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Music. Maria. What wow.
Maria okay. Philip oh. Man.
And i heard that werere doing witches from romania. Thats what youre wanting to dive into so know that sounds crazy philip okay. But once i give you the background information and once we get into it it might not sound as crazy.
Yeah. So im intrigued no im hooked. Im interested so have you heard of roma people.
Or the romani. Nothing. The closest.
Is like theres a show on tlc. Yes. And no.
Oh wow yes and no yes and no so a lot of people. Actually confuse roma or romani with like romanians but romanians are a different group of people but a roma population a really significant one actually does exist in romania. Okay generally speaking like you dont really come across roma people in the us like ive only come across a few in like all the years that ive been living here.
But whats interesting is as a kid. I remember seeing them around all the time. I actually have this video of me as a child in the arms of a roma woman.
It was my aunts 35th birthday in russia and shes like holding me and moving me around and shes like romani child romani child and im not a romani child she romani child man romani child romani child man romani child maria its really weird okay but youll see the video and youll be like okay. Little maria over here who looks like a boy by the way. I totally look like a boy as a kid philip thats fine maria.
Thats fine. Thats fine thats great so when i was about 10 years old. My mom told.
Me this story about an encounter that we had with a roma woman while we were living in moscow. We were walking through a russian bazaar and a roma woman just approaches my mom and eventually she tells my mom. I know something about you and my moms like what do you know shes like your husband is in a faraway land and you will soon reunite with him and my mom turns around and shes like okay.
Thats true so wait a minute. How do you know this information. And so this woman is like i can tell you so much more just follow me.
And my moms like all right you know what fine youve peaked my interest let me go see what else you know anyway so she follows her and she sits down with her and she starts. Telling her things and then after about 10 minutes or so. The entire sessions done.
The womans like okay well this is how much you owe me and my moms like excuse. Me. We didnt discuss a fee.
So they go back and forth. And my mom stands up to leave at this point. The woman is like really pissed offcause.
Obviously. She wants to get paid and as my mom is like leaving. Shes like im gonna tell you something that i didnt wanna tell you because i dont think you should know.
But im gonna tell you anyway and this woman turns around and shes like your eldest sister is going to live a short life and will die shortly after her 35th birthday. And my mom just like looks at her like what what at this point. Shes livid as you can imagine and she just totally storms out and so fast forward to a few months after my aunts 35th birthday.
And she gets sick and passes away. So imagine me at age 10 hearing. This story of how my mom lost her sister.
I was terrified. I was in shock. And my mom made me promise her that i would never seek out a roma woman or a fortune teller.
Wow. Okay. Its crazy it still trips me out when i think about it i appreciate the story.
I have no belief in witches or fortune tellers. I feel like its all an elaborate scam. I cant say that i believe in it i dont im very skeptical.
Im one of those people who asks questions all the time like i question everything. But when i think back to this story. Im just like this makes no sense it really just boggles my mind.
And so yes. I made this promise. But at the same time there is a part of me that kind of now that im older.
So you want to you wanna break your mothers heart for your first video on this channel. Do i want no one want to break their mothers heart laughs. I feel like i cant tell the full story.
Without speaking to someone who represents this group of people right that makes sense right approaching something again not as a child maria right right exactly. When youre older and wiser with your feet underneath. You maria yes and you have this thing kind of built into your head.
Im excited to see what you find okay. Ill be getting started perfect despite making that promise to my mom over 18 years ago. I still need to work and pay the bills so when phil sent me off to learn more about roma fortune tellers.
I did and what i found was really fascinating. But before we can even go into any information about these fortune tellers. We need to first talk about who the roma are the roma or romani are a nomadic indo aryan.
Ethnic group living mostly in europe colloquially people refer to them as gypsies. The term over time has developed many meanings. Some roma think its derogatory while others think the term is perfectly fine.
It seems to be on a case by case basis outside of roma communities. Some may equate the term with living a carefree nomadic lifestyle. While others associate them with people who scam you steal from you take part in illegal activities.
Dont pay taxes and so on and so in many parts of the world. Theyre often stigmatized and viewed as outcasts considering their history. Many roma have resisted assimilation and live in segregated ghettos.
Such as in the spis region of slovakia or in various parts of romania. There many live in small remote self contained villages significant roma populations can be found in the balkans and some central european states and in spain france. Russia and ukraine several million.
More live outside of europe particularly in the middle east and in south america. According to the european union agency for fundamental rights. There are between 10 and 12 million roma living all over europe.
Whats interesting. Though is that this number varies drastically from country to country this is because many choose not to register their ethnic identity in official censuses for example census data from romania. Is often disputed because at the local level.
