The Rromani Connection website
Rromani Books
'Dukh - Pain' is Hedina Sijercic's collection of richly evocative poems, weaving together the author's fleeting joys and enduring tragedies with traditional Romani folklore. Hedina's poetry is enlightening in its candidness, which shatters the fanciful myth of the mysterious and ever-carefree Roma, replacing it with lyric images of a people living, loving, and dying, not immune to the caprice of the world that surrounds them. It is through such tragedies that the lingering message of these poems has become simply dukh, pain.

Magoria Books

Hussein, a Roma boy, experiences the injustice of religious prejudice when his mosque is shut down and he is forced to give up his own name and take on the Christian name of Harry.

Boyds Mills Press

Romani authors, Hristo Kyuchukov and Ian Hancock, explain the history of a persecuted people and why Gypsy is a scornful name

In this book, written in the traditional Gypsy style of family biography, Yvonne Slee gives us a collection of stories about her ancestors who lived in Germany in the twentieth century. She begins with her great grandfather, called August, "torn away" from his Gypsy relations to be adopted into an uncaring family with a viscious stepfather. Running away at 15, August finds employment and friendship amongst Gypsies who teach him how to survive, and eventually marries a German woman and raises a family, including Elsa,Yvonne's grandmother. They adopt a disabled Gypsy boy called Freddy. As a half-Gypsy, with dark skin and long black hair, Elsa experiences racism at school, where her plait is cut off during a lesson by a spiteful classmate. She finds solace playing with friends in a nearby Gypsy encampment. Conditions in Germany during First World War force Elsa's mother to go to the woods to pick berries and nuts, while August hunts for animals. In the 1930's, Elsa notices ethnic families being taken from their homes to be "rehoused." Each time a truck appears in the street, her mother grabs Freddy and hides at the home of a friend, while August disappears till the danger passes. Eventually, Freddy is snatched away by the authorities and put in a home for the handicapped. The family eventually discover the dreadful truth - he has been sent to a concentration camp and gassed. Elsa marries an anti-Nazi called Willy, who is called up during the Second World War. After he is killed at the front, Elsa is left to bring up their young children alone. Almost arrested for being non-Aryan, she is rescued by an acquaintance, and lives out the rest of the war living on food she gathers from the forest. Surviving bombs, semi-starvation, and the destruction of her home, Elsa lives to the age of 80. Despite its sad theme, the book has many lively incidents. Elsa is almost gored by a bull, narrowly escapes drowning, and uncovers a butcher's pet-stealing scam. Yvonne Slee writes with compassion about a family surviving the Holocaust and war.

Janna Eliot. London, UK

Following 18 carefully structured lessons, this Romani language primer explores the vocabulary and grammar of the Kalderash Roma in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Designed for beginner students, this course reference begins with the basic verbs and nouns and builds through to the subtler grammatical necessities of reading and speaking the language. Quotations from native speakers, poems, songs, proverbs, and folktales add to the cultural and historical understanding of the language.

This highly readable introduction to Roma life, written by a Rom, considers culture, language, politics, society, health, and food to provide an insightful portrait of this fascinating minority. In surveying the Gypsies, their origins and history and their exclusion from society, Ian Hancock offers candid advice on rejecting prejudices and stereotypes and getting to know the Roma as individuals. There is also a section of short biographies of Roma from many different walks of life.

On July 14, 1933, Hitler's cabinet passed the Lebensunwertesleben law, a law which called for the annihilation of certain people who led "lives not worthy of life." The law was aimed specifically against Gypsies, and Afro-Germans. The black Germans were primarily children born from sexual union between German women and French Senegalese troops used during the First World War to patrol the Ruhr Valley, as well as people from German ex-colonies in Africa.

Although much is known about The Third Reich's genocide against the Jews, there is not as much literature about the five million Gypsies and black Germans who also lost their lives to further Adolf Hitler's racist aims. On December 8th, 1938, SS chief Heinrich Himmler called for the 'Final 'Solution of the Gypsy Question,' and on December 16th, 1942, began deporting all Gypsies remaining in German-held Europe to Auschwitz.

