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Gypsy documentaries - Film When the Road Bends, Tales of a Gypsy Caravan - World Music Documentary Film
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04/08/2010

One day frozen rivers begin to thaw...

Jasmine: I was honoured to read out this prose poem on International Roma Day in New York. It was sent to me for today by a writer known as Douglas Halebi, whose Uncle Noah helped raise him in the forests surrounding Beirut. I feel lucky to have stumbled upon his earlier work in time to feature it in my film American Gypsy (1999). [Please forgive me for abbreviating this text to present it today - we hope to present Halebi"s full writing soon].

   This life is like a spring rain-cloud that waters the land for an hour and then is gone. And yet it is also a precious gift, unlike any other.  And of all those who aspire to deepen its meaning and adorn its passage with passionate strivings, the Roma rank high. 
   Our fathers, whether they were called Roma, Doma, Bosha or some other name, surpassed themselves many times just to be here.  They endured catastrophes and calamities across time and space, surpassed the claims of hatred and spite made on them, and lived to flower anew, East and West.  They learned to drink the water of life from gilded fountains and icy streams, and to savor the beauty that rises from the tall green grass every spring. 
   ...We, the Juki, consider this world like a cool taste of spring-water, to be savored slowly, drop by precious drop, and with deep appreciation. The "Gypsies" bring the gift of love of life, no matter what may befall them. 
    May we travel through this world like a man hastening toward his own wedding-feast.  And let us never cease to serenade beauty, honor wisdom and take pride in grand gestures and high aspirations. And remember that the setting of the sun is already a promise of its rising. Remember that though the snow may fall in thick flakes, it does not endure forever. One day frozen rivers begin to thaw, grass sprouts up on the winter ground, the trees begin to ripen and the world ferments anew.  The caroling of songbirds greets the rising sun, and as our fathers once did, we begin to soar like the mountain hawk.  May it always be so!

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