Dos Lunares investigates and promotes the intersections between Flamenco and Romani/Gypsy culture through printed matter, film nights, and special events.

August 28, 2009

Controversy surrounding ‘Roma Passport’

Filed under: Romani — Dos Lunares @ 1:21 pm

From the European Roma and Travellers Forum


Drago amala,/ Dear Friends,

A short while ago, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe received a letter from the International Romani Union, informing him of the creation of a Roma passport as a new identification document of the Roma people around the world.

Considering the role and the objectives of the European Roma and Travellers Forum, I would like to use this opportunity to warn Roma around the world not to associate themselves with this document. The so-called ‘Roma passport’ is unlawful and as such it does not comply with any international standards which would allow for it to be considered as a legal identification document.

Many Roma who are not well informed and who are facing the problem of lack of personal Identification papers in the country they live in could think that this is a solution to their problem. Holders of such document when crossing country borders could be charged with a criminal offense.

I am urging you not to send any photos or money aiming at obtaining such a document. You should instead inform all Roma people you know that this so-called ‘passport’ has no validity and that it is also illegal. We should not be seen as supporting a business which puts our community in a challenging situation.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum has started an investigation on this matter and hopefully we will be able to come back to you very soon with our results..

Thank you very much for your cooperation and support!

Rudko Kawczynski
European Roma and Travellers Forum

Evropako Forumo e Romengo thaj e Phirutnengo (EFRP)
Forum européen des Roms et des Gens du voyage (FERV)
European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF)

DG III РCoh̩sion Sociale / Social Cohesion
Conseil de l’Europe / Council of Europe
AGORA B̢timent Р1 quai Jacoutot
F – 67075 Strasbourg

Tel.: + 33 (0)3 90 21 43 31
Fax: + 33 (0)3 90 21 56 58

• • •

August 27, 2009

Gelem Gelem

Filed under: clips,Romani — Dos Lunares @ 10:19 pm

Gelem Gelem sung by Jaroslav Godla

What a gorgeous performance of this beautiful song! Gelem Gelem or Djelem Djelem is the official anthem of Romani people worldwide.

From the website

Written by Zarko Jovanovic, 1969
Adopted as the official Romani anthem at the First World Romani Congress in London, England, April 8, 1971


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 translations of the lyrics 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.


Here’s a website dedicated to Gelem, Gelem with many different versions of the song.

• • •

August 2, 2009

International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Pharraimos (Holocaust)

Filed under: clips,Romani — Dos Lunares @ 9:47 am

Romani holocaust survivor Margita Makulová singing Auschwitz.

• • •

July 29, 2009

Latcho drom

Filed under: clips,flamenco,Romani — Dos Lunares @ 10:50 am

La vie manouche

Beautiful video with music by Django Reinhardt!

• • •

International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Pharraimos

Filed under: General,Romani — Dos Lunares @ 10:43 am

Message from Rom News Network

Dear Roma community and RomNews readers,

We feel obliged to inform you about the on-going development on the International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Pharraimos (Holocaust), on August the 2nd 2009 and the campaign “RememberThem”.

Many countries – from the United States to Russia and from Norway to Italy – already posted their participation, and currently, more than 18 events in Europe have already been announced. But we want to inform you in detail before August the 2nd so that you can join an event near your area, or be invited to organize your own event and include it on Translations, Event Calendar, Photos, Videos, Grafics and Links.

Please register at this site ! If you’re already member of a another group on, the easiest way is to register directly on and then search in “search social networks” for: International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Pharraimos (Holocaust)

Please find background texts in different languages here:










Press Releases:

Use the Grafics: (animated gif); (Remember Them)


Video Message on the International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Pharraimos (Holocaust) from Rudko Kawczynski President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum (Romanes spoken with English subtitles ):

[ Hi-Resolution for Broadcasting - Use it for free ! (85 MB - mpeg)]
 [ Good resolution (7,17 MB - mp4)]

[ Mobile Video Format (1 MB - 3gp) ] 
[ Email Version - small resolution (800 KB - wmv) ]
[ Email Version - high resolution (1,8 MB - wmv) ]

Audio Download:                                                    
[For Radios, MP3Players and iPods: Message as Audio (MP3 - 1,8 MB - 128 kbps - 44100Hz Stereo)]


International Remembrance Day of Roma Victims of the Pharraimos (Holocaust) Cause:

I want to stop Roma persecution Cause:

Remember Them camapign website:

RomNews Network

PO Box 60 62´31

22254 Hamburg

• • •

March 21, 2009

Updates from the European Roma and Travellers Forum

Filed under: General,Romani — Dos Lunares @ 1:41 am

Some updates from the European Roma and Travellers Forum

Violence against Roma in Hungary – ERTF President to visit Hungary to asses situation

Strasbourg, 06.03.2009 – Racist violence, particularly the recent attacks against members of the Roma community in Hungary, and measures that need to be taken against discrimination will be some of the main topics that the European Roma and Travellers Forum, will assess during the four day high-level visit to Hungary starting on 09 March 2009.

