Bury Me Standing: Gypsies and Their Journey
2 journalers for this copy...
Gypsies have always intrigued and fascinated - partly due to their their mysterious origins and partly due to the romance of nomadism. But because they resist assimilation, having survived as a distinct people for over 1000 years, they have also been the victims of other people's nationalism and xenophobia. The have been persecuted throughout the ages, including recently in German concentration camps and by nationalist mobs in Romania. In this study, the author focuses particularly on the gypsies of Eastern Europe (an estimated six million) and their future as a distinct race within a nationalist Europe. Her book is a blend of the scholarly - their origins, folklore, customs, dietary laws, myths, taboos - and the personal. While researching the book, Fonseca learned Romany and stayed with the gypsies, becoming deeply involved with their lives and befriending several gypsy kings.
Released 13 yrs ago (2/7/2005 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
;) Thanks, AWF. I'll read and get it on its way back to you ASAP
I've been reading Bury Me Standing by Isabel Fonseca, and it has to be one of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time. The author travelled and lived among the gypsies of Eastern Europe and attempted to track the similarities and differences among the various groups. There are several theories presented about that, but one of the most prominent indicating a gypsy exodus from India about 1000-1200 years ago. It was very interesting to learn that and see some of the tie-ins between Romani, Hindi and Sanskrit. I guess I always thought Roma/Rom=Romanian and never thought about gypsies outside of Eastern Europe, though I certainly ran into more gypsies in Madrid than I did in Prague. And much as I don't like to generalise and don't think it's fair, I nearly got pickpocketed twice in Madrid when walking through Puerta del Sol. Who was it? Bloody gypsy woman.
Another interesting point that the author raised was the reaction of non-gypsies to gypsies, especially the Magyars in Transylvania. That was a real eye-opener because we all learn about the pogroms around WW2 and the gypsies killed in the camps but you don't think of things that happened in the early 90s as the author travelled. Stories of entire gypsy camp and villages being burnt to the ground for the crime of one person. Scary. This book was researched in 91-93 and published in 1995 so it's a bit out of date, but an interesting back thread to her travels were the conflicts in the Balkans at the time as well as the general unrest in the regions (especially the former Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania) following the deaths of Ceaucescu, Tito and the fall of communism.
If any of you are interesting in languages/a sociological look at the history of the gypsies, I highly recommend this book. It's got me wanting to know more though. Especially about the Travellers, which I know very little about.
Point of that? I seriously think I missed my calling to study linguistics. I always knew I liked languages but never realised until the last few years how I like word origins/etymology/etc. I cannot look at a word without working else what else it's related to and how it ties into other languages. I think it's thrilling to see how languages morph over time and distance and that interest has been piqued by looking at Australian English v. American English. Especially the slang. At times I barely understand what people are saying, and that's not even only 'Strine. Also, language changes within the same regional area, i.e. Geoffrey Nunberg's two books. I also love languages from a sociological point of view. Over the summer I read Spoken Here which talks about what happens when languages die and in Bury Me Standing it's an interesting look at the use of Romani throughout the regions. I am such a language geek.
I know I could go for my MA in linguistics, but on its own that would be about as useful as my BA in Economics. I can't really do anything with either. Of course what I want to do is research. I love research. Research and field studies, I'd be in heaven.
AWF, I'll get this back to you as soon as I finish Picnic at Hanging Rock, OK?
Released 13 yrs ago (2/18/2005 UTC) at
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On its way back to AwaywithFairies.
WILD RELEASE NOTES: