Amaro dikhipen thaj amari butǐ
Ame keras jekh lùmǎ kaj i Rromani ćhib si prinʒardi sar but vaźno thaj kuć kotor amare kulturàqo thaj identipnàsqo. Dikhas i Rromani ćhib sar jekh drom kaj del amenqe akcèso k-o Rromane lùmǎqo vaj ćerxajanqo dikhipen, prinʒardo vi sar o Rromanipen, thaj del amenqe i zor te avas barikane kë arakhas thaj nevǎras o Rromanipen.
Amari butǐ si te das ućo kvalitetosqo siklǎripen anθ-i Rromani ćhib, te aźutisaras e ćhibǎqe siklǒvnen, maj alosardes kodolen kaj si len Rromani orìgina ama xasarde i ćhib anθar e asimilaciaqe thaj genocidosqe politike mamuj e Rromenθe, anθ-o barǎripen e vakǎripnasqe xaranimatenqo. Musaj vi te vastdas o buxlǎripen e Rromane ćhibǎqe siklǎripnasqo thaj siklǒvipnasqo anθ-e śkole thaj universitète anθ-e sa e thema, isindoj ame lìderurǎ anθ-o kado umal thaj jekh modèlo lenqe, thaj te barǎras e oportuniteturǎ vaś participacia anθ-o kulturaqo ʒivipen e komunitetosqo thaj formàcia e Rromane ćhibǎqe siklǎrnenqi.
Our vision and our mission
We are creating a world where the Romani language is recognized as an important and invaluable part of our culture and identity. We see the Romani language as a means of accessing the Roma worldview or cosmovision, also known as Romanipe, and it empowers us to be proud of maintaining and revitalizing Romanipe.
Our mission is to provide high quality instruction in the Romani language, to help language learners, especially those of Roma origin who have lost the language due to assimilationist and genocidal policies against the Roma, in the development of their communicative competencies. We must also help to expand Romani language teaching and learning in schools and universities in all countries by being leaders in this domain and a model for them, and cultivate opportunities for participation in the cultural life of the community and professional development of Romani language teachers.
Ker tire obligàcie sar śaj keres maj laćhes
Performing your duties in the best possible way
Message from the Director
30 July 2023
I am so happy to join the World Roma Federation's cultural preservation team as a linguist. I am sure that this will be a positive collaboration and historic development as we bring Romani language teaching and learning to a wider audience.
Like many of you, understanding the full significance and weight of my family's ethnic origin was no quick and simple task for me due to the policies negatively impacting Roma and Sinti that were put in place in different countries, from those of cultural genocide, forced family separation and assimilation, such as by Maria Theresa and Joseph II in Central Europe, or Americanization in the United States, to the biological genocide by the Nazis. As a descendant of families which immigrated to America in 1897-1911 from the Banat region in historic eastern Hungary or modern day western Romania and of ancestors that came from the Austrian Czech and Hungarian Slovak lands to the Banat several decades before that, I was blown away when I found hundreds of individuals sharing the names of my ancestors and their close in-laws in the "Roma data from Auschwitz camp ledgers" and even among the non-Jewish minority of refugees on board the St. Louis who were denied asylum by the Cuban, U.S. and Canadian governments, forcing the ship to return to Europe in 1939.
Our school's mission and vision centers the Romani language as a valued mother tongue and cultural heritage language (HL) for a very important reason. Much research supports the fact that "the mother tongue is the foundation of... connection with family, society, culture, and identity," (Zatreanu, 2023), as well as the fact "that HL speakers’ most common motivations for studying their HL are to reconnect with their cultural heritage and to create connections with other members of the community," (Gasca Jiménez and Adrada-Rafael, 2021). Due to the situation of historic exclusion of Romani language from domains of prestige and power, the situation of all Romani speakers mirrors that of other HL speakers, with linguistic subordination to the majority language in many ways constantly endangering the HL in local contexts, such as Spanish speakers in the U.S., and for Romani, in the global context as well due to the non-existence of a territory where Romani is the dominant language.
Language is something fundamental that helps us to get and stay connected to one another. When we don't use our HL in favor of the dominant language, we start to be alienated from each other and from parts of ourselves, our families, communities, societies, cultures, and identities. We can make a positive change now by working together and creating a community that contributes significantly to the empowerment of speakers and learners of this very special language and cultural heritage with roots in India.
Gasca Jiménez, L. & Adrada-Rafael, S. (2021). "Understanding Heritage Language Learners’ Critical
Language Awareness (CLA) in Mixed Language Programs." Languages 6: 37.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2007). "Roma data from Auschwitz camp ledgers."
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (1996). "The St. Louis: Full passenger list and associated documents."
Zatreaunu, M. (2023). "The importance of Romani language learning and teaching for a more inclusive education for all." Inclusive Schools: Making a Difference for Roma Children.
Romani Language Teacher
Founder and Director, Branislawa "Papúsha" Wajs Romani Language Online School