In 4th of June 2021 Yusuke SUMI who studied under prof. Gheorghe Sarau in Romania gave a lecture on the Romany language and Culture at Kanda University of International Studies, Japan.
His speech was entitled „The Romany Language – The Wanderers’ traces”. The presentation was held online because of the state of emergency and around 80 students and professors invited by the Multilingual Communication Center attended.
He taught basic things about the history of Roma showing the short video made at the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the IRU. After that, he talked about the culture and the language of the Roma.
Here are some comments from the attendants gathered after the speech. As you can see, we realize that Japanese students don’t really know about the Roma:
“I thought that the Roma live all together in a country. It was surprising that they don’t have a common religion or customs.”
“It is impressive that they have the official name, flag and anthem, but they live in different countries.”
“It was the first time to hear about the Romany language. I didn’t know that the Roma people had been killed the most after the Jews in WWII.”
“I heard ‘Gypsies’ but ‘Roma’ never. Hearing ‘Roma’ for the first time, I thought that they are people living near Rome in Italy.”
“I really liked the speech of the President of the IRU in the movie ‘the IRU is one family’.”
However, it was a good occasion for young Japanese people to take an interest in the history and the culture of the Roma.
The Multilingual Communication Center of Kanda University of International Studies is now planning to organize the Romany language course, inviting Yusuke SUMI as a lecturer in the future.