The Romani and I

I’ve been doing research for the background of my novel. I know, I should have done that before I started working on it at all. I didn’t therefore I’m doing it now. Anyway, I’ve been trying to play catch up and do a bit of research now. You see, the problem with my novel is that there is no culture to it. There’s nothing there to make it feel real. In my opinion that’s the vital key to making a story successful. Right now it’s just plot on paper. So I’ve been trying to work backwards here, but I can to a disturbing conclusion. I can’t add any culture until I, the author, knows what sort of culture that they left behind. I can’t decide where’re they’re at, so to speak, until I know where they’re coming from.

The problem comes from the fact that I need cultural groups that have upheld the ways from the past. Like those people that work old fashioned forges in those little historic villages, or the people that live the old way of life. My initial thought would have been the Amish and the Romani. The problem is that they need to have some sort of government or at least political representation. That led to more research on my part. Turns out that the Romani are perfect. They have the World Romani Congress and the International Romani Union. The later is what I’m really looking for because they are an organization that basically protects the rights of the Romani people. One of its goals is to develop the cultural traditions, customs and language of the Romani. It’s exactly what I was looking for. image

Unfortunately, the Amish don’t have anything like that. In fact when they were involved with the courts over the issue of their children attending high schools they didn’t even represent themselves. Some outside group stepped in to speak up for them. I need something a bit more structured than that. That does however leave me with at least one other group that I need. I can find room for more than just two, but I have to have at least two.

That does lead me to the reason for writing this blog to begin with. I was telling my mom last night about choosing the Romani. It comes out then that we actually have Romani blood in us. It comes from her side, but she couldn’t remember if it was from her mom’s or her dad’s side. It’s fascinating the way things work out. I’m definitely using the Romani now. Still got to work out at least one other group.

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