Chocolat Tidbit #18 ~ The Flag and Anthem

by Joanne Harris

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Chocolat Tidbit #18 ~ The Flag and Anthem

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu May 18, 2006 8:23 am

Image

The spoked-wheel image above represents a sixteen-spoked chakra, adopted at the First World Romani Congress in London in 1971 as the international Romani symbol. The chakra is a link to the Roma's Indian origins (the 24-spoked Ashok Chakra is in the center of the national flag of India, the Tiranga). The World Romani Congress has adopted a Romani flag which is respected by all the Roma the world over. It comprises of blue and green traditional colors with the red wheel in the center. Blue is the blue sky and the heavens. Green is the land, organic and growing. The blue symbolizes eternal spiritual values; the green earthly values. The wheel in the center symbolizes movement and progress.

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Rom flag

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Flag of India

The Congress also adopted the motto "Opré Roma" (Roma Arise). The song "Gelem, gelem," also known as "Djelem, djelem" and "Opré Roma," was selected as the Romani anthem. April 8 was proclaimed International Romani Day. Among the chief goals of the World Romani Congresses are the standardization of the Romanes language, reparations from World War II, improvements in civil rights and education, preserving Romani culture, and international recognition of the Roma as a national minority of Indian origin. Among the chief Roma organizations, the International Romani Union has consultative status to the United Nations Social and Economic Council.


DJELEM DJELEM - THE ROMANI ANTHEM
Written by Zarko Jovanovic, 1969
Adopted as theofficial Romani anthem at the
First World Romani Congress in
London, England, April, 8, 1971

Romani


Djelem, djelem, lungone dromensa
Maladilem baxtale Romensa
Djelem, djelem, lungone dromensa
Maladilem baxtale Romensa.
Ay, Romale, Ay, Chavale,
Ay, Romale, Ay, Chavale.
Ay Romale, katar tumen aven
Le tserensa baxtale dromensa
Vi-man sas u bari familiya
Tai mudardya la e kali legiya.
Aven mansa sa lumiake Roma
Kai putaile le Romane droma
Ake vryama - ushti Rom akana
Ame xutasa mishto kai kerasa.
Ay, Romale, Ay Chavale,
Ay, Romale, Ay Chavale


English Translation by Ron Lee


I have travelled over long roads
I have met fortunate Roma
I have travelled far and wide
I have met lucky Roma
Oh, Romani adults, Oh Romani youth
Oh, Romani adults, Oh Romani youth
Oh, Roma, from wherever you have come
With your tents along lucky roads
I too once had a large family
But the black legion murdered them
Come with me, Roma of the world
To where the Romani roads have been opened
Now is the time - stand up, Roma,
We shall succeed where we make the effort.
Oh, Roma adults, Oh, Roma youth
Oh, Roma adults, Oh, Roma youth.

This verse of Gelem, Gelem was inspired by Roma in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. There are other verses by different authors, so there exists several versions of this song. The song Gelem, Gelem is also known by the names Djelem, Djelem, Opré Roma, and Romale Shavale.

Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov in their study of the song, provide the following history:

Milan Aivazov from Plodiv [Bulgaria], born in 1922, a self-taught cymbal player and a long-time musician in the popular Aivazov Duet, says that he can remember the popular melody of "Zhelim, Zhelim" from his grandfather but he has forgotten the old words. He thinks that the song is extremely melodious, but it used to be played in a triple time and it was actually an old Rumanian song rewritten by Gypsy musicians in Serbia who changed the tempo. There are other explanations according to which this is a Gypsy melody originating in Rumania and popular in variety shows in Paris in the 20's and 30's. In any case, this was a very popular song among Serbian Gypsies in the 60's and there are various texts to the melody.

The melody of this song became popular in Europe in the end of the 60's from Alexander Petrovic's film Skupljaci perja(The Buyer of Feathers) known under the name I Have Met Some Happy Gypsies. There was a meeting of Comité International Tsigane in April 8-12, 1971 in London, attended by Gypsies from different countries, which became th First World Roma Congress. The Congress decided to form a new international Gypsy organisation. Later on, at the Second Congress in 1978 in Geneva, this organisation took the name Romani Ekhipe or Romani Union. As Donald Kenrick remembers, Jarko Jovanovic and Dr. Jan Cibula prepared a new text for the popular melody during the Congress. In its new variant the song "Gelem, Gelem" was liked by everyone, it was unanimously accepted as the Congress song and the Congress ended with it.

One of the decisions of the Congress was "to have an international competition for the words and music of an international Romani anthem" and it was this song that actually became the anthem. At the international meetings and congresses which followed the "Romani Anthem" was already taken for granted and was gradually accepted by the Gypsy organisations in the European countries and by public opinion. Its universal acceptance was assisted by the fact that the song "Djelem, Djelem" was included in the records of the popular Yugoslavian singer Šaban Bairamovic in the 80's which inspired new folklore variants. The song became popular as an "anthem" among Gypsies from various countries (mainly in Eastern Europe), but it did not replace the numerous folklore variants which were already in existence.

"Black Legions" refers to the Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel; German: "Protective Echelon"), so called because of the black uniforms they wore. The SS included the Gestapo secret police and the Death's Head Battalion (Totenkopfverbande) concentration camp units.


To hear the anthem, click on the link below and scroll down to Listen to Galem, Galem...
http://www.geocities.com/~Patrin/gelem.htm
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Theresa
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Unread postby Theresa » Thu May 18, 2006 9:59 pm

Thanks for the info, DITHOT.

The tune of their anthem isn't at all what I imagined it would be. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of the kind of music that I've heard from Taraf.

And strangely -- that tune was almost familiar to me. It has a lot of the Spanish sound to it, and also much of the Indian/Moroccan sound.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu May 18, 2006 11:09 pm

You're welcome, thersa! Check in on Sunday for more on music... :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Bix » Fri May 19, 2006 2:16 pm

And we think the Star Spangled Banner is hard to sing! Wow, that is really a haunting anthem. I know what you mean, Theresa, about it being almost familiar. Is it maybe used as background music in Chocolat?

I'm looking forward to more music on Sunday, DITHOT.
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

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Unread postby H2H » Sun May 21, 2006 7:01 pm

Those are some pretty intense words to that anthem.
Ladies....an announcement....I am up for it all the time.


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