Mr. Kawczynski, the President of the Forum and his team will visit villages in which Roma were the target of attacks from paramilitary groups, and will meet with Roma NGOs and Roma leaders. The President will also hold meetings with government representatives, the Parliamentary Commissioner for National and Ethnic Minority Rights, and leaders of political parties .

The European Roma and Travellers Forum is deeply concerned at the anti-Roma feelings spreading through the EU countries and fears that the Roma are being forced out of their homelands and to look for security elsewhere.


• • •

March 9, 2009

Cinema Cigani

Filed under: General,Romani — Dos Lunares @ 10:48 pm

This week I’m presenting a few clips from some of my favorite Romani* themed movies.

Clip from “Ko to tamo peva”

Ko To Tamo Peva (Who’s That Singing Over There?), 1980. Directed by Slobodan Sijan, filmed in Yugoslavia (Serbia)

From a youtube commenter: The two Gypsy musicians provide a running commentary through the film, like a Greek chorus. One of them plays an accordion and sings, while the other plays a Jew’s harp. The movie begins with them singing their recurring song, to which the refrain is “I’m miserable, I was born that way, I sing to sing my pain away, I wish Mama dear that I had but dreamt it all.” t’s about people taking a bus ride to Belgrade, just before the Second world war.

I have not seen this film and just came upon by chance when searching for other clips but it looks like the kind of film I’d be thrilled to see.

Scenes from Black Cat, White Cat. Bubamara by Saban Bajramovic

Black Cat, White Cat (Crna macka, beli macor), 1998. Directed by Emir Kusturica, filmed in Serbia

From IMDB: Grga Pitic and Zarije Destanov are two old friends – and rivals – who haven’t seen each other in years. But a series of events beyond their wildest dreams leads to a raucously funny reunion filled with gypsy mobsters, dirty deals and shotgun weddings.

A thoroughly enjoyable film, I recommend it for one of those days when you feel beat and you wonder why the world is so screwed up. The first thing I thought after seeing this film is “Why can’t every comedy movie be like this?” Okay, I’m simple but everything about this film is fantastic!

By the way, you might recognize the actress Branka Katic who plays the love interest, Ida from the HBO series Big Love.

Scene from the film Gadjo Dilo. Adrian Simionescu singing Tutti Frutti

Gadjo Dilo, 1997. Directed by Tony Gatliff, filmed in Romania.

From IMDB: Stéphane, a young French man from Paris, travels to Romania. He is looking for the singer Nora Luca, whom his father had heard all the time before his death. Wandering along a frozen road, he meets old Izidor, a member of the Roma (Gypsy) and tells him of Nora Luca. Izidor seems to understand and takes him to his village. Stéphane believes that Izidor will take him to Nora Luca when the time has come.

Tony Gatliff is a Romani (Gypsy) director, hence his numerous Romani (Gypsy) themed films. The beauty and fine music of Romanian Gypsies is what make this movie so extraordinary. The women have such a gorgeous and colorful style of dress. If I wasn’t so sensitive to cultural appropriation, I just might adopt their style of fashion. Actress Rona Hartner is thouroughly charming in her role as the Gypsy translator.

Interesting film review of Gadjo Dilo here.

Scene from Angelo My Love, The Pony Song

Angelo My Love, 1983. Directed by Robert Duvall, filmed in New York City

From IMDB: Angelo My Love delves into the little understood and fascinating world of New York gypsies. Using real gypsies playing fictional versions of themselves. This critically acclaimed film explores the lifestyle, rites, myths and passions of the tight-knit urban subculture. Twelve year-old Angelo Evans is the street-wise. Charmingly precocious son of a fortune teller. When the boy accuses a sleazy gypsy, Steve “Patalay” Tsigonoff, and his foul-mouthed wife, Millie, of stealing an ancestral ring, he chases them to Canada.

Angelo My Love is one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve ever watched but then again, I do have a thing for Romanies. Robert Duvall decided to make the film after being charmed by the real life Angelo. There are very few professional actors in the film, the cast is made up of his Roma family and friends. I recently met some Roma folks here in Los Angeles who said they have family that appears in this movie. Despite some of the not so favorable depictions, it seems many US Romanies love this film.

For a very good review of the film, please see here.

Arrincónamela by Gritos de Guerra from Vengo

Vengo, 2000. Directed by Tony Gatliff, filmed in Anadalucia, Spain

From IMDB: Caco is a proud, handsome man, head of a family, and very powerful in the local community. Yet he has been torn to pieces by the death of his beloved daughter. He constantly visits her grave, weeps silently at her photo and has transferred all his wildly protective love and attention onto his mentally challenged nephew, Diego.

I would love to have a party like this one day! This song is so infectiously catchy. It sticks in my head for days at a time. By the way, the woman singing to the left of the guitarist is Remedios Silva Pisa. Remember her because she is the focus of next week’s video selection.

