So I met a wonderful man, Mr Dayo, who invited Raphaelle and I to his house today, who shared his own experience being a Rom in France, the struggles, but what was most amazing was the pride he had in his own people.
“Many people think we are the bastards of Europe, with no state, land or education. But when they see our true selves, then they will understand why we laugh, sing, dance and love.”
So often we think of people in labels, in stereotypes and we are feed into a culture of needed to categorize people, to talk about “the other.” But what is the other, we are have layers, and layers of experiences, joys, comforts, impulses, layers to be shared, uncovered and discovered. One of my favorite concepts from the Asset-Based Community Development approach by John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann is the concept of stories, of the imagination and of the hope and pride that are often forgotten when we are stuck in a “need-jail” mentality. The most dangerous thing is to talk to our neighbors, and today, I had a deep conversation with one of mine. 🙂
A HUGE SHOUT-OUT to Raphelle Neyton for translating on the spot! She’s amazing. 🙂