So, yesterday I had to read part of a paper I wrote--which I hope might become part of my thesis. It was what they call an "autoethnography", which is something that include your own voice and research that other's have completed.

I wrote about my life as phurnavi (light-skinned Roma) and difficult and hurtful times because of it. It was hard to write and even harder to read. 

But, I found that although they had no words for me immediately after I read (several were crying... ) at the end of the evening I received many, many questions.

My class said they did not know of gypsies before and they did not know what they experience. They said that it explained the way I was (which, I wasn't sure they meant well). They asked about Esmeralda (a stereotyped Disney cartoon Roma), and they asked about Roma in the US and EU. 

I felt so good to be able to explain to them our situation and explain that Roma look many different ways, speak many different languages, and live many different places. I feel good that I opened their eyes and that they didn't hate me as I had feared, but they were moved by my story--emotionally and academically.

I guess speaking out is worth it.

Views: 47

Comment by Viola Hinz-Hassan Pour Razavi on March 22, 2012 at 22:07

Sound so great Qristina and very touching!

Comment by P Duffey on March 23, 2012 at 19:40

Closed minds have closed hearts. I would have loved to hear you speak. I believe the audience was silent do to disbelief and shame.  Shame on their part for not having taken the opportunity to know you before then and disbelief that such horrible treatment of another human being is so widely tolerated, ignored and refuted. I would welcome the opportunity to get to know you. I can't begin to understand the feelings you hold inside of your heart. But I admire your strength and courage to push forward in a world that doesn't embrace your culture and heritage. I give you my love, my friendship, Qristina. Many blessings of good health, fortune and happiness to you and your family.

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