Elvira and Me
Collaborative project pairing Ramona's words with my photography. Part of an ongoing project on Britain's new Roma communities.
Elvira and Me Elvira hai Me Elvira si Eu Created in 2011 Photographs � Ciara Leeming Words � Ramona Constantin and Ciara Leeming Romani translation by Ramona Constantin and Paulica Stan Romanian translation by Dorothea Achim and Daniel Achim Edited and designed by Ciara Leeming www.ciaraleeming.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org With support from the Lipman-Miliband Trust Elvira and Me A collaboration Words by Ramona Constantin Photography by Ciara Leeming Contents Cuprins 8 20 70 116 124 Prologue Ramona Elvira Epilogue Appendix Prolog Ramona Elvira Epilog Apendix Prologue Prolog 10 PROLOGUE PROLOG 11 12 PROLOGUE "Ramona hai Elvira si la fel ca dui gemeia dar si diferime �l caracterea, si dui partii �c singura persoana. Si �c s�ro �c fata, dar duii mintii diferime. Elvira placiola te dichel sune, tea Ramona cherel te aven ceace. Elvira si dechiso che iubirea dar i Ramona luptopes le iubireasa. I Ramona pacheal che i Elvira si dilii hai i Elvira pacheal ca i Ramona si dilii. Me penau c� sol dui si dilea. C� nastis te a ves duii persoanea �n acelasi timpo." "Ramona and Elvira are like twins with very different characters, two parts of one person. It's one head, one face, but two different minds. Elvira is a dreamer but Ramona makes dreams come true. Elvira is open to love but Ramona is fighting with love. Ramona thinks Elvira's crazy and Elvira thinks Ramona's crazy. I say both of them are crazy. You cannot be two people, you have to be one." "Ramona i Elvira sunt ca gemene cu caractere foarte diferite, dou pri ale unei persoane. Un singur cap, o fa, dar dou mini complet diferite. Elvira viseaz, iar Ramona �mplinete vise. Elvira este deschis iubirii, dar Ramona lupt cu iubirea. Ramona crede c Elvira este nebun i Elvira crede c Ramona este nebun. Eu cred c am�ndou sunt nebune. Nu poi fii dou persoane, trebuie s fii doar una." PROLOG 13 14 PROLOGUE Longsight, Manchester, 16 March 2011 Longsight, Manchester, 16 Martie 2011 PROLOG 15 16 PROLOGUE Elvira hai Me si vorba a dac �c ciuvli t�rni chai c�l�toril dai Rom�nia and�i Anglia hai parpale dinou. I colabularea hai i poze catai Ciara Leeming hai �l vorbe le Ramona Constantin. Elvira and Me is about one young woman's two lives. Her family in Romania call her Elvira but in England she is known by the name on her passport, Ramona. It is a collaboration, with photography by Ciara Leeming and words by Ramona Constantin. Elvira i Eu este despre o femeie t�nr care triete dou viei. Familia �n Romania o strig Elvira, dar �n Anglia este cunoscut dup numele ei din paa port, Ramona. Este o colaborare, cu fotografii de Ciara Leeming i scris de Ramona Constantin. PROLOG 17 18 PROLOGUE Bucharest Baneasa Airport, 7 September 2011 Aeroportul Bneasa, Bucureti 7 Septembrie 2011 PROLOG 19 Ramona Ramona 22 RAMONA RAMONA 23 24 RAMONA "Ramona is ambitious, happy, likes very much life, enjoys spending money, cares about make up and how she dresses. It's amazing to see how much confidence she has in herself. Ramona offers the Roma women hope that they can achieve something other than being a simple woman. She shows their dreams can come true sometimes. Ramona couldn't exist in Romania � her place is Manchester. It's her character, she is too proud. If a man says something about a woman she will challenge him. You're not allowed to do that as a Roma woman. My partner is a little scared of Ramona, and so are his family, but English people love her. If I'm being honest though, Ramona is a character. She doesn't really exist, she's like an imaginary friend who goes and fights the whole planet. She appeared out of the depression I fell into when my first marriage broke up, like a protective wall. Ramona is achieving things in the UK while Elvira is crying for the daughter she left behind in Romania. I love Ramona � thanks to her I'm still alive � but I also hate her." "Ramona este ambiioas, puternic, fericit, iubete viaa, �i place s cheltuiasc bani, �i pas de cum arat i cum se �mbrac. Este extraordinar s vezi c�t de mult �ncredere are �n ea �nsi. Ramona ofer speran celorlalte fete roma, sperana c pot s ajung s fie mai mult dec�t o simpl femeie. Le arat c visele devin realitate uneori. Ramona nu ar putea exista �n Rom�nia � locul ei este �n Manchester. Este caracterul ei, ea este prea mandr. Dac un brbat spune ceva despre o femeie, ea �l va provoca. Aa ceva nu este admis unei femei roma. Soului meu �i este puin team de Ramona, la fel i familiei lui, dar englezii o iubesc. Dar dac sunt complet sincer, Ramona este un personaj. Ea nu exist, ea este ca un prieten imaginar care se duce i se lupt cu �ntreaga lume. Ea a aprut din cauza depresiei pe care am simit-o atunci