The Nuremberg Law for the Protection of Blood and Honour was instituted on 15 September 1935, and the Gypsy Law (Reichzigeunergesetz) which was created to track the Romani (Gypsy) population, their sterilization, their movement and means of livelihood, and the expulsion of all foreign-born, stateless Gypsies." (State Secretary of the Interior Hans Pfundtner, March 4th, 1936.) Statements such as that made by in 1939 by Dr. Johannes Behrendt, Office of Racial Hygiene Policy Statement, ''All Gypsies should be treated as hereditarily sick; the only solution is elimination. The aim should, therefore, be the elimination without hesitation of this characteristically defective element in the population." Such historical facts are so odious and unbelievable that they seem too much for the mind to handle...and can only be encountered through the memoirs of survivors.

Cora Schwartz's memoir Gypsy Tears: Loving a holocaust survivor is both autobiography and biography and a tribute to those forgotten Gypsies killed during the days of the Third Reich.

It begins as a love story. When newly-divorced Cora from the Bronx first meets Rudy from Ukraine in the Catskills, the reader thinks he is a bit odd. But as quickly as he meets her he begins telling her about a Gypsy girl, Romania, and the Nazi camp where they were imprisoned.

Like all Holocaust sufferers, Rudy is overwhelmed with grief, survivor's guilt and anger. He is also, like many wounded people, not an easy person to deal with. He drinks too much, has nightmares, and belittles her own pain. But Cora has a kind heart and falls in love with him. Their relationship is an unplanned journey that helps her to understand her own life and brings her to a new understanding of the wide-range of Hitler's plans to "purify Germany" and creates a new vocation in her life: bringing humanitarian aid to the last holocaust survivors in Ukraine. Her other book, a photographic book of Holocaust Survivors, and entitled, The Forgotten Few shows how Rudy's life affected and brought meaning to hers.

This is a passionate love story, layered with history, which shows that the effect of Hitler's intense maniacal obsession, still exists. It also shows that Hitler's only logic was hatred. Many people think the Holocaust against the Jews was a symbol of Hitler's anti-Semitism. But the Gypsies were not primarily Jewish. In addition, Hitler maintained good relations with many Arabs, (who are Semites)and the Grand Mufti, who was the most influential leader of Palestine during the Second World War, was good friends with Hitler who had befriended followers of Islam in Eastern Europe. Although Hitler's book Mein Kampf is considered required reading in many Arab universities, the holocaust was waged against other groups also...not only Jews. In the story, Cora's realization of this truth matches our own realization: Many holocaust sufferers are forgotten and their stories untold.

In 1979, Time Magazine reported, "Although West Germany paid nearly $715 million to Israel and various Jewish organizations, [as of 1979] Gypsies as a group have received nothing." In 1984, Simon Weisenthal stated, "The Gypsies had been murdered in a proportion similar to the Jews: about 80% of them in the area of the countries which were occupied by the Nazis."

A book, and money cannot bring back a lost people but at least their stories are being told.

A beautifully illustrated Rromani language book written by Marcel Courthiade
Prof. Marcel Courthiade,  head of the department of Rromani philology at the Paris University.

First Edition
From Palgrave Macmillan
Pub date: Apr 2008
272 pages

This book traces representations of 'Gypsies' that have become prevalent in the European imagination and culture and influenced the perceptions of Roma in Eastern and Western European societies.

Valentina Glajar is Associate Professor of German at Texas State University, San Marcos. Domnica Radulescu is Professor of French and Italian and Chair of the Women's Studies Program at Washington and Lee University.

Table of contents
Roma in Europe: Gypsy Myth and Romani Reality--New Evidence for Romani History--Ronald Lee * Introduction--Valentina Glajar * Bohemian Philosophers: Nature, Nationalism and 'Gypsies' in Nineteenth-Century European Literature--Philip Landon * The Story of Love, Human Conditions, and the Gypsy Lifestyle in Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski's Chata za Wsia [The Cottage beyond the Village]--Agnieszka Nance * Vsevolod Garshin's 'The Bears': Gypsies and Russian Imperial Boundaries--Marilyn Smith * 'Gypsies' and Property in British Literature: Orlando and Wuthering Heights--Abby Bardi * Guilt, Trauma, and Revenge: The Romani Holocaust in Stefan Kanfer's The Eighth Sin--Valentina Glajar * Unveiling the Origin of the Romani Holocaust: The Anarchist Tradition in Winter Time by Walter Winter--Ferdâ Asya * The Deportation to Transdniester and the Exoticization of the Roma in Zaharia Stancu's Novel The Gypsy Tribe--Lucia Cherciu * The 'Gypsy' Stereotype and the Sexualization of Romani Women--Ian Hancock * Performing the Female Gypsy - Commedia dell'arte's 'Tricks' for Finding Freedom--Domnica Radulescu * Theater of the Underworld: Spectacle and Subculture in Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris--Aimee Kilbaine * Welcome Pictures, Unwanted Bodies: Gypsy Representations in New Europe's Cinema--Dina Iordanova

