Volte-face

I wrote about it in 2012, in 2013, in 2014 and countless other times, but it’s finally good to hear that longtime expat Rupert Wolfe Murray finally gets it too: For many years I thought I knew the answer to the problems faced by the Romani Gypsies: education. If we could just make school more…

Gypsy Palaces in Huedin

Few places in Romania have a higher concentration of garish gypsy palaces than the little town of Huedin, located just west of Cluj.  The palaces have always struck me as the architectural equivalent of gold grillz and raised trucks—flashy emblems for American proles who want to project a moneyed lifestyle despite earning $30,000 a year. Most people…

Inside the Fabulous Homes of “Gypsy Queens”

What happens when a foreign photographer who speaks no Romanian travels to the country and takes high-res photos of gypsy palaces? Pure comedy, of course, as well as some really nice pictures. Click on the link for the full experience. I guess Cuvelier never asked where all that fabulous wealth came from LOL

Romania’s Best High Plains Comedy

All the grand poobahs of the film world continue to heap praise on the film Aferim: It’s post-medieval (early 1800s, actually) Wallachia, and the two chatty riders we meet are mercenary “constables” traversing a peasant landscape of plague, frontier justice, and gypsy slaves. Haven’t seen it myself but honestly, it sounds terrible. In the past…

The White Billionaire’s Burden

About 100 years ago, a famous British man wrote a poem about poor and uneducated little brown people (of the Phillipine Islands) and how it was the white man’s “burden” to help them. I was reminded of that sentiment once again this morning after reading an open letter from billionaire George Soros in the Guardian…

The Self-Hating Gyp

Living in various parts of the United States as well as a lengthy stint in Israel (including during the 1989 Romanian revolution), I’ve spent considerable time around Jews and gotten familiar with one of their stranger beliefs, that of the self-hating Jew. In essence, there is a pervasive internal belief amongst a long-suffering minority that…

The Ballad of Pangur Bán

One of the strange byproducts of being even slightly famous is that certain stories from your own life become apocryphal tales over time as they are told again and again, each time with more embellishments added. One such tale, based on a true story, is that when I was a high school student in America,…

Gypsy Don’t

If you’ve given a “like” to this blog’s Facebook page (see the right-hand sidebar), you saw that a couple of days ago I put up a link to an article entitled The Gypsy In Me from the New York Times. It was written by a young woman in excellent English (a nice change of pace…

Gypsy-Do

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret concerning this here blog. A lot of you first came here because a friend gave you the link to a certain post and you’ve stayed ever since. Others of you found this blog by searching for information on Romania or the Romanian language and…

Poor Widdle Racist Romania *sniff*

Despite the Facebook, despite the Twitter, despite the literally thousands of wonderful and amazing Romanians who visit this site, talk about this site or link to this site, a tremendous number of visitors are drawn to this blog by searching for two things – “gypsy” and “Romania”. I’ve written about this (seemingly) hundreds of times,…