Monday, February 8, 2010

Adieu To A Rrom I…Sadly…Never Knew.

[Roma Virtual Network]: Died: 24 December, 2009, in East Kilbridge, aged 60.

Alexander Kennedy “Elic was a great character who lived life to the full. He had a great sense of fun and loved engaging with people from all walks of life. He loved nothing better than taking his vardo (traditional Romany wagon) to what is now left of the traditional Gypsy gatherings such as St. Boswells, Brough Hill and Appleby. The first thing he would do was light up a “stick fire” where everybody would congregate and pass the time of day. Whether you were Giorgio..” (non-Gypsy) ..”or Gypsy Traveller you would walk away with a history lesson. If you hung about long enough, and many did, you would get a right good feed from the many pots cooking over the fire (nouvelle cuisine was certain not on his menu).”

To me nothing could describe the beauty and true humanity of traditional Gypsy life better than the above paragraph. I was very fortunate to have been invited in my younger days into circles of this beautiful culture. Many have tried to snuff out that culture as if it were merely the flickering light of a lone candle. But that culture has survived against all odds. I have personally met a Roma leader of that deep humanity right here in the U.S.A. Many of those I knew in Europe have passed on, men and women. But the Roma culture will go on giving birth to such selfless, noble character as the above Alexander Kennedy. May God protect Europe’s Roma, and let us down here on earth give him a strong helping hand.

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