Settela's Last Road by Janna Eliot

Available at Trafford Publishing:

(This novel is an imaginative interpretation based on historical characters and events. Inspired by the haunting photograph taken by Rudolf Breslauer in 1944, it uses details from SETTELA, a factual account by journalist Aad Wagenaar

Settela's Last Road has been written in a compelling, heartfelt and realistic way by Janna Eliot. It is a story of how a nine year old Sinti girl, Settela and her loving Sinti family were decimated by the world's most horrifying event, the Holocaust. Sweet Settela never gives up hope and retains a defiant spirit throughout the book. The book gives a very good insight into what happened to Romanies in the concentration camps and how they were lied to by the German authorities and moved on to selected camps and marked for extermination. It tells how their animals and caravans were taken away, Settela getting separated from her father and uncles and always hoping that when the war is over they could all live life normally and be together again. Settela's dreams, hopes and plans for the future are with her until the horrific end. The story left me feeling deeply touched and lamenting the Romani victims of the Samudaripen (Holocaust). I also felt very saddened and somehow close to Settela. Settela's Last Road brings the young girl's story vividly to life.

Yvonne Slee

STARE ROMSKE BAJKE I PRICE by Hedina Sijercic -Tahirovic

Available from
Bosanska Rijec:

This delightful children's book is published in two languages, Bosnian and Romani. One side of the book is the Bosnian version and the other side is the Romani version. The book contains 71 beautiful illustrations.


The present linguistic description has been compiled from my notes on Vlax Romani grammar prepared for students who are majoring mainly in Asian Studies, Media, Anthropology, Folklore or Journalism, enrolled in the Romani Language and Culture seminar which has been offered each semester at The University of Texas at Austin since 1978. The variety described here incorporates features from a number of kinds of Vlax and, because of that, is not quite like any single spoken dialect.
As it is spoken in the United States and Canada, Vlax adopts items from English very freely, as well as borrowing constructions and translating idioms from that language; this kind of linguistic interference is a natural characteristic of Romani and other diaspora languages, but in preparing this manual reference to the English element has been intentionally minimized, especially where an original (i.e. pre-North American) form already exists.
Although this description was originally prepared for students who, in the main, have had a minimum of linguistic training, and who have little or no intention of making use of it beyond the requirements of the course, in its present expanded form its wider purpose is to provide the basis for a Vlax dialect which will be maximally functional in international communication.

Ian Hancock
A Handbook of Vlax Romani by Professor Ian Hancock (1995)

Slavica Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 14388
Columbus, Ohio 43214

Valdemar Kalinin was born in Vitebsk, Belarus. He worked for many years as a teacher. His first poem came out in 1957. In 1995 the U. K. Department of Education invited him to come to work in London, where is still living with his daughter Cristina and working in London schools.
V. Kalinin has written more than 36 books, works and articles about Roma. In 2001 he completed the translation of the whole Bible in the Romany language (Baltic Romanes).
V. Kalinin is a laureat of the International Prize Hiroshima Foundation - For peace and cultural development, 2001, Sweden.
In 2003 V. Kalinin received the Romani Literary Award from `Open Society Institute' in Budapest for his translation of Psalms from Hebrew into Baltic Romanes.
This book is a collection of his poems for your judgement and contemplation.
Romani Dreams by Valdemar Kalinin (2005)

A collection of poems translated into four languages.

Publishing House
Stepping Stones School
Spokes: Stories from the Romany World by Janna Eliot

Available from Inpressbooks:

"I was a doctor. I was a poet. I recited my poems at festivals in towns and villages in my country. Some of my poems are in books. I wrote about freedom and hope, about equality for my people. This is my story. They came for us. "Burn the filthy Gypsies!" they screamed. They dragged my husband from bed. They broke his arms and legs. They torched the house. "Run, Roma scum, run!" I took my baby and followed my star. That's why I'm here. That's why I sit behind the border of my counter, safe, invisible."

is made up of stories from across the world featuring British Gypsies; East European Roma; and people whose Romani background has remained under wraps in the face of a hostile world.

