Saturday, July 26, 2008
Romancing the tribal.........Roma.....Romani.......the Roma people (Gypsy, Gitano, Romnichals) are world wide and number fifteen million as an estimate. In the latest census, even twelve persons claimed Roma ancestory in the Newcastle district.
According to Wikipedia, it is accepted that these people were originally from India and a genetic and linguistic relationship has been traced between the Romani and the Hindustani people.
Their exodus began in the 11th Century and in several hundred years they were found in Europe and have reached the Americas, Eurasia and the Middle East.
As a minority they have experienced difficulties with the imposition of restrictions and worse. Hindu caste beliefs are reflected in their society but they adopt local languages and religions.
Roma music has given us a wealth of tunes to enjoy and many a composer has drawn on their music. The pace and rhythms can be heard in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody as a popular example. Gypsy Jazz is another fun expression of the tradition.
The painter is Huang Zhou.