Giving Memory A Future
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Language, Music, and Culture



Romani Italian mother and daughter (from Abruzzo) at the Bonfadini Street camp, Milan (Italy).
© Alessandro Serranò .

• The Romani language: Even though the Romani language now comprises a number of different dialects, it belongs to the family of Indo-European languages in a group that includes other languages of Indian origin, such as Hindi and Bengali.

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Download Interviewee Biographies


Santino “Alexian,” an Italian Roma from the Abruzzo region, is a composer, a songwriter, a teacher, a poet and an essayist.

• Music, song and dance:  These are forms of artistic expression linked to the caravan living and family life of the Roma people. They are the chief vehicles for the transmission of Romani culture, or Romanipen.

• Djelem Djelem  ('I walked, I walked') by Jarko Jovanović is the Romani trans-national anthem.

• Did you know that…?  During the Romantic era, great composers were inspired by the rhythms of Romani music.

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Poetry and Literature

• Literature  General Introduction.

  Toninato P., “Le mille voci della poesia rom”, in D’Isola, Sullam, Baldoni, Baldini, Frassanito, “Alla periferia del mondo. Il popolo dei rom e sinti escluso dalla storia”, Milano, Fondazione Franceschi, 2003 pp. 79-101.

  Potel J. Y., “Papusza, poète tsigane en Pologne comuniste”, 2011.

• Roma cinema  Chansel D., “Roma on the screen”, Council of Europe.

  Like all other cultures, Roma cultures change over time.


Further Reading

  Rombase: didactically edited information on Roma. (EN)

  Roma in the Czech Repubblic: The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma. (EN)

  Dosta Portal: Links to Roma history and culture websites. (EN)

  IL MONDO DEI ROM di Santino Spinelli. (IT)

Famous Roma and Sinti personalities:

  Dosta Portal: Roma personnalities. (EN)

  Factsheets on Roma Roma Culture: An Introduction. (EN)