There's an old violinist, a middle-aged mechanic, a young radio presenter, a schoolboy, a retired banker, a tea-lady, and a teacher.

Janna Eliot - under the pen name of Rukshana Smith - is the author of several previous young adult novels including Sumitra's Story, Salt on the Snow and Rainbows of the Gutter.

Janna was born in England of Russian, Armenian, and Roma heritage. Her novels tend to deal with displacement and the search for cultural identity. She is a member of the Gypsy Council, the Roma Support Group and plays guitar with the London Gypsy Orchestra.

A beautifully illustrated Romani folktale about how God made the Roma and the other peoples of the earth, from Magoria Books' Romani Folktales collection. Hedina Sijercic, internationally published Romani Poet and Author, brings us the stories from her childhood with the vivid watercolour painted illustrations of Doris Greven. This special bilingual edition contains both the English version and the Romani original of the story.
"How God made the Roma" by Hedina Sijercic
Available from Magoria Books

"An Unusual Family" by Hedina Sijercic
Available from Magoria Books
Another beautifully illustrated Romani folktale by Hedina Sijercic about the troublesome children of Mother Earth and Father Sky, from Magoria Books' Romani Folktales collection illustrated by Doris Greven. This special bilingual edition contains both the English version and the Romani original of the story.

The Living Fire by Ronald Lee

Available from Magoria Books

Ronald Lee's autobiographical novel, formerly published as 'Goddam Gypsy', is an intense, fast moving, and brutally honest affair. Yanko - a Canadian Rom who 'took the non-Romani way but didn't go far' - seeks his fortunes both among and apart from the Roma, never quite finding his place.
His story exposes the out of sight, out of mind world of Canada's Roma in 1970's Montréal: Parties, rackets, bar brawls, weddings, desperate poverty, and intermittent police raids fuel in Yanko the passion, creativity, and rebellious defiance that is The Living Fire.

Review by Janna Eliot

Ronald Lee, the hero of this autobiographical novel, seeks to express his Romani identity in the racist, sexist Canada of the 1960s.  Better known as compiler of a Romani dictionary and author of a Romani language text book, the author exposes the underworld of scams, deals, and prostitution.  Episodes feature the tension between Canadian Indians, French and English Canadians, and the divisions between Roma from America, Canada and Eastern Europe.
After working in tinplating and making model ships, Ronald ends up as curator of the stuffed animal section of Expo 67 in Montreal.  The corpses of the caribou displayed in glass display cabinets become a metaphor for a decaying Canada.
The most ironic comments about Indian reservations and the cultural destruction of the old way of life belong to Ronald's Indian wife, Marie. To preserve his sanity and freedom, Ronald decides to take his family to seek a better life in England.
Originally published as GODDAM GYPSY in 1970, E ZHIVINDI YAG is an interesting, informative read.   A followup volume bringing readers up to date would be welcome"

Rromane Paramicha by Hedina Sijercic

Available from Magoria Books

Rromane Paramicha is a unique collection of folktales and legends that bring alive the rich cultural and religious traditions of the Roma. Hedina Tahirovic Sijercic, internationally published Romani poet and author, offers us the stories from her childhood with the authenticity of a direct inheritor of oral tradition. This special bilingual edition contains both faithful English translations, as well as the Gurbeti Romani originals of each story, with a selection of Doris Greven's beautiful watercolour illustrations.

Romani Prince Penga by Hedina Sijercic

Available from Magoria Books

A beautifully illustrated Romani folktale about the evil deeds of the Romani Prince Penga and his adoptive brother Beng, from Magoria Books' Romani Folktales collection. Hedina Sijercic, internationally published Romani Poet and Author, brings us the stories from her childhood with the vivid watercolour painted illustrations of Doris Greven. This special bilingual edition contains both the English version and the Romani original of the story.

If you are a first time cook or someone whose cooking style is defined by measurements and precise ingredient lists, this is not a book for you. Gypsy cooking is about using what is available, and most importantly it is about using your senses to create a dish that is uniquely your own.  It is about turning the kitchen into the heart of your household, the safe place for all friends and family to congregate as equals.  A neutral place, a place traditions are built.

