Posted in "From East to East", "Mantle", "Roma Transitions", "Transitions Online", Balkans, Bulgaria, Central Europe, Czech Republic, Democracy, Eastern Europe, European Union, Extremists, Gypsy, Hungary, Jewish, Minorities, Muslims, Roma, Romani, Romania, Slovakia, United Nations, tagged Roma, Romani, Jud Nirenberg, Gypsy Sexuality, US Association for UNHCR on May 10, 2011 |
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[The following post appeared May 10, 2011, on The Mantle. The post was republished May 11 on Roma Transitions.]
BRATISLAVA – The Romani people are Europe’s largest minority – and also its most marginalized. Much is written about their persecution, both historic and contemporary, especially in Central Europe today. Yet Jud Nirenberg trammels new terrain, as editor of the newly published book, “Gypsy Sexuality: Romani and Outsider Perspectives on Intimacy.” (I was delighted to contribute two chapters: one on the lack of sex education among Bulgarian Roma; the other, early-teen marriage among Kalderash Roma in Romania.)
Via email, I interviewed Nirenberg, 39, who managed to produce this book while also working as associate director of the U.S. Association for UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.
MJ: How did you first become interested in Roma issues?
JN: I’m an American of mixed Romani and Jewish descent, grew up in Massachusetts and had a fairly assimilated childhood, which isn’t really the norm for Romani Americans. There are, of course, Americans whose parents were Romani immigrants from Europe and whose lives resemble any other first-generation Americans. A lot of Roma came in the 50s from Hungary, for example. But there is a larger community of Romani Americans who are more often the subject of writing (and who are the focus of one part of this book), whose families came a long time ago and yet who live very much apart from mainstream America.
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Posted in "Book-Writing Blog", "Transitions Online", Balkans, Bulgaria, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, European Union, Extremists, Gypsy, Minorities, Roma, Romani, Romania, United Nations, tagged Bill Bila, Carol Miller, Claude Cahn, Gypsy Sexuality, Jud Nirenberg on April 19, 2011 |
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[Below is the blurb of a book to which I contributed two chapters. The first on the lack of sex education among Bulgarian Roma; the second about early-teen marriage among Kalderash Roma in Romania. This book may be purchased from Amazon.]
Gypsy Sexuality: Romani and Outsider Perspectives on Intimacy
Editor: Jud Nirenberg
Authors: Anne Marie Codur, Carol Miller, Jud Nirenberg, Claude Cahn, Maria Serban-Temisan, Bill Bila, Michael J. Jordan, Fernanda Amaral, Istvan Forgacs et al
Roma (Gypsy) communities are not all the same. Everywhere, however, Roma are the objects of some mixture of distrust and exoticism. This collection of essays offers rare and candid voices of Roma and non-Roma women and men on sexuality, gender and inter-racial relations. The collection explores the myths about the romantic and alluring Gypsies and some of the most controversial realities. From teen marriage to prostitution to some governments’ coercive sterilization of Romani women and with memoirs covering topics from inter-ethnic love affairs to rape, Gypsy Sexuality collects the words of poor Roma in slums alongside the writing of the community’s political and women’s rights leaders. The reader will never think about Gypsies the same way.
Available now on Kindle. Coming in paperback in April 2011 to Amazon and selected independent booksellers in Europe and the United States.
“One needs to read this attentively…This book shows the reality of Romani life…I believe that more books like this are needed.”
Asmet Elezovski, Secretary General, European Roma and Travelers’ Forum
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