Gypsy Nation, Arise!

by Micheal Smith (Veshengro)

Arise from the low status where you are being kept by the Gadje but also by exploiters within our own ranks and by laziness, as in the case of some, and made-up laws, as is the case with other.

“Yes! We Can!” shall and must be our slogan and our watchword

“Ava! Ame Shai!” Let nothing prevent us from achieving full potential as a Nation, as a People, as families and as individuals.

Far too many, not to say the great majority, of Amare have the “No Can Do” attitude and sometimes it would seem as if it be actually a “Don't Want To Do” attitude.

Others seem to make it their life's work to work the welfare system wherever it can be done. If they would but expend that time, energy and skills on “proper” work they'd really be able to liberate themselves and would not need state assistance; crumbs, like an Uncle Tom, from the White slave master's table.

So many also work the system while doing their own “self-employed” work of whatever kind. They steal from others doing than and it is not only Gadje they steal from but also from those of the People that do work within the system and pay their way.

We must have a new approach to living in this world and while we may want to be apart – something that I completely am in agreement with – we also have to follow the laws of the countries that we live in and if that means paying taxes then so be it. No one likes paying taxes, neither the Rom nor the Gadje but... the accusation from the Gadje to the Rom is always that we, the Rom, steal from the system and that we do not pay taxes – even if we do. We must not give them more ammunition still.

Back to the attitude and to liberation.

Ava! Ame Shai! We can do it. We can help ourselves. We can have our own co-operatives and our own livelihood projects, our own schools and homeschool circles, to raise ourselves up.

But this will only ever work if our People change their attitude. The attitude of “the world owes us a living”, as well as that of “no can do”.

I see too many of ours, especially those in the former Irin Curtain countries, but not only there, where the men sit around all day drinking, smoking and playing cards, while the women and children are sent out begging or stealing or scavenging on the refuse tips. This cannot and must not continue.

Also, the settlements must be cleaned up and made respectable, this also applies to the railer sites in Britain and the USA, even to the official government operated ones in the UK, if we want to be able to advance ourselves. Always there is the talk about how great our laws are as to cleanliness, which they indeed are, but should they not also translate at least to some degree to our immediate surroundings outside out kenna or trailer. A little garden, even in containers, can go a long way, also on government sites.

But, then again, it would appear that the majority do not want to do anything else really – despite the stories the tell the media – and do not want to better themselves. All they seem to want is to be idle and have the welfare state take care of them. Some are so lazy – yes, lazy – that they have leaky roofs at the houses with water coming through everywhere but they cannot, possibly, get up onto that roof and fix it. They wait for some Charity to come along and fix their roofs, their guttering, their drainage, and everything else. Self reliance; what is that? That at least seems to be their attitude.

This attitude is not only found, I would hasten to add, amongst the Roma in the East. Nay, such laziness and dirtiness can also be found, and here I feel physically sick for I have seen some of it, amongst the Sinti and the Romanichals, the latter here in the UK as well as, and especially, in the USA.

We can do it. Honestly, we can. All we need to have is the will and the wish to do it. The wish, the desire and the will to help ourselves and the will to raise ourselves up, as individuals and also and especially as a People.

Dosta penauas!

Ava! Ame Shai!

© M Smith (Veshengro), July 2008