“We”, “you” and “the Roma”

The power of words…


I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a peoplewill get to the Promised Land.

We: such a short word. Such a powerful word, but a word that Romani people don’t often hear used in the media with regard to ourselves.

In the home, “we’re like this”; “let’s do that”; in the papers, “they’re like this”, “they do that.” This is so commonplace that after the first few centuries it starts to feel inevitable. Hearing “we Roma” on the television is so unusual, at first it seems incredible: whoever the speaker is, whatever they’re saying, it makes a change just to hear the fundamental switch from “them” to “us”.

David Blunkett and Nick Clegg aren’t Romani, so I don’t expect them to start talking about “we Gypsies” any time soon. But you can still tell a lot…

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