Be Lucky!

Teresa Pi image


Treat your luck well and it will never leave you.


Turn sideways in the wind.


Its like a kiss, good for nothing until it is divided by two.


 Stay where there are songs.

You cannot offend anybody by a song.

 Good Speaking is sugar for the soul.

You cannot walk straight when the road is bent.

 If you cannot give bread give a good word.

What’s the point in having a lot of money; if you are alone, you have nothing.

 If there are no children, there is no luck.

 If you want to see the fish, don’t stir up the water.

Time teaches more than books.

Bury me on my feet; I have spent my entire life on my knees.

Behind bad luck comes good luck.

 In the village without dogs the farmers walk without sticks.

*More Romani Proverbs can be found in  We Are the Romani People. by Ian Hancock


DOSTA! (Enough!)




Ian Hancock We don‘t want the non-Romani world to love us, particularly, but we do want its respect.

VACLAV HAVEL Even today, we sometimes hear people calling ‘Gypsies to the gas chambers.’ Even today, we can observe indifference to these calls, quiet support for those who are yelling them, cowardly spectators, the renewal of divisions between people according to their ethnic origin. All of this must be faced up to again and again, because it is the tried-and-true territory of racism.


The regime rashly and headlong demolished the Roma family structure and hierarchies which have existed for centuries and constituted the backbone of their communities. The Roma started to loose faith in the cornerstones of their culture, whatever it might be, but did not receive any adequate replacement. The loss of values brought them into a vacuum, conducive to deep demoralisation. The Roma themselves started to believe that their culture was paltry and undeserving of attention. Moreover, the already disintegrating traditional structures failed to support them. The state paternalism, on the contrary, taught the Roma not only to rely on it, but also to take the advantage of it.


“My father taught me to tell the truth. He said that people don’t believe us anyway
so you might as well tell the truth.”

photo: aydin cetinbostanoglu

photo: aydin cetinbostanoglu

FERNANDA EBERSTADT : Lots of people around the world are living in a split-screen of what I describe as ‘biblical-archaic and strip-mall modern’: boys who wear Adidas track-suits, listen to hip-hop, eat Big Macs, but when they marry, expect their mothers to pick them a virgin from a good family….. For young Gypsies, the motto is becoming “adapt or die,” though no one is yet sure what that means … The grandmothers I know all had to earn money outside the home: they worked the markets, they put on puppet-shows in the square – Now because of welfare programs most Gypsy women I know are stuck at home. – The only way Gypsies can succeed is by learning how to use computers, not how to shoe horses. But one curious thing I found was that the savvier and more educated Gypsies I met were the ones who were most interested in Gypsy culture, Gypsy tradition. That suggests there is such a possibility as ‘Gypsy modernity.’ . . . Gypsy girls have babies early, but with the support of an extended family of grandparents, aunts, and cousins. It’s not the “horrible, terrifying responsibility” many educated U.S. women feel it to be. -

Sinead Ni Shunear; Unicef …resistence to literacy is a form of ethnic self assertion. Seen in this light it is clear why the child’s “failure” in school may be viewed by his parents a successful resistence to acculturation into an alien, suspect and hostile world

JOHNNY DEPP After they appeared with him in the film The Man who Cried, Taraf de Haidouks became musical heroes for Johnny Depp – Off the Taraf he said: “They set an example for me in the way they deal with things in life. Despite what they experience, what they have to face, they are capable of playing music that expresses intense joy – a pure state of joy. They have the gift to make you feel alive. They are the most extraordinary people I have met.”

EMIR KUSTURICA I grew up on the edge of a suburb, near Gypsies, and I always thought they were an aristocratic people.

TONY GATLIF The poetry is there in life. I don’t need to invent it. For a long time, I wanted to make a film about Andalusia,to seize the soul of the region and its music. It’s what they call duende — something untouchable. And when you find it, it’s stronger than grace. And the more I filmed the Gypsies, the more I discovered I didn’t know about them. I wanted to put myself in their shoes, so I kept living with them. I wanted to free myself of the nasty look of outsiders, who kept telling me stupid things about Gypsies.


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