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.
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