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      Photo of Shira



      PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

      Romany ("Gypsy") Discussion Bingo!


      by Kristin Raeesi



      Editor's Note: There are many misconceptions and stereotypes that the general public believes about the Romany people (often referred to as "Gypsies"). This Bingo card lists some of the more common ones.

      Which of these terms have you seen used in reference to the Romany people?

      (For those who may not be familiar with the game Bingo, I suggest doing a quick web search to learn what it is. The term "Bingo card" is often used in a social justice context to list recurring problematic statements.)


      Romany Bingo


      For those who cannot read the above graphic, here is the content in plain text:

      B I N G O
      Gypsy "Blood" or "My DNA Test" Skin Color / Physical Appearance Nomad /
      Free Spirit / Wanderlust
      Renaissance Faire Fake Romani Words
      Skirt or Tambourine Dances My Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparent Gypsy Caravan Bohemians / Boho Gypsy "Garb"
      New Age Bullshit Gypsy King / Queen / Princess Faux-mani BINGO Exotic / Mysterious Origins Casting Spells / Curses / Fortunetelling
      Witches / Wicca Gypsy "Magic" Belly Dancing Full-Blooded "Gypsy" is a Lifestyle
      Something About Celtic Culture Pretending to Know Romani History "My People" Irish Travelers Something About Native American



      About the Author

      Kristin Raeesi is a Romani / Métis researcher, activist and performance artist.? She holds a master’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in critical and cultural theory and audio-digital storytelling.? Raeesi has been involved in activist work on behalf of the Romani community, serving on the Board of Directors for the California-based non-profit Voice of Roma and as an independent consultant, lecturer and administrator/creator of a free online GED program geared towards Romani adult learners. She has been a panelist at Romani Studies conferences at University of California Berkeley and New York University. In 2017 she presented at the at the Fifth Annual Roma Conference “Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution”, at Harvard University to mark International Roma Day.? She has also given media interviews and written op-eds for national news outlets on the topic of Romani rights and representation.

      Raeesi is also a performance artist who believes in using music and dance to bridge cultural divides and promote greater understanding and appreciation for a diversity of cultures through the arts.? She is especially interested in educating dancers about both Romani and Domari culture/s, music and dance. She is currently publishing an article series in The Belly Dance Chronicles magazine on the influence of Romani and Domari peoples on folkloric dance and music in the Middle East/North Africa.

      If youu would like to contact Kristin, you may email her at kristin.raeesi@hotmail.com, or reach her via Facebook.

      Kristin Raeesi




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