World Gypsy day

One of the dance forms we learnt in our Bharatnatyam curriculum was the gypsy dance, the costume would vivid, with gold spangles, and colourful hair tassels’, a tambourine in the hand and quick beats. Most of us loved it for the sheer energy it created. Gypsies seemed exotic.

Gypsies the Nomads..

Travelling in caravans, in their own habitat, camping at night the sound so romantic, authors I read be it Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle they all have gypsies the mysterious, mystics who listen to the soul.

Something very romantic, mysterious about them their closed lifestyle and passionate living, their constant run in with the laws of  the so called civilized society these community has fascinated many creative writers, the Banjaras of Hindi movies the Romani’s of Europe.

The term gypsy was applied to the Roma by outsiders, possibility assuming that they were Egyptian in origin.  Gypsies or Romani are nomads of Europe they are believed to have ethnic origin in the northern region of Indian subcontinent like Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. The exact origins are not really known but the history as retold by the clan family customs like singing and storytelling talk of a migration from India, the motives could be anything from famine, or military invasions from Alexander the great (356-323 BCE) or Mahmud Ghazni (971 – 1030 CE)

Though Kuntari or the Hindu based concept of universal balance is the fundamental of Romani spirituality, they tend to practise the dominant religion of the state.

Pope John Paul           II exhorted his followers to treat the Romanies with compassion and respect and proposed the dedication of April 8th to understanding Romani culture as part of international civil culture awareness.

2003 saw the Dalai Lama light a candle to commemorate the day.

2004 Adam Ereli of the US state department brought up the human rights issues on the abuses faced by the Romani’s in Europe.

2006 Maud de Boer-Buquicchio of council of Europe brought up the issue of antiziganism, and discrimination.

2009 Hillary Clinton spoke about protecting their rights.

2016 the external affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj wanted the Romani’s to be recognised as part of Indian Diasporas. Gypsiology or Romani studies are an emerging interdisciplinary ethnic studies field concerned with the experiences of the Romani people.  Terms like Zignology, Ciganology, Romology, Romalogy and Romistics are often used.  The focus, of these studies however includes the origin of the Romani people, the sociology, anthropology, linguistics, politics, the experiences of persecution, and political oppression. This study has its origin in the United Kingdom, and was designated formal in 1990.

Yet when one says Gypsies this how it resonates –“I have always considered myself a person with a gypsy heart, and I Surrender my dreams to my soul, for it’s a free sprit who believes in no boundaries of region and religion.”
― Megha KhareWrite like no one is reading 2

No Girl Left Behind

Today is the international girl child day,

I am looking back, when we grew up gender was never an issue, so to me lot of this stuff that media throws up is strange, yet last year a fellow blogger had put in a question, about girls changing name, I found it idiotic, I still do.

When BlogAdda requested us to blog for the India Today India summit I wrote my next blog before which out of curiosity I asked the 2nd year BBA girls about what do they want out life, and the answers just jolted me out. Most of the girls were from the army settlement with their father serving in the Indian army, they were sent to do graduation because it improves their marriage market, and BBA is because there are no exams, arts se business management behetar hai..

Coming to the point what did the girls want, well they wanted to be allowed to rest on Sunday’s like their brothers did, they wanted to be allowed to do their assignment like their brothers were, in short they wanted to be treated equal to their brothers, fair enough.

I eat the humble pie and acknowledge there are communities were gender inequality does exist.

The global theme of “No girl left behind”  my question is very simple, child marriages are not right I totally agreed, it could lead to young mothers, premature motherhood…well maybe but biologic motherhood happens only when the body is right, and emotional maturity is independent of the biologic age. I do find it very obnoxious that the western world keeps its teenage pregnancy under the wraps and goes to Africa and Asia with a missionary zeal.

It is not just Asia and Africa, look the US election Hillary is being held accountable for her husband’s misbehavior while Trump refuses to take on the onus of his own. When women speak they quote Michelle Obama or Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan but quotes from Lincoln are used a little less.

I remember that my grandparents decided to educate a niece who stayed home after standard 12, to cook and clean. She was academically not performing well, that was put down to her shaky early education, but she went into depression, it turned out she did not want to go to college study and make a career, she happy with her cooking , cleaning and embroidery my grandparents of course gave up clucking and were very upset. But couple of years  later she got married and in her married home she was acquired fame for her embroidery skills which eventually became an economic venture for her.Today she trains people and sells her work.

Maybe we can resolve not leave the girl child behind, we can resolve to give her the choice of destination and the route to reach there, but we also need to give our sons the choice of staying behind.

http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child