Friday, May 13, 2011

Changing Plans

I had an plan to attend a mystery reading book last night.  I even read the book.  But I also had the opportunity to attend a lecture about the Roma,  "The Genocide of the Roma in the Holocaust," lecture by Ian Hancock, at the Museum of Texas Tech University   Do you know who the Roma are?  I have heard about gypsies before, and occasionally in writings, I have heard characters described as of Romany decent. But I never really understood what that was referring to.  I knew they were dark, and often described as swarthy.  But beyond that, I did not understand.  I also knew that Hitler and the Nazi regime wanted to eliminate them along with the Jews.  I had no idea how widespread they were. I went to the lecture. It opened a new part of the world to me, something I had little, peripheral information about.  Wow!  That was really exciting.

The lecturer last night explained how the people were from the Indian subcontinent, and how they eventually settled in Europe.  He talked about how they are very clannish, and do not encourage education. He also talked about how they do not usually identify themselves in public. He made a distinction between the Roma, and the Irish gypsies who are Irish and travel in wagons, hence the name gypsy.  He said the Roma were called Gypsies, because people thought they originally came from Egypt.; These articles explain about the Roma. They are consistent with what the speaker said last night. He is a college professor, and he is a Roma.

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