Scenes from the movie La Faraona starring Lola Flores singing Un Mundo Raro.

La Faraona, 1955. Director Rene Cardona Jr., filmed in Mexico

A real gem of a movie made during the golden age of Mexican cinema. The story is of a young Gitana who moves back to Mexico from Spain when she receives news her rich uncle is on his death bed. Of course, she brings her Gitano tribu along with her and they all dazzle the Mexican family with their flashy Flamenco moves. I love the beginning scene where she attempts to speak Mexican Spanish and even attempts a grito. I wonder if my attempts at Flamenco jaleos sound like her gritos. Oh, oh. I also picked this scene because it features a more authentic kind of Flamenco and not the wild, skirt flipping personal style of Spanish dancing Lola Flores is famous for.

Hope you enjoyed this small sampling of clips. There are many more I’d love to share and perhaps one of these days I’ll get around to compliling a part two.

*Romani is the preferred term for the people known as Gypsies. Gitano or Calo is often used in Spain to describe Romanies and in the Balkans, Cigani or Tsigane is commonly used.

• • •

January 24, 2009


Filed under: Romani — Dos Lunares @ 11:34 am

European Roma and Travellers Forum
Press Release

Roma ignored at the UN Commemoration of International Day in the memory of the holocaust
Strasbourg, 16 January 2009: Today, in a letter addressed to United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon the European Roma and Travellers Forum expressed its indignation at the decision to exclude the Roma Holocaust from the commemoration ceremony.
Mr. Kawczynski,  president of the European Roma and Travellers Forum said this decision did not honor the United Nations, which should be at the forefront in respecting the memory of persecuted populations.
“The Holocaust was the implementation of the Final Solution, Hitler’s genocide programme intended to eradicate the genetic contaminants in his plan to create a master race. Only Jews and Roma were subject to the Final Solution, and both peoples lost the same percentage of their total number. However, since the end of the war in 1945, nothing has been done to acknowledge the Romani survivors” said the ERTF president.
Mr Kawczynski reminded United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon of his statement  at a Press Conference on 14 December, 2006 where he strongly maintained that “Denying historical facts, especially on such an important subject as the Holocaust, is just not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable to call for the elimination of any State or people. I would like to see this fundamental principle respected both in rhetoric and in practice by all the members of the international community ” 
He added that the United Nations’ decision to exclude Roma from Holocaust remembrance therefore clearly contradicted his views and only perpetuated the marginalisation of the Roma people in the historical record. The Roma continue to face exclusion and discrimination at all levels.
Mr. Kawczynski asked the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon for a meeting to discuss the increasing discrimination and marginalisation of Roma in member states.
*  *  *
The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), which has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe and a special status with this institution, is Europe’s largest and most inclusive Roma organisation. It brings together Europe’s main international Roma-NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma organisations from most of the Council of Europe’s member states.
For further information please contact:
European Roma and Travellers Forum
c/o Council of Europe
F – 67 075 w:st=”on”Strasbourg
Tel.: 00 33 3 90 21 53 50
Email: or

For a first hand account of Roma persecution during the holocaust, I recommend Winter Time: Memoirs of a German Sinto who survived Auschwitz by Walter Winter.
-:dos lunares

• • •

September 18, 2007

Yuri Yunakov & His Romani Wedding Band in Los Angeles!

Filed under: Romani — Dos Lunares @ 4:25 pm

This amazing show is coming to Highland Park! A must attend event for lovers of Romani music!
I’m told tickets will be available at the door. Come early for the dance class and film.

VOICE OF ROMA is excited to present:




104 N Avenue 56 (at Figueroa), Los Angeles, CA 90042

TICKETS: $ 20 in advance call: (310) 577-9872 or (310) 820-3527
Or e-mail or

5:00 pm Dance classes with Sani Rifati

followed by a documentary film about Roma from Kosovo

6:15 pm Presentation: ³POLITICS OF ROMANI MUSIC²

a conversation with the Rom Artists

Yuri Yunakov (saxaphone), Erhan Umer (keyboard &vocals), Selaidin Sal Mamudoski (clarinet), Rumen Sali Shopov (percussion)

Balkan-Mediterranean food & drinks (separate charge)

Also for sale: CD’s, Books, handcrafts and literature


Yuri and band in rehearsal:

• • •

June 13, 2007

When the Road Bends

Filed under: Romani — Dos Lunares @ 10:45 pm

When the Road Bends, Tales of Gypsy Caravan will be released in Los Angeles very soon!

Shot by legendary cinematographer Albert Maysles, WHEN THE ROAD BENDS documents five Gypsy bands from four countries who unite for the Gypsy Caravan as they take their music around North America for a six-week tour, astounding every audience they meet. Their musical styles range from flamenco to brass band, Romanian violin to Indian folk. And with humor and soul in their voices, they celebrate the best in Gypsy culture and the diversity of the Romani people in an explosion of song and dance.

• • •
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