c�nd prima mea csnicie s-a destrmat, ca un perete protector. Ramona realizeaz lucruri �n Anglia, pe c�nd Elvira pl�nge dup fiica ei care a rmas �n Rom�nia. O iubesc pe Ramona � datori ei sunt �nc �n via � dar totodat o i ursc." RAMONA 25 26 RAMONA RAMONA 27 28 RAMONA "I came to England to get some air. I was a housewife in Romania and had a baby. I had never been to another country. But when my husband left me I fell into a deep depression. I was only 24 but I could see nothing new in my life. When I met my new partner I got the chance to come to Manchester, to try something different. He had family here who could help us. But my mum made me leave my daughter, Latifa, with her in Romania. We arrived here in September 2009, very late in the night, and I left a ground floor window open all the next day. One of the women from the house came to me and said: `Are you crazy, do you want to kill us?' She said people could put fire in the house and we could all die. Of course, I was creating an image in my head that was terrifying � I thought people would be killing in the street. But later I discovered that Manchester's not really like that. We lived in that house for a month or so, with six other people, and then moved to a house with 14 people, before we managed to get our own place. The other Roma people told us to go to the Big Issue office to see about selling the magazine." "Am venit �n Anglia s m pot reculege. Eram o soie casnic i aveam un nou nscut. Nu mai fusesem �n alt ar niciodat. Dar c�nd m-a prsit soul am czut �ntr-o depresie acut. Aveam 24 de ani, dar nu puteam s vd nimic nou pentru viaa mea. C�nd l-am �ntalnit pe noul meu partener, am avut ansa de a veni �n Manchester, s �ncerc ceva diferit. Dar mama mea m-a forat s �mi las fata, Latifa, cu ea �n Rom�nia. Am ajuns aici �n septembrie 2009, noaptea foarte tarziu, i am lsat fereastra deschis de la parter toat ziua urmtoare. Una din femeile cu care locuiam �n cas a venit i mi-a spus: `Eti nebun, vrei s ne omori?' Mi-a spus c oamenii pot da foc la acas i am putea muri cu totii. Bine�neles, �mi cream o imagine �nfricotoare �n mine credeam c oamenii omorau pe strad. Dar mai tarziu am aflat c �n Manchester lucrurile nu stau chiar aa. Am locuit �n acea cas �n jur de o lun de zile, cu ase alte persoane, i dup aceea ne-am mutat �ntr-o cas cu 14 persoane, �nainte s ne putem permite o locuin pentru noi. Ceilali romi ne-au �ndrumat s ne ducem la biroul Big Issue, s ne interesm s vindem reviste." RAMONA 29 "When I do my hair and make-up, I'm giving myself confidence and arming myself, like a policeman putting on his gun. When I'm doing things at home, being Elvira, I just put my hair into a simple bun, but I do something more special when I need to go out. You could say that here I'm getting into the character of Ramona." "C�nd �mi aranjez prul i m machiez, �mi dau �ncredere i m �narmez � ca un poliist care �i ia arma. C�nd fac treab acas, fiind Elvira, �mi aranjez prul �ntr-un simplu coc, dar m aranjez �ntr-un fel mai special c�nd trebuie s ies din cas. Poi s spui c aici devin personajul Ramona." 30 RAMONA RAMONA 31 "I was out selling The Big Issue but when I look at this photo I notice that there are two persons reflected � representing the two sides of me. On one side you can see my face but not very much, and I think maybe that is Ramona. It makes me think, what is she hiding? I see two persons in one, someone in pieces, her two sides similar but very different. With a wall that separates those two parts. I think that wall is England." "Sunt afar i v�nd revista Big Issue, dar c�nd m uit la aceast poz observ c sunt dou persoane reflectate � reprezent�nd cele dou pri din mine. Pe de o parte poi observa faa mea, dar nu foarte clar, i m g�ndesc c este Ramona. M face s g�ndesc, ce ascunde? Vd dou persoane �ntr-una, pe cineva �n buci, cele dou pri asemntoare, dar foarte diferite. Cu un zid care desparte aceste dou pri. Cred c acest zid este Anglia." 32 RAMONA RAMONA 33 34 RAMONA "The Big Issue for me is the beginning. I spent 18 months selling the magazine, outside Manchester Library and later in Rochdale. It's thanks to this experience that I am the person I am now. My customers were great. There was a dentist who used to pass a couple of times a week and I would have to dance with him. He would say: `Dance with me in the moonlight,' and I would say: `No thank you, not today'. And he would leave, but when he came back he would just take me by the hands and dance.There was another lady who was very kind and every morning and evening she would bring me biscuits and hot chocolate. And then there was Antonio, another person who was working on the street � he was a cleaner. Every day he would bring a flask of tea to work with him and he would share it with me. He would have one cup for him, one cup for