Roma cul­ture 101: open­ing minds with song, talk and laugh­ter

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

LANCIANO, Italy — For one week in Au­gust, a group of stu­dents in Lanciano, a hill­top town near the Adri­atic Sea, sang songs, played music, danced, ate and went on field trips.

But this was no or­di­nary sum­mer camp. This was the sec­ond an­nual Roma Sum­mer School, a full im­mer­sion in Ro­mani cul­ture.

And so the roughly dozen par­tic­i­pants — in­clud­ing “gadji,” or women of non-Roma ori­gin — learned ba­sic ex­pres­sions in Ro­manes, the Ro­mani lan­guage spo­ken in Abruzzo; gob­bled up Roma cui­sine; and vis­ited Ro­mani homes.

And they grad­u­ated with a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the Roma and their strug­gles, re­turn­ing home with a mes­sage of ap­pre­ci­a­tion and in­te­gra­tion.

At least that was the or­ga­niz­ers’ in­tent.

“Only by shar­ing, un­der­stand­ing, drink­ing, eat­ing and be­ing wel­comed by Roma fam­i­lies do

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