“Roma and Sinti. Ten Things You Should Know” is the book written by Gennaro Spinelli, a musician from Lanciano, son of Santino, known worldwide as a musician, composer and teacher. Santino was the first Roma to be nominated by the President of Republic to Commander, and obtained the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
The history of this family is very old and has its roots in the passion for music. Gennaro Spinelli he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps: he studied at the conservatory, studied at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature and has always tried to spread Roma values and culture without the stereotypes that everyone knows. The book was born out of this desire: to create an ‘easy’ manual that wants to answer the most common questions circulating around the Roma world.
At this link another interview of the capital with Gennaro Spinelli
“There are different visions, almost always stereotypical, of Roma culture. On the one hand the romantic vision of the free traveler without rules, of one who lives for the day and without patterns; on the other hand the migrant, the nomad and the criminal who steals and invades the periphery of society.But what is the truth? Who are the Roma and Sinti? How do they really live, and how are they reflected culturally, socially and historically? This book was born out of the desire to spread some basic knowledge about the Roma culture, history and society, based on the common stereotypes to get to the most common questions and the many curiosities about this united but also very diverse people.A whole cultural background in a few pages, easy, fast, for anyone and everyone.A guide to roma culture written by a roma person “explains Gennaro Spinelli in the interview given to the capital.
“We need to understand that we Roma are not a social problem. In Italy we are about 180 thousand. Of these, about 20,000 live in nomadic camps or live on the outskirts, the rest live in established settlements for over 5 centuries, where they have also contributed important cultural elements. With my book, I will therefore try to remedy the shortcomings of several centuries: We are ‘normal’ people, rooted in very important, beautiful traditions. Unfortunately, our history has often been ‘stained’ by the ordinary“. The preface is written by Santino Spinellinot by chance. “I wanted to do it just to continue and keep alive our concept of passing on: Many years ago it was my father who put the first musical instrument in my hand, and today I wanted to do the same with the book. A handover from the old to the new generation. I would like it to be read by everyone, enter schools to help teachers and children get a ‘new’ and ‘enlightened’ view of our world, so that young people in particular do not suffer the consequences of the cliché, that has pushed away in the many years Roma from school. Years of abuse and suffering, which we today define as ‘bullying’, and which I myself had to endure from primary school onwards ”.
The cliché, for Gennaro Spinelli often generates many problems even in adulthood. “If you tell someone for years that they are ‘ugly, dirty and bad’, in the end it will be someone who really becomes us. Labels look good on an item for sale, not on people, and we are humans. I understand that it is easier to associate with crime and that’s even more news: we, at least our society, who have lived in Abruzzo for years, have always respected the rules with the sole desire to contribute to the good results of civil and social society. In Italy, there are many Roma and Sinti, more than in other European countries, and of all these, a percentage of mines live on the edge, the rest are working groups that make important contributions to Italian society ”. Among the various questions that Gennaro Spinelli tries to answer, there is also the most common: “Is it true that Roma steal children?”. “There is not a single case established by the Italian judiciary, and to be precise, many Roma mothers have been taken from their children, very young, at an early age and have not heard of it anymore. Made adoptable, they have lost their roots and their history.A plague that I am trying to remedy: with‘Ucri (Union of Romanes Communities in Italy) we try to create a network to ensure that these young people taken from their families can at least meet, so as not to completely lose their identity. “. The UCI, the association chaired and coordinated by Gennaro Spinelli, is responsible for communicating cultural, social and positive messages. “It simply came to our notice thendiscrimination for centuries, we have also been persecuted as if we were criminals, and my grandfather knew these things well, ”confirms Gennaro. In fact, his grandfather, who was named after him – who died because of Covid 19 last year – was one of the last witnesses to Samudaripenthe extermination of half a million Roma and Sinti by the Nazis. During World War II, at the age of 6, Gennaro Spinelli and his family were interned and led by the fascists to a concentration camp in Bari. the Roma and Sinti peoples. Many years ago your son Santino He said: ‘He who is forced to live in discomfort and frustration, deprived of minimum and indispensable rights, naturally strives for something better. Yet it must be heard that there is no way to change things, for it is, after all, the gypsies themselves who will live like this without restraint. But that’s a terrible lie. Roma are not homeless and forever moneyless stateless people. But they are obliged to be “.