Many roma declare a different ethnicity in some cases they declare themselves. Mostly romanian. But also hungarian and transylvania or turkish and dobruja another important factor to consider is that many roma.
Lack documents and id cards in which case. Theyre not recorded at all and we often find that international sources. Give much higher sources than the official national census.
For well over 500 years roma. People have been a part of european civilization. But their origin is hard to trace in terms of their historical origins.
Linguists and ethnologists believe they came from india some time between the sixth and 11th centuries exactly when they began to migrate to european countries is unclear. But like i mentioned earlier theyre a nomadic people they move around a lot discrimination against the roma goes back at least several centuries their history is dark and filled with stories of forced assimilation economic marginalization and the intentional destruction of their cultural heritage. According to penal reform international.
The first documented evidence of discrimination against roma dates back to at least 1385 when they were kept as slaves in romania. This lasted until their liberation in 1856. But even in more modern times roma people still face widespread discrimination in 2016 italian deputy prime minister matteo salvini visited a roma camp outside of rome at the entrance.
He was greeted by a small crowd chanting bulldoze and presented with a toy bulldozer during his tour he stopped to give an impromptu speech. Accusing the roma inhabitants of not working and vowing to close that camp since this visit.
Salvini has called for the bulldozing of shanty towns. Where hundreds of roma have lived for years two years later in 2018. He made a public promise to eliminate roma camps throughout italy over the next five years saying.
Well have to keep the ones who are italian. But everyone else will have to go. He also took to twitter to express his thoughts on the international day of roma.
Saying. If many of them worked more and sole less if many of them sent their children to school instead of educating them to theft. It would really be a party.
More recently he even live streamed the full four hour destruction of one of the biggest official camps. The situation in italy may seem like an extreme example. But the romas transient lifestyle has contributed to a pretty jaded reputation prejudice and lack of representation are all too common among the roma as are stereotypes and myths you might remember the situation in paris a few months ago where vigilante groups attacked roma people.
After fake news reports alleged. They were kidnapping children this happened after rumors spread on messaging apps and social media. Warning of kidnappings.
People were quick to accuse roma. Because of a common stereotype. Where quote gypsies are likened to thieves and child catchers.
But this wasnt always the case especially in the former soviet union. Where i grew up heres a 1971 stamp from the ussr that features a traditional gypsy dance in various parts of post war soviet union. Like russia and belarus roma were accepted and in certain ways.
Flourished speaks in foreign language maria their music lifestyle and heritage were in some ways implemented into russian entertainment culture growing up. I remember seeing roma perform at family get togethers performance venues and even concert halls. One of the oldest and most famous romani theaters in the world is actually in moscow.
But even though they were accepted and their traditions and practices were welcomed in some cases. Even praised stereotypes still existed and people still spoke ill of them speaks in foreign language maria rumors of roma women kidnapping kids off the street were common as were roma curses and scams and over the years. These rumors have not gone away as it stands roma people are still drowning in stereotypes.
We all remember borat and his attempt at collecting gypsy tears. Do not fear me gypsy. All i want from you is your tears.
Please give them to me or i will take them maria and we also remember my big fat american gypsy wedding on tlc narrator peewee rushes to defend his bride get off my daughter maria. Which many argue is wildly misleading and intended to be an outrageous spectacle. Some have even accused the british series of muddling.
The definition of the word gypsy and being ethnically insensitive to a real living group of people. The tlc show. Highlights roma subgroups that have made their way to.
The us where theres a pretty prevalent population of over. 1000000. The largest wave of roma immigrants came after the abolition of romani slavery in romania in the mid 1800s narrator to new york city.
Nearly 70 years ago came a party of gypsies and today. The colony is celebrating an anniversary in the old tradition and on a simple rooftop. They make merry with song and dance maria.
We saw a second surge of immigration. Following the collapse of communism in central and eastern europe in 1989 since then as nationalism and xenophobia grow in europe and as refugees flood. The borders roma are fleeing and seeking asylum in the us claiming to be part of a persecuted minority and the reason.
Why many are coming here is in part because the us is seen as more open a country where roma can easily blend in and go under the radar. Most of the younger generations of america roma. Dont use the romani language.
Speaking only english and even spanish in states like texas and california. But even though many roma assimilate to american society. Some americans are not too pleased about the influx of these romanian refugees in 2017 angry residents of a small town in pennsylvania gathered to voice concerns about the 40 or so romanians from bucharest that had moved to their town the roma are seeking asylum saying they suffered racism in their native.
Romania integration is not going well. According to residents the roma have little regard either for the law or public decency citizens say they defecate in public chop. The heads off chickens leave trash everywhere and more whats that about to respond to your question like i said.
