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