I’m Not Allowed To Embrace My Roma Heritage Any More


GypsyYou see this lady? A peaceful looking lady minding her own business whilst cooking? She’s a Romany Gypsy – or Roma.

Being Roma doesn’t automatically mean that you come from Romania or anywhere else that people think the Roma come from. Roma is a race, a lifestyle – not a nationality. Each Roma community has its own ways and its own language, depending on place of origin. No two Roma families are the same.

So imagine my shock and distress when I commented on a news thread and received this lovely message in response:

“You and your family should go back to wherever it is you crawled out from. You’re not English and you don’t belong here.”

I spelled the above quote correctly; the abuser didn’t.

I have never experienced racial abuse before. Not ever. Not being a racist myself, it never entered my head that a show such as Benefits Street could cause anybody to hate my ancestory – the ancestory that my maternal family and I are so very proud of. To hate me without even meeting me, just because of my maternal roots.

I have news for the racist bigots out there. I am English. I was born to an English mother and a Welsh father – in England.

I am also Roma. I was born due to an honourable and dignified bloodline. Whatever a racist might think, I can have these three (and more) bloodlines all at once.

I have blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. If I chose not to tell you of my Roma ancestory you would never know. But why on earth should I hide who I am and where I came from?

 

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About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Seamstress, cross-stitcher, sci-fi lover, ukulele player and Chelmsford's own Pickling Pagan who wants to inherit a TARDIS when she grows up. In the process of writing an as yet unnamed book, with anecdotes and information about being epileptic and autistic - and seeing the funny side! Also an entertainment journalist for What Culture, where I write about Doctor Who.
This entry was posted in Abuse, Benefits Street, Bigotry, Racism. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I’m Not Allowed To Embrace My Roma Heritage Any More

  1. willowdot21 says:

    I agree you should never be afraid of who you are. Sadly because of the few the masses are vilified with the single stroke of the brush. Never worry about who you are

  2. Dear Mr.s T,
    The world is full of hateful ignorant bigots. They murdered my grandparents’ families in the Holocaust, but they can’t take their heritage away from me or my children. I am glad you embrace the richness of who you are.

  3. fpdorchak says:

    Go around the rocks, Missus T, and continue on down the river of your life!

    Synchronicity: I’d just read an article about gypsies in the 1800s/early 1900s Adirondacks (upstate New York, USA) before catching your post!

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