Madonna With Foot in Mouth

What makes Madonna think she knows anything about Romany Gypsies? Once again she has put her big foot in it, and this time at a concert in front of thousands of fans in Bucharest.

During the concert she said she felt ‘sad’ at all the discrimination against Gypsies and Roma! This did not go down well with her Romanian fans, and I have to say, for someone who has probably never even seen a Gypsy close-up before she went to Romania, she has a bloody cheek!.

Closeted as she is in America, Madonna would not recognise a Gypsy if he stole her purse! She has no understanding of the long history here in Europe of the thievery and begging that is the heart of their culture. All she has seen is the music and dance side of them because she has Gypsy musicians with her on the tour.

What does she know of the centuries of stealing anything that is not bolted down, of the pickpockets that roam the streets of every major town in Europe, and the constant begging? What does she know of the encampments all over Europe that turn a once pretty site into a rubbish tip?

We in Europe know all too well, that if Gypsies move into the area, you had better bolt your doors and lock away your valuables, because otherwise they will disappear. It has been this way for centuries because it is the one thing on which their lives are founded.

As soon as Romany children are old enough to stand they are taught how to beg on the streets. When they are old enough to run they are taught how to steal wallets, purses and other valuables we carry on our persons. There is no if, but, or maybe, that is the way it is, and always has been.

You may well ask, what do I know of Gypsies and Roma? Well, I have spent a great deal of time in Romania in the last sixteen years. I have seen where and how they live, and I have talked with many Romanians who fear and detest them for the stain they place on the Romanian people.

During my first visit to Romania many years ago with an aid organisation, the villagers were unloading theĀ truck into a storage area. Much of the cargo was clothes for the village people. There were half a dozen males who volunteered to work inside the truck passing out the plastic bags while many more people carried them inside the building.

It was no more than ten minutes later that a commotion broke out at the back of the truck and the Village Mayor removed the men from inside. We were astounded to see them peel off five or six pairs of trousers and four or five shirts they had put on under their own clothes while in the truck. Such is the cunning of these Romany. Thankfully, the Mayor knew his people and there were no more incidents after the offenders were removed from the scene.

I have seen children of three and four years old begging on the streets of Bucharest, and one time I even had my wallet stolen. So, Yes! I do know what they are like.

The really sad part, is the population of Europe have put all the Romanian people in the same category! In reality, non-gypsies are good, hardworking, and extremely generous people who would do anything to help if you were in a bad situation.

Romanians are the complete opposite of the Gypsies and Roma, but such is the influence and total distrust of the latter throughout Europe over the centuries, that the ordinary Romanian people can do no good.

My wife and I have a Romanian friend here in Spain. We recently helped him and and his wife to settle here in the south after work dried up in Madrid. He and his wife are hard working, conscientious people with good hearts, but can he find a job here in the south; not likely!

He has applied for many many jobs since they arrived, but the first question from his potential employer is; “Where are you from?” As soon as he says Romania, the immediate reply is “I’ll call you tomorrow!” Of course they never do because the bad reputation of the Gypsies always precedes any honest Romanian trying to get a job.

It is an undisputed fact that most of the petty crime committed here in the south of Spain can be laid at the feet of the Romany.

There are of course some Romanians who are just basic criminals, I will not dispute this fact. I personally know several who even boast of their thieving exploits and are quite proud of the fact. But to be fair, there are career criminals in every race on earth. To me, it does not mean that all should be tarred with the same brush, but you cannot get away from the centuries of distrust and hatred sown by the Romany!

Romania has been dogged by the stigma of the Romany people for too long, but I fear as long as they exist without changing their culture, things will never improve, and even then it will take generations.

Will Madonna ever learn to engage brain before opening mouth? I hope so.


5 Responses to “Madonna With Foot in Mouth”

  1. Marilyn Says:

    How sad that you do not see the beauty of these people. Their sheer determination to survive even though the Black Plague. Over the centuries they have held great influence on the
    cultures they have passed. The Roma stand as a symbol of freedom and independence. We non-gypsies are too blame for their tricks on the gadje. We have persecuted these people, the first people of God, since the beginning of time. Until we stop treating them as less than what they really are, they will continue to use the rest of us as their entertainment and source of income.


    • Hi Marilyn,
      Thanks for your comment. To be honest, I like to see the good in all people but from my experiences in Romania, which have been many, and from what I see around me in places I have lived, I find it hard to say a good word about them. Most, though admittedly not all, are thieves and beggers and have no intention of changing their ways. They are not forced into this life by anyone, despite what many people think, they choose it because it is their tradition. Many of the beggers you see on the street are not poor, they have big houses and plenty of money, so why do they beg on the streets? I know this is true because I have seen it with my own eyes. Never consider these people to be downtrodden and persecuted, for this is what they will have innocents believe and is their excuse for living as they do.
      Best Regards,


  2. Stealing is not the basis of Romani culture. Romanies form self-employed family units, as is the norm over much of Asia. They who do a wife range of seasonal work often specialising in many different trades, plus labouring. When starving, they are not too proud to beg – another facet of their Indian origins.

    My experience of many Europeans is that beneath their veneer they are fascists. Fascism is at the root of the European soul, expressed as it is through a semi-autistic love of order at all costs, and the depersonalisation of ‘others’ all glossed over by centuries of myth-building about its ‘civility’. Its apogee is European death camps and extermination squads for those who don’t fit in, or in the USA, ‘strange fruit’ and native American reservations.

    These same honest Rumanians are descended from Roman legion death squads. Their descendants enslaved Romanis until 1852 during which time whole families of Romanis were bought and sold like cattle. Slavery over, they went about shooting them for fun, shunning them at all levels. Ceausescu sterilised their women, stole their children, and enacted this parting gift:


    • Hi Neil,
      Nice to hear from you. Some of what you say about their origins is correct, and yes, they do seasonal work such a crop tending and harvesting. In this they are no different to many millions of others. I will be the first to agree that this stain on a culture does not apply to every gypsy, but it does apply to a great many, especially those who no longer reside in Romania.
      I cannot completely agree with your assessment of their origins however. History makes no mention of them being decendents of “Roman Legion death squads”. It is considered by experts that Romani’s came from the Jut people in India, and migrated west between 500 and 1000AD. When they entered the then Byzantium Empire they were rounded up and considered slaves of the empire. As they extended westward, an action precipitated by the conquest of the Balkans by the Ottoman Empire, the same actions were upheld in what is now Bulgaria and Serbia. When they travelled further west they were seen by many populaces as Ottoman spies because of their foreign looks, and it was this that prompted the discrimination against them.
      As for your assertion that Europeans are fascists, well I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. Personally, I do not consider myself a fascist, nor any of my friends. I have lived here in various European countries all my many years and have yet to meet one.
      Your example of European death camps I find rather strange. If Europeans are fascists because of the insanity of one dictator, then I guess the Cambodians (Kmer Rouge) and the North Koreans are also fascists. These are examples from recent history, but there are many more all across the globe if you study the subject, Australia and the Aborigini’s, South/ Central America and the Conquistadors etc etc.
      None of this detracts however from the fact that many of the Romani today are professional thieves and beggers and this has been associated with them for a long time. I have seen their activities first-hand on the streets of Bucharest and many other Romanian towns I have visited. My wife is Romanian, and she certainly does not agree with your assessment, and neither do all the Romanian friends I have made over the years.
      Incidentally, Much of the information in the web blog you linked to your comment is grossly incorrect.
      I wish you well.


  3. Phil Says:

    Wow! That is quite a view of Eastern European Gypsies!


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