I cannot respond tocause i have never witnessed it and ive been roma all my life and my familys been roma all of my life and right we use bathrooms and ive been to europe many times and its kind of like i cant respond to something that ive never seen as a roma person. Ive never witnessed any the headlines that followed the event werent very forgiving. So as you can tell discrimination against the roma is a global issue and some would argue that its fueled by their economic status.
Because the reality is that roma suffer from extreme poverty. Which brings us to our next point. According.
A survey conducted by the european agency for fundamental rights. 80 of roma interviewed were at risk of poverty compared with an eu average of 17 . When we look at percentages per.
Country. That number can be even higher such as in spain. Where nearly all roma are at risk of poverty.
According to the world bank many members of roma households suffer from hunger. The odds of graduating secondary school are 29 at the highest and much lower in other countries in the region. Especially among girls in addition less than half of all roma men and a quarter or less of all roma women can find jobs in many cases because they lack educational qualifications.
The key survey findings show that 74 of unemployed roma said that theyre currently looking for work in our research. We found the lack of employment opportunities are also linked to something called residential segregation reports show that because discrimination against neighborhoods with large roma populations is rampant it hurts both roma and non roma residents meaning the perception that roma are around hurts everyone there on top of this because of such high unemployment rates statistics seem to indicate that many roma may turn to crime to get by in hungarys prisons for example roma and gypsy people are overrepresented despite making up only 6 of the national population roma people could represent up to 40 of hungarys prison population. Many attribute the disproportionate number of roma in the criminal justice system to poverty marginalization and low levels of education.
But independent reports have found that there is a systemic erosion of the rule of law and discrimination against roma. There are even complaints of police corruption and brutality against roma suspects. But while poverty and incarceration are extremely widespread there are people within the roma community.
Who have found ways to become wealthy one of those ways is through the practice of fortune. Telling where people gain fame fortune and in some cases respect certain roma women are known for allegedly possessing supernatural powers that have been passed down from generation to generation powers that allow them to see the future perform spells lift curses things of that nature. Nowadays.
Some of the women who practice this craft prefer to be called witches others even see themselves as healers. Now theres always been a part of me. Thats wanted to speak to speak to a romani witch.
Which shouldnt really come as a surprise. Considering the story. I shared at the start of this video.
So i did some digging and connected with mihaela who was actually in los angeles for a little while and while shes back in romania. Now weve been going back and forth. And ive finally got a skype session scheduled with her meaning i broke my promise to my mom sorry mom this word witch.
It has been you know its an antagonizing term. You know for them actually my mom better identifies as a healer than a witch maria. That was antonio his mom.
Mihaela minca is one of if not the most successful witches in europe mincas success has allowed her to back and forth between the us and romania because of growing demands from curious clients. According to her her traditions and practices are welcomed here in america here their reputation isnt as jaded they claim to have more of an opportunity to thrive and collaborate with other witches who share the same traditions. I asked mihaela if she has plans to come back to the united states speaks in foreign language.
So of course maria in europe the practice is taboo so taboo that those who do seek out these services often do so in secret including politicians speaks in foreign language speaks in foreign language speaks in foreign language in her practice mihaela tends to focus on lifting curses off of people and using her powers to help and heal. But that doesnt mean that she doesnt get the occasional visit from someone looking to put a curse on an enemy during instances like these mihaela isnt hesitant to say no speaks in foreign language. All this talk of black magic and curses is one of the major reasons.
Why so many people avoid interacting with roma women. Altogether. A good number of people dont bother because they dont believe that this sort of thing.
Even exists. While others who do believe in it. Like my mother avoid any interaction at all costs because they fear being cursed themselves and on that note.
I asked mihaela how she feels about being feared speaks in foreign language speaks in foreign language with all that being said im curious to know where you stand on this are you familiar with the roma. Had you heard of them before watching this video were you aware of the stories coming out of france or italy. Have you ever visited or come across a so called witch like we said earlier while many choose to practice their craft.
Publicly others shy away from embracing these stereotypes and prefer to assimilate to the society. Theyre living in and while its true that those who do practice may be feared by some and revered by others at the end of the day. We all have the freedom to believe in whatever we want to believe in some people might find this all fascinating others might see it all as meaningless.
But could this be because we have a skewed perception of roma culture. Because of the media and does this lead to a bias that somehow feeds a cycle of crime and poverty in other words do you think that the outcomes. The roma face are largely due to an unfair playing field.
Which spurs a cycle of unequal opportunities and just makes breaking out of poverty that much harder comment below and let us know what you think if you liked this video and want more be sure to give us a thumbs up and click that subscribe button to stay up to date on social follow us on instagram. Facebook and twitter at theroguerocket. My name is maria sosyan.
Thanks so much for watching. And ill see you again soon .
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