Monday, June 14, 2010
gypsy family in Tbilisi
Clothing-line was almost full of the cloth, but a gypsy or a Romani woman- barefooted and unwashed, was still swilling some clothes in a cold water flowing from the tap in the yard. Then she put them into the oozy dark grey plastic box and entered the house speaking something in her mother language in an anxious way.
Though the surrounding houses where quite damaged and old, they still seemed to be a nice compared to the gypsy’s home. Partly wooden, partly iron plated and also cemented walls of gypsy house looked like a stumbling tree in a terrible storm. Without a floor and with a holed ceiling, the house was hosting sixteen member of a gypsy family in it.
16 years old Bela is one of the Romani family members, who speak in Georgian. She is going in a kind of educational centre and learns Georgian reading and writing there.
“My family came from Azerbaijan to Georgia 20 years ago. We like being here and are not going to move from Georgia. ”-Bella says. As she says, her family has lead a beggarly life all time along and this is how they keep their family in Georgia.
“Sometimes people treat us roughly and impolitely, they don’t like that we beg, but mostly we are not discriminated from Georgians, even we have good relationship with neighbor Georgian families”-She says.
In the sixteen member gypsy family, some of them are couples, sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts.
A 12 years old gypsy boy, playing with a little, nice but a dirty baby with a Georgian name Vaxo says: I am not begging, because my father works, he is fixing cars.
None of gypsy men begs in Georgia and the situation is same with this particular family. Vaxo’s and Bella’s relative men don’t beg, some of them gather scrap-iron and buy, other fix cars.
None of the gypsies have a passport or any kind of identification card. They have no financial support from the Georgian government, no pensions, and no discounts. Because of a lack of money, mostly gypsy women give birth to a child in a home, without doctor’s help. Though if they have money, they are not against by the doctors and visit hospitals with no obstacles, according to Bela.
An aunt of Vaxo a 35 years old Romani woman, with an infant, wrapped up on her back says that there have never been journalist talking with their family and none of their acquaintances have ever had touch with them.
“ journalist doesn’t interested in our life in Georgia, maybe they had covered our history and life style article, but me and my friend gypsies have never been asked for interview by them”- this gypsy woman says.
Gypsy people are also known as a Romani people. Wikipedia says that “they are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe, who traces their origins to medieval India. The Romani are widely dispersed with their largest concentrated populations in Europe, especially the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe and Anatolia, followed by the Iberian Kale in Southwestern Europe and Southern France, with more recent Diaspora populations in the Americas and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of the world. Romani language is divided into several dialects and mixed languages”.