What you will find in this book, is a combination of our own personal collection of our favorite family recipes as well as those we have collected from our friends around the world and have made our own.  It is a culmination of the history of the Gypsies, our family, memories and stories of travels.   It is also a book of friendships and generosity from the people who have been generous in sharing their lives and their table with us.
Cooking with Gypsies by Sita and Dani Bamberger-Stolfi
To order a copy, email
Torn Away Forever by Yvonne Slee

To buy the book email

Like Water/Sar o paj edited by Hedina Tahirovic Sijercic.

For information on how to obtain a copy go to
The International Writers Association published and  promoted the new book, Like Water/Sar o paj edited by Hedina Tahirovic Sijercic.

This is a first all women anthology - Through poetry, eight women write about life and their views of the Rromani situation.

Beside Hedina Tahirovic Sijercic- Bosnia and Herzegovina,  co-authors are: Yvonne Slee - Australia, Rasa Lee Sutar - USA, Lynn Hutchinson, Julia Lovell, Sarah Barbieux, Thais Barbieux  and Gina Csanyi - Canada.
Some of the translation into Rromani language was done by : Ronald Lee - Canada and Janardhan Pathania - India.
Cover illustration: Lynn Hutchinson - Canada
Back cover poem: Mario Ines Torres - Mexico

LIKE WATER/SAR O PAJ - a bilingual English/Romani anthology of poems by Romani women.
Edited by Hedina Tahiroviae Sijereiae, published 2009 by Kafla InterContinental, <>

"So often we women are excluded from our Romani communities, and under our male leaders it is not easy to speak our minds, express our ideas and make art."  This feeling is what inspired Hedina Tahiroviae Sijereiae to compile the first volume of poems by Romani women.  The title of the anthology is taken from a poem by Papusza, one of the most lyrical and emotive Romani writers. 

The eight poets come from different backgrounds and countries but most are now resident in Canada or Australia.  Their poems fall into four main categories,  autobiography, lament, anecdote, and praise for nature.

The collection begins with work from the well known Hedina Tahiroviae Sijereiae. Originally from Sarajevo, in CV1 Hedina provides a  poetic history of her life, typical of the experiences of so many Roma. Other poems, sometimes tender, sometimes savage, show the difficulties of a people often  insulted, hungry, and without documents. As she cries out in CV2Naj amen papiri!  Kai bizo papiri?    We have no papers!  Where can we go without papers?

Sarah Barbieux, originally from Paris, writes of the pain of hiding her Gypsy identity as a child, and calls out to be taught the songs of her parents. Julia Lovell, born in Scotland, touches on sterilization and the extermination of the Gypsies under the Third Reich. Gina Csanyi-Robah, born in Toronto, gives a moving narrative about her dying Grandmother in Dza e Devalesa meri phuri Dai/Goodbye NagyMama.  Yvonne Slee, born in Germany, calls for other Roma women to stand here by my side and strive to keep the Roma culture alive. The poems of Canadian Thais Barbieux dance across the page with their mythical dragons, princesses and knights. Bavaria-born Rasa Lee Sutar writes of dignity in the face of persecution. Lynn Hutchinson, living in Toronto, offers five poems for her father. The amazing images of his good eye clenched/glass eye staring/ tears pouring from both eyes/the living and the dead, and the description of the puppets he made, swallowing their truths with his last breath, are disturbing and memorable.

Sometimes each poet soars to the level that Papusza reached so effortlessly.  In her curse poem Phuv/Earth, Hedina Tahiroviae Sijereiae shows Romani poetry at its best, casting spells, redemptive, universal. Sarah Barbieux, in But Baxt Tuke/May you be lucky, says, Nashti davas tuke mai but/ferdi murro orimos, mo swinto orimos../I have been able to give you nothing more than my wish, my sacred wish... Gina Csanyi-Robah hears o Romano muzikako bashalipe/the Gypsy music forever playing...   In Romane phenja/Roma sisters, Julia Lovell uses typical Gypsy nature images of sun and moon to great effect. Yvonne Slee in Cikni Tradicija/A little tradition, writes a beautiful poem about her Sinti gran teaching her about herbs and berries while sitting beneath an ancient old oak tree. Thais Barbieux in O Drom o kezhlano/The Silken Road describes how her heart dances away from the prison of numbers on a road of silk. Rasa Lee Sutar in Bistardino/Forgotten, contrasts butterflies with the black train of the Nazis, and Lynn Hutchinson's inspiring poems blend lyrical folk tradition with realism.

