VOA For Roma, Life in US Has Challenges

By | December 28, 2011

In the spring of 2011, I was featured in a Voice of America (VOA) piece about Roma people in the U.S. VOA is the broadcasting institution of the U.S. federal government.  Once a source of radio news, it has expanded with technology to include TV and internet programming. The interview was broadcast on International Romani Day, April 8. Since the beginning, my collaboration with VOA was very pleasant and beautiful. I had the great pleasure to collaborate with the wonderful producers: Glenn Kates and Valer Gregory. I learned many new things from them about media, television, and journalism. The interview was filmed at Vanderbilt, and it includes a few scenes of me doing ballet as well as some family photos. In this interview I discuss the differences in the way “Gypsies” are perceived in US and Europe and also touch on the distinction between the Gypsy lifestyle and Roma ethnicity.

April 8 is International Day of the Roma. Romani communities in Europe face a variety of challenges. Last month the European Court of Human Rights began hearings in the case of a Romani woman from Slovakia who says she was sterilized against her will. And France’s decision to expel Romani immigrants living in temporary settlements was met with consternation by human rights activists.

But do similar issues surface in Romani communities outside of Europe? In the United States, the country’s cultural diversity provides Roma with both benefits and drawbacks.

In the shadows

Cristiana Grigore studies at Vanderbilt University in the U.S. state of Tennessee – on a prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Grigore is Romanian. She is also Romani, or Roma, part of an ethnic group often referred to as Gypsies.

More at: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/For-Roma-Life-in-US-Has-Challenges-119394819.html