We, the Roma, a stateless nation, face daily a continuous struggle to get our basic rights: the access to decent employment, housing, health care and education. One of the clearest ways to carry out our demands, day by day, is by the strengthening and use of the identity traits that characterize and distinguish us from the majority population. Undoubtedly, one of our most significant signs is our language, the rromanò. Thanks to it, we are capable to transmit our culture, traditions, reality and history worldwide. Its sayings and expressions are a reflection of how we see and analyze the passing of time; it is a basic tool in all aspects of our lives. In addition, the rromanò also serves as a connecting element and as a link between the Roma communities from around the world.
Nowadays, the Roma can not afford the deterioration of the language and its loss over time. It is essential that the fifteen million of Gypsies that live scattered throughout the globe are aware of the importance of the recovery and preservation of our language. This process must begin at the earliest stages, that is the reason why the education of Roma children should include mandatory studies “in” this language and, as well, “of” this language. This formal learning should be combined and complemented by an oral transmission, which should occur from generation to generation in a natural way.
Given this current situation, the publication of support materials with this purpose is always welcome and a reason of joy. It should be noted that in the study of rromanò is essential to pay special attention to the heterogeneity of this language and to its various linguistic realities. As it is logical and natural, it has evolved in different ways, depending on the area in which its speakers have settled in and it has adopted words from the rest of languages with which it has coexisted.
This work by Bajram Haliti, elaborated with the utmost rigor and professionalism, is undoubtedly a work of reference for rromanò scholars, and for those who wish to study or to deepen their knowledge of the variety of rromanò spoken in Serbia. Its main objective is to provide a basis to develop educational plans and to establish guidelines for educational programs, textbooks and other educational tools. I am sure that a wide range of users can benefit from this work.
Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia
Union of Roma of Spain