On the blessings of being a gypsy

Valeriu Nicolae

For my first seven years I had just one identity: child. The move to a bigger city in Romania made it  clear to me that I was not a “normal” Romanian child but a ”gypsy”[i] child that Romanians “put up with”. I worked hard for the next years, and I was promoted from “stinky gypsy”, to “gypsy”, to “ok gypsy”, to “good gypsy”, to Roma, and finally I made it as “a Romanian”, and “someone Romania is proud of”. A Romanian TV station blessed me with that final title. Not to worry; it is still honorific. Any “original” Romanian that I piss off might request a re-evaluation and demote me. At the end of 2013 I was sainted as an EU citizen by receiving an award from the European Parliament.

It is great to be a gypsy. To be a member of such an advantaged ethnic minority: part human…

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