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Fatima Bergendahl

Stockholm, 27.09.2015

"Every woman has to decide alone by herself if she wants to work outside the house. It’s not like five hundred years ago, now we are in the 2000s. Here everybody can go to school, not just stay at our towns, cook for our family, and be with the kids. If we want our kids to have better future, me as a mother I think that every woman should go to school."

Letter from Slovakia

I am often told I don't have the right to call myself a Roma woman. I know I don't. 

I am often told I don't have the right to call myself a Roma woman. I know I don't. Two generations ago, the woman in my family renounced their culture and assimilated into Slovak culture as white women. Today, I am a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, white woman that holds some Roma blood. My family has tried to teach me that Roma is dirty - that they are thieves, that their woman are worth nothing. They have lied to me about my roots, and now that I know - I know I don't have the right to call myself a Roma woman. I have not suffered as they have. I have not been a part of the beautiful culture that Roma society has. But I have always wanted to have my grandmother hold me and tell me about her traditions, her life before her white husband, and what her real name is. I found your website by chance. It brings tears to my eyes to see this culture alive and thriving, even more by giving women a voice which we often don't have. Thank you for starting this website. Thank you for giving women a voice. Thank you so much. What you are doing is so beautiful, and I wish I could do something so beautiful one day. 

Comments:
01/01/2015 by Loma
...i am also american...of hungarian/serbian heritage....i did the national geographic dna test and have roma dna. i went to an elderly aunt and asked her if she knew we were roma..travelers...YES she said....i realized then my family also tried to deny the roma ties...as a young woman ...without knowing of this history...i married and lived in a bus...and Travelled all over the usa...at 55 years old i found out and all the dots connected..even my sons...who were mistaken for native american...we so happy that we now know our history....i pray for the romani peoples all over the world...
03/12/2013 by Annen
Hi, I am a Coordinator with an NGO based in Ireland and work with many marginalised groups such as Refugees, Asylum Seekers and other vulnerable Migrants including a small Roma group. I am looking forward to liaising with your organisation in the future and hope that you can provide any insights to the issues currently being faced by Roma groups across Europe.
01/11/2013 by EITYW
I work with a Gypsy Roma and Traveller families in Worcestershire. I know there many Roma families who need support and I am looking for help in reaching these families. Can you help me
11/08/2013 by Elske
I'm an American woman, the great-grandaughter of a Roma couple from Hungary who tried to erase their past when they arrived in this country. I know little of my past, but you help me feel connected.
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