This valuable book reveals the thoughts and ideals of a few contemporary Roma women.  I'd like to have seen the poems in their original languages, to experience the rhythm which is so often lost in translation.  I'd also like to see a followup volume featuring poets from more varied lands. 

An unusual enterprise and a fascinating read!

review by Janna Eliot
This is a passionate love story, layered with history, which shows that the effect of Hitler's intense maniacal obsession, still exists. It also shows that Hitler's only logic was hatred.

Reviewed by Carole McDonnell
Gypsy Tears: Loving a Holocaust Survivor
By Cora Schwartz
Hobblebush Books
ISBN 978-0-9760896-9-8, $21.95, Published 2007, 244 pages

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill
Published in Romani language by Rromani Baxt - C.E.E. for the Interface Collection. ISBN - 2-9507850-2-6

One of the popular 'Spot the dog" books presented in Romani with pop-up windows to keep the children amused.

Savina the Gypsy dancer by Ann Tompert

Published by Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-02-789205-0

Savina's magical dancing is the only reason her Gypsy tribe is welcome in the land of the harsh King Walid. But Savina may also be the cause of her peo­ple's ruin. So captivating is she that the king decides she is a threat to his power.
King Walid determines to make the Gypsies surrender Savina. He has their horses stolen, their tents ripped, their tools seized. Still the Gypsies remain loyal to Savina - and joyous. When the king learns this, he becomes enraged. "She must be destroyed," he says. "She and all her tribe will be destroyed."
What can the Gypsies do? Can Savina save them?
In her romantic tale about family and tribal devotion, Ann Tompert captures the spirit of the Gypsy people. Dennis Nolan depicts it dramatically in rich, classical paintings that are as entertaining as the story.

Bosansko-romski i romsko-bosanski rjecnik by Hedina Sijercic

For information on how to obtain a copy email
A Bosnian-Romani and Romani-Bosnian dictionary by Hedina Sijeric has just been published and is now available for purchase.
Romani poem tales adapted and illustrated by Janna

         Tasty Stone Soup                     The Magic Stones                        The Two Brothers
A passing stranger                          A childless couple find                     Two brothers seek their
transforms a stone into a               happiness when stones                      fortune, and have some      tasty meal
.                                      turn into babies.                                adventures  along the way.
For more information or to order copies,  please contact

Tio Pinnar i Luften (Ten sticks in the air) - Edited by Gunilla Lundgren and illustrated by Amanda Eriksson.


A charming collection of stories, songs and riddles in Sweden's five minority languages (Finnish, Yiddish, Meankieli, Romani and Samiska), all translated into Swedish. Well illustrated with multiethnic characters, each language section presents songs, riddles, poems, and a game.  There's a Finnish story about a prickly hedgehog who sails to sea on an inflatable mattress, a Yiddish tale showing how a mirror disrupts the life of a family of poor peasants, and a spooky Meankieli story of a ghostbride.  The Romani language chapter has an exerpt from Katitzi, by Sweden's famous Katarina Taikon. The final chapter features the Samiska saga of the boy and the Stallo, (a giant from the northern regions), the legend of a friendly spider, and the story of a woman who shares her food with a bear.  An enchanting example of Sweden's commitment to mother tongue languages.
Miritza and Sebastian - Domino Kai


The aim of this trilingual book in Romani Kaale, Finnish and Swedish, is to help ease Sweden's Romani children into nursery and school life.  Pupils are encouraged to be proud of their home culture, whilst taking their rightful place in the wider Swedish society.  Miritza and Sebastian, 6-year-old twins, are photographed at home and school, talking about their hopes, fears and dreams.  They explain their customs and say what they like and dislike about the school day. Each unit ends with questions for teachers and school personnel.  For example, one day the teacher tells the twins' mother that Miritza and Sebastian never eat the fruit provided by school during break.  Puzzled, the mother answers that both the children love fruit.  Probing reveals that the offered fruit is placed in a bowl on the floor, which is against the Romani custom of keeping food in a clean spot. The reader is asked to think about how this situation might be solved.  The assumption is that the bowl could be placed on a table, a tiny alteration inconveniencing no one, and enabling the Romani twins to be included in group activities. The book will be very useful for parents and education professionals dealing with similar issues in a multicultural situation.

Both the above books will interest readers who know Romani and/or Swedish.

Reviewed by Janna Eliot

Rromani Alavari
Romani-English Dictionary by Ronald Lee

Published by Magoria Books

This can be ordered from and  is the first part of Ronald Lee's massive Romani-English and English-Romani dictionary which will follow it soon as a separate publication. The entries are good for both Kalderash Romani as spoken in the Americas and in Europe and will be very helpful for related Vach-Romani dialects such as Churaritska, Lovaritska and Machwanitska. It also contains a grammatical synopsis and a full pronunciation guide. It has been designed to be compatible with the author's previous, Learn Romani course published in 2005 by the University of Hertfordshire Press. The phonetic system employed is designed for speakers of English and of Spanish and French for the Americas. This was it avoids the use of diacritical marks requiring special fonts. While there are stress indicators and other pronunciation indicators, these do not have to be used by native or fluent speakers and are only to assist those learning new words. For more information see Magoria Books web site where there will be an audio pronunciation guide as soon as this can be created.

flight of the Russian Gypsies by Sonia Meyer

Published by Wilderness House Press

Sonia Meyer's no-holes-barred, sprawling, romantic first novel takes up the moving and horrifying history of Gypsies in post-war Russia. You won't forget the wild young girl, Dosha, and her beautiful white stallion in this compelling tale of intrigue and the fight for freedom by the Rom.

Danger! Educated Gypsy

Selected Essays (Paperback) by Ian Hancock & Dileep Karanth
Publisher: University of Hertfordshire Press

Penned by a noted Gypsy scholar, this collection of writings examines Romani history, culture, language, and politics and covers topics that range from responses to the Romani Holocaust and Romani religion to anti-Gypsy racism and oppression. Giving a voice to an often misunderstood community, this record includes personal stories, persuasive research, heartfelt criticisms, and sincere advice. Informative and dynamic, this volume strives to debunk the myths and prejudices surrounding the Roma and to examine how Romani identity has been formed in the course of their long history.

Read a full review by Lorna Gibb of Ian's book here

Australia and Romanies by Yvonne Slee

Sponsored by the Sinti Romani Community of Queensland Organisation, Australia

To purchase a copy email or go to Craig's list or Gumtree

A book with stories about the different Romanies in Australia that I've come across while doing my activism. Ones I've worked with, danced with, ate with and shared thoughts on the importance of speaking up about our Romani identity.

Review by Janna Eliot

This is the saga of energetic and passionate Yvonne Slee as she journeys through Australia, on a mission to educate Australians about Romani culture. The adventures of this admirable lady include opening a Romani cafe in Melbourne, breaking into international broadcasting, and getting museums and centres to put on a Romani exhibition she curated herself. She sees off stroppy teachers, ignorant shopkeepers, sexist lazy Romani men and racist Gadje, helped by Dave, her loyal and talented husband.  
The book is wellwritten, fastmoving and inspiring, full of eccentric and fascinating characters, and offers a glimpse of Romani life in Australia.  
Yvonne also runs an organisation called the Sinti Romani Community of Queensland, Australia ( and is the sitemanager of The Rromani Connection website (
To read an in-depth review by Geoff Bryan about the book click here
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Jews and Gypsies, Myths and Reality, is one book that should be available in every school and council library for people to read and learn about equality and embrace minority groups and cultures. Ruth highlighted in her book that prejudice makes no sense. People should listen more to what the culture or group has to say rather than listening to others who know nothing about them.
She draws comparisons between Jewish and Romani cultures, both of which were without their own countries for many centuries. Now Jews have their own state, but Romanies are still a people without a country. Their ancestors from different castes were forcibly taken out of India 1000 years ago and since entering Europe 600 years ago they have endured persecution and racist attacks against them. The Holocaust, which affected both Romani and Jews alike, is mentioned repeatedly. Ruth wants people to learn from the atrocities of WW2 so that they never allow them to happen again. In this day and age, people's ignorance still allows them to believe in the propaganda and stereotypes written in the media and portrayed on television. It's important to have a book like Ruth Barnett's that shines a true light on Romani and Jewish cultures.
The images in the book are thought provoking and the stories are lively and positive. Romanies stories, such as Sally's was very interesting and warmly written, Also Robin's, a psychologist, reflections on his Romani side and travels to Australia were rather intriguing. Ruth also included my story. I was more than happy to contribute to the book and write about my Romani ancestors and how life is now for my family. The world needs more people like Ruth, who is sympathetic and understanding to the plight of minorities. She holds the view that if the right information about minorities is taught at school, then children won't grow up ignorant of other cultures and the world could change for the better.

