Tuesday December 12, 2017
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Taking forward their Indian ancestry, Hindi words touch Roma dialect


Said to be of Indian origin, the Romas descended from groups like Dom, Banjara, Gujjar, Sansi, Chauhan, Sikligar, Dhangar, and other nomadic groups from northwest India. From preserving the Hindi words in their language to other striking similarities with the Indian mass, the people of Roma want to be treated as Indian diaspora.

Despite their migration hundreds of years ago, they have successfully been capable of including Hindi words like ‘naak’ (nose), ‘kaan’ ( ear), ‘muh’ (mouth)  in their dialect.

Over 35 scholars from 15 countries gathered at the three-day International Roma Conference and Cultural Festival 2016. The event included Roma film festival and cultural performances of music and dance, with an exhibition on the Roma migration from India.

The event organised by the ICCR and the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad (ARSP)-Bharat saw ICCR President Lokesh Chandra claiming that the Roma community made an immense contribution to building London, which is counted among the most developed and amazingly planned modern cities.

The three-day festival witnessed the arrival of Jovan Damjanovic, president of World Roma Organisation. He said: “Roma people are an Indian Nation, the autochthonous territory of south-eastern and Western Europe, but also in other parts of the world, with all attributes that make them a special national entity. We would like to be treated as Indian diaspora and can make a contribution to our country of origin’s growth.”

Hailing from Israel, the Vice President and Commissioner for Culture of World Roma Organisation, Valery Novoselsky said at the event: “There are many linguistic similarities between Hindi and Romani languages. From counting, yek 1, dui 2, trin 3, panch 5, desh 10, to basic everyday words we find that a lot of our words are there in the Hindi Language as well.”

Novoselsky exclaimed he washappy to be in Bharat, the land of my ancestors. Here I feel accepted and understood by the society as if my ancestors never left this country 1,000 years ago. The spirit of Bharat is strong and kind. We know that we are ONE with the people of India. These links of history, culture and spirit are inseparable.”

In a display of belongingness towards the Roma community the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, also present there, said that Romas spread across the world are the children of India.

“You are the children of India who migrated and lived in challenging circumstances in foreign lands for centuries. Yet you maintained your Indian identity,” Sushma Swaraj said while inaugurating the event.

In her speech, she further said: “A strong 20 million population of your community spread over 30 countries, encompassing West Asia, Europe, America and Australia speaks of your unique ability of adapting to foreign cultures. We in India are proud of you. Your ‘Baro Than’ once again welcomes you with an open heart.”

NewsGram had earlier done reporting on what the External Affairs Minister said in details:

‘You are the children of India’: Sushma Swaraj to Romas

Talking about the striking similarities between Indians and Romas, a Finnish Roma artist Benjam Akerlund present there said, “I knew we had Indian roots because my parents have always mentioned it. But now that we are in India we can see why the Roma people believe we are Indians by origin. The way people walk, talk and behave is exactly how Roma people do in Finland.”

“We can see a lot of similarities in the family structure, language, gestures, the way people dress and the most important to us as musicians is that the Indian music sounds very similar to ours. We think it is safe to say that we migrated from India a long time ago and it feels nice to be back as we feel loved.”

The Roma known by different names in different countries, like Zigeuner in Germany, Tsyiganes or Manus in France, Tatara in Sweden, Gitano in Spain, Tshingan in Turkey and Greece could help in estimating the date of their origin in and migration from India. The ICCR attempts to date the origin of these terms in foreign languages which could help in finding the date when the Romas first arrived in these foreign countries.(Image Source: thewire.in)

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India’s Diwali Promise, Medical Visas to All Deserving

Shushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj. IANS

New Delhi, October 19: Marking the auspicious occasion of Diwali, India on Thursday made a Diwali promise medical visas all those people abroad, including in Pakistan, seeking treatment.

“On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, India will grant a medical visa in all deserving cases pending today,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

Keeping to a promise made on Independence Day, India on Wednesday issued six more medical visas to Pakistani nationals, including three children.

“We will issue visa to facilitate treatment of your eight-year-old child in India,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Wednesday night in response to a request from Nazir Ahmed who said that his son Mohammad Ahmed was awaiting a medical visa from India for one year.

In a separate tweet, she also promised a visa to Muhammad Asif Malik’s son, who is currently in an intensive care unit (ICU) in children’s hospital in Lahore, and to Kasif Chacha’s child who is running out of medicine.

Visas were also issued to Irfan Ahmed Shaikh, Nasir Mahmood and the mother of Rafique Menon for liver surgeries.

This month, Sushma Swaraj has announced the issuance of 19 medical visas to Pakistanis for treatment in India as Diwali promise.

Last month, India issued a medical visa to a Pakistani child seeking open heart surgery.

On Independence Day, the External Affairs Ministry made a Diwali promise that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.

As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.

The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.

However, on July 18, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for a liver tumor, got a visa.

Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.

Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas.(IANS)

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Sushma Swaraj at UN: After 70 years, India IT superpower, Pakistan is terror export factory

Sushma Swaraj at the UN general Assembly
Sushma Swaraj at UN general Assembly

United Nations, Sep 23: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Saturday, launched a stinging attack against Pakistan at the UN General Assembly. She said that in the 70 years of the independence, India had grown as an IT superpower, while Pakistan has emerged as a pre-eminent factory for the export of terror.

“We are fighting poverty. But our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us,” she said in her address to the United Nations General Assembly and responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi’s allegations that India was sponsoring terrorism.

She threw a taunt at the Pakistan Prime Minister while referring to his accusations that India was violating human rights in Jammu and Kashmir: “Those listening to him (Abbasi) had only one observation: ‘Look who is talking’.”

“A country that has been the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium.

“I would like today to tell Pakistan’s politicians just this much, that perhaps the wisest thing they could do is to look within. India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that India today is a recognised IT superpower in the world and Pakistan recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror.”?

She said while India fought terrorism exported by Pakistan it did not neglect development work at home.

“We created IITs, IIMs, AIIMS while Pakistan created LeT, Haqqanis, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen,” she said, referring to Pakistan-based terror groups.

Sushma Swaraj asked the UN not to see terrorism with “self-defeating and indeed meaningless nuance”.


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Delhi to witness three-day International Jazz Festival

Gibraltar International Jazz Festival 2013
Jools Holland performing at the second Gibraltar International Jazz Festival held at the Queen's Cinema in October 2013. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 16, 2017: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is organising a three-day international jazz festival that will witness the convergence of French, Israeli, Korean, Mexican and Spanish artists in Delhi.

The September 23-25 gala at Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri “will feature performances of seven international and three Indian jazz groups”, ICCR Director General Riva Ganguly Das said here on Friday.

“ICCR believes that music can play a key role in engaging in creative dialogue with other nations. Festivals like these help us in understanding cultures of other countries and also gives opportunity to our own people to interact with world class performers,” she said. (IANS)