as a management executive for multinationals in Mexico, Chile and South Africa. For the last four years, she has been writing full-time. She is also a playwright. The Times of India described her first play—Birthing Athena, focused on evolving relationships and the price of ambition in post-liberalization India—as "an intensely cathartic experience." Her first novel, Nani's Book of Suicides, had been recently published by Harper Collins Publishers India. Described by the Hindustan Times as a "first novel of rare scope and power," the novel explores the cultural identity of an Indian woman through a fund of myths, family lore and contemporary reality. Her second book, Single in the City: The independent woman's handbook has just been released on Dec 22, 2000 by Penguin India.

 Satî: a Question of Religious Freedom - March 2004

These thoughts are apparently in response to section II on "Sat� Revisited" in Vinay Bahl's EPW Special Article on "What Went Wrong with 'History from Below'" (11 Jan 2003).