Their culture was different from those of settled folks. They were entrepreneurs specializing in iron-smitheries, lace and candle-stick making, basket-weaving, dealing in the animal that was sacred to them, the horse. Nobody can handle a horse the way a Lovara horse-dealer can. But most of all they were artists, dancers, singers, musicians, poets, actors and circus performers. They added joy to the often drab lives of many.
Their strength centered on absolute honesty and loyalty within the tribe. Their leaders were chosen because of intelligence and selflessness. Strict cleanliness rules surrounded their daily lives, rich with children. They watched with horror of killer war after killer war of the settled folks. A silent minority, they withdrew and moved on.
But the laws of the settled folks were rigid and strictly enforced. They allowed for no freely moving parts that did not belong. So little by little, these peace-loving nomads found their treks barred. They were pushed into areas nobody else wanted, hidden from sight. Here they were offered no schooling, in order to be branded as ignorant. No sanitation in order to be called dirty. No opportunity to make a living, so that theft was often the only means of survival, so that would mark them as thieves, or lazy.
The time has come to right these century-old wrongs. The Gypsy people are like all other people. They have their good and their bad. They do have different value systems. To them rich is not what you own, but what you share. Life is there to enjoy within the circle of those you love. Try and look at our world through their eyes: - the wars, the dictators, the inequality, the deterioration of family life, the obsession with worldly goods.
We, the non-Gypsies, should celebrate not destroy what is left of their culture. Stop persecuting the Roma people. They for one do not deserve it.