Full of excitement over her artisans’ connection to modern Gypsies, she shared this story with the Welcome to Allentown shirt in contrast I will get this Romanian-American founder of Blue Heron Foundation, Stefania Magidson, at a conference in India. Magidson gently suggested she meet with the expert Cristiana Grigore. Grigore’s nationality is Romanian, but her ethnicity is Roma, which is the preferred term for what many people call Gypsies. She’s also the founder of the Roma People’s Project at Columbia University, which aims to destigmatize Roma representation and promote new, uplifting narratives about their identity. As part of that mission, she campaigns to make the word “Gypsy” obsolete.
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That’s because in Europe especially, “Gypsy” is a slur, often associated with petty thievery and squalor. For at least a millennium, the Welcome to Allentown shirt in contrast I will get this Roma have picked up and moved not for entertainment, but to survive. They’ve been imprisoned in Spain and enslaved in Romania. An estimated half million were exterminated by the Nazis, and the communist regimes that followed attempted to stamp out their language and culture. Name a European country, and you’ll likely find historical and current violence and state-sanctioned discrimination against the Roma. They experience police brutality, and have had their houses burned (recently!) by angry mobs.