Yvonne Slee
President, Sinti Romani Community, Australia
Jews and Gypsies. Myths and Reality by Ruth Barnett
Available at or email Ruth  6.85 rrp. (Pounds Sterling)

Here are 3 books from our Romani brothers in Brazil. For more information contact Nicolas Ramanush on his facebook page or go to his website
Kherutni Xabe - Culinaria tradicional cigana

People with a passion for cooking will find in this book, dishes ranging from exotic flavors of certain foods to the unique use of certain spices that are a testimony to the Romany past that survives in the memory of the Romany woman. Covers various Roma groups main dishes, sweets and drinks.

By Ingrid Ramanush
Medicina Magica - como curam os ciganos

In this work you will know what is the traditional medicine of some Roma groups. And discover that it was a mixture of traditional cure with their beliefs. And that it contained herbal, spirituality and knowledge bioenergetics. These therapies were employed for the purpose to diagnose, treat or prevent a serious disease or a simple illness.

By  Nicolas Ramanush
Guia Pratico Romani-Portugues

In an attempt to preserve the only non-territorial language in the world, I want this book to become an effective tool frequently used for people who are interested in knowing the 'Gypsy language' (Romani). It is the only book on Romani, in the world, to present verb conjugation, everyday vocabulary and a small grammar.

By Nicolas Ramanush
Wendepunkt       by  Gordana Herold

I just finished reading the book Wendepunkt (Turning Point) which was published in November 2015. It's in German and English and comes in a nice hardbound cover. The book is about Romani women empowering themselves to bring positive changes in attitudes towards them so that they can participate a lot more in actions to bring about a better future for Romani culture. "Be encouraged, stand up and join in," is what the message tells you in the book. It's also got something to say about the old fashioned attitudes of some of our Romani men that need to be changed to have this turn around occur. It should be a regular occurrence that the stories of Romani women be told. It's a way of feeling, "Hey! I'm not alone as there are others who stand proud and strong." I give credit to Gordana Herold in putting together a book like this and explaining in many details about Romani womens' lives and letting them speak about their own experiences and opinions.
Many times you see similar things happening where there's this hope of participation and then it just stops, it's never long term. The majority cultures we live amongst mostly don't allow it to be permanent and all inclusive. The book tells of the fight we all have against misconceptions and stereotypes made up by the majority cultures from their perceptions in their books as a means to undermine us and not let us speak for ourselves. How, if we all stand together and speak up as a whole, we can bring an end to the untruths and ignorance. It's about confidence, hope and Romani women's rights. Freeing oneself of repression, but still keeping our Romanipe, so our women are allowed to speak freely. Our Romani women acting in the best way for the culture can also make a more prosperous life for our children. Better education, housing, healthcare and a job opportunities. A happier vibe in the home, where we get some understanding from the majority culture and feel it's possible for our culture to be included and that actually becomes the norm. This is what Wendepunkt suggests should happen. I agree and not only in Europe but also in Australia. We all need this Romani women's movement.
To purchase this book get in touch with Romane Romnja Aktivitaeten on facebook and ask for a copy.

Review by
Yvonne Slee 
Roma - Don't call us Gypsies by Professor Martin Kaneko

Martin Kaneko's book explores the realities of the Roma, from discrimination to stereotyping, the Holocaust, their history and identity and the struggles they face in todays world.

(Written in Japanese)

To purchase a copy contact Martin Kaneko.
The European Diaspora in Australia: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
edited by Bruno Mascitelli, Sonia Mycak, Gerardo Papalia
This book is available at Google Books
This volume provides a contemporary reflection on the journey of many former European communities that migrated to Australia in the post-war period and their stories of settlement, assimilation and integration. The chapters provide perspectives from a range of disciplines and approaches across different communities. There are common themes that emerge, as well as unique issues which define these communities.