Lesson 7: The Roma and the Jews

This week we’re going to depart from our time-tested geographically-based, country by-country routine to go off the beaten track with the Roma/Romani people (often, pejoratively, known as “gypsies”) and with Ashkenazic (Central and Eastern European-descended) Jews. Both groups have lived at one point or another in almost ever corner of Eastern Europe, and have been evicted from the same. Both groups have long histories full of unfathomable struggle, yet have somehow managed to survive.

OVERVIEW: The histories of the Roma and Jewish people have so much in common.

LANGUAGE: The Romani language still shapes into dozens of dialects; Yiddish rebounds!

WHEN YOU GO THERE: Visiting a Roma village, visiting a Jewish village of the past….

KLEZMER: Jewish wedding party music from centuries past, lovingly reborn.

ROMANI MUSIC: Music from the Romani breathes life into the culture of countries all over Eastern Europe.

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