‘We love each other’ and other Roma stories from Central and Eastern Europe

The findings of a recent study by AMALIPE, an NGO that serves the Roma community, show that many of the myths surrounding Roma lifestyle are outdated. These include marriage age, family size and the practices of arranged marriages and dowries. Seventeen-year-old Yanka and 20-year-old Vassil share their views on these issues as they prepare for and celebrate their wedding in Zlataritsa, Bulgaria.

It is generally thought that the Roma journey westward started in India more than a thousand years ago, though the group didn’t appear in Europe until the fourteenth century. Estimates on the number of Roma in Europe today range between ten and twelve million, with most living in Central and Eastern Europe in conditions of social deprivation and often facing outright discrimination. The scant historical records on the Roma people and its dispersion through much of the continent account for centuries of negative stereotyping-and sometimes romanticizing-that portrays Roma as nomadic, mythical and exotic people who neither fit in, nor belong.

This project seeks to counter these age-old prejudices with twenty-five stories featuring personal insights into the daily lives of Roma people. Colorful but Colorblind, uses multimedia storytelling to promote social integration of Roma in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The stories journey into Roma life in some of the newest EU member states, exploring contemporary Roma identities and culture and obstacles that Roma communities face in achieving equality. The stories were produced by teams comprising Roma and majority-community journalists from these countries in collaboration with graduate students from the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

Tihomir Loza
Project Director

More videos at the Glocal Stories project website: http://roma.glocalstories.org

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