me. He would bring sugar just for me because he didn't take it. He would say to me: `We have the most beautiful restaurant in the city'. And we would sit outside and drink our tea and everyone would look at us and laugh. There was also Mario, a great friend from the library caf�, who would bring me tea and sandwiches. It was cold so I would dance, because my feet would get so I couldn't feel them, but when I danced, people smiled." "Revista Big Issue este pentru mine �nceputul. Am v�ndut aceast revist timp de 18 luni, mai �ntai �n faa bibliotecii centrale din Manchester, i mai tarziu �n Rochdale. Sunt persoana care sunt azi datorit acestei experiene. Clienii mei au fost fantastici. Era un dentist care obinuia s treac de c�teva ori pe sptm�n i obinuiam s dansez cu el. El �mi spunea: `Danseaz cu mine la lumina lunii' i eu �i rspundeam: `Nu multumesc, nu astzi'. i el pleca, dar c�nd se �ntorcea, m lua de m�ini i dansam. Mai era o femeie care era foarte dragu cu mine i �n fiecare diminea i sear �mi aducea biscuii i ciocolat cald. i apoi era Antonio, o alta persoan care lucra pe strad � era un curtor. �n fiecare zi aducea cu el la munc un termos cu ceai i �l �mprea cu mine. Avea o can pentru el i una pentru mine. Aducea zahr numai pentru mine deoarece el nu bea ceaiul cu zahr. Obinuia s �mi spun: `Avem cel mai frumos restaurant din ora'. i ne asezam afar i beam ceaiul i toat lumea se uita la noi i r�dea. Mai era i Mario, un prieten drag de la cafeneaua bibliotecii, care �mi aducea ceai i sandviuri. Era frig aa c dansam deoarece picioarele mele amoreau, dar c�nd dansam, oamenii z�mbeau." RAMONA 35 36 RAMONA "I had won a prize at my work's awards. When I saw my name on the screen my hands were shaking and when I went up to collect the award I felt like I was going to fall down. I've only ever seen this kind of thing happen on the TV, never in real life. I didn't know how to behave. I had to go to put water on my face and breathe." "La locul de munc am c�tigat un premiu. C�nd am vzut numele meu pe ecran, �mi tremurau m�inile i c�nd m-am dus s primesc premiul, simeam c lein. Singurul loc unde am vazut c s-a �nt�mplat aa ceva a fost la televizor, nu �n realitate. Nu tiam cum s m comport. A trebuit s m duc s �mi stropesc faa cu ap i s respir." RAMONA 37 38 RAMONA RAMONA 39 40 RAMONA "While I was selling the magazine I got a place on an employment skills training they were going to run for a few young Roma people who could speak English. I was then given interpreting and community work with a Sure Start centre and in schools. I do lots of different things now so stopped selling the magazine. I enjoy working � I have found mentors who are encouraging me to do things because they think I deserve a chance. I am starting to be someone. This wasn't easy for my husband, Amar, though. To start with all the Roma men were laughing at him because they didn't understand what I was doing. They said I was going to run off and marry an English man, and for a while there was a lot of tension in my house and a lot of arguments. I'm really lucky to have him, and that he was willing to trust me and let me do what I wanted." "Pe c�nd vindeam revista, am primit un loc la un program pentru dezvoltarea abilitii de munc pe care doreau s �l implementeze pentru puinele persoane rome care puteau s vorbeasc �n englez. Atunci mi-a fost dat posibilitatea de a muncii �n cadrul traducerii i suportului �n comunitate cu centrul Sure Start i �n coli. Acum fac o mulime de lucruri diferite, deci nu mai v�nd reviste. �mi place s muncesc � am gsit mentori care m �ncurajeaz s fac lucruri deoarece ei sunt de prere c merit o ans. �ncep s devin cineva. Dar acest lucru nu a fost uor pentru soul meu, Amar. La �nceput, ceilali brbai romi r�deau de el deoarece nu �nelegeau ce fceam. Ei spuneau c eu aveam de g�nd s fug i s m cstoresc cu un englez, i pentru o vreme a fost foarte mult tensiune i ceart �n cas. Sunt foarte norocoas c �l am, i c el este �n stare s aib �ncredere �n mine i s m lase s fac ceea ce mi-am dorit." RAMONA 41 "When people ask where I'm going in the morning, I would like to say that I'm going home. When I'm at work, no matter how sad I am I will soon have a smile on my face. It's like a big family. Lots of people do this kind of work but I'm the first of my Roma people to be doing this. At work I'm allowed to say what I think. Men might be important and have a big family, but they listen and thank me afterwards." "Atunci c�nd oamenii m �ntreab unde m duc de diminea, miar plcea s le spun c m duc acas. Atunci c�nd sunt la serviciu, �mi apare z�mbetul pe buze indiferent c�t de trist sunt. Este ca o mare familie. Mult lume lucreaz la un astfel de serviciu dar eu sunt prima persoan dintre romi s fac aa ceva. La munc pot s spun ceea ce g�ndesc. Brbaii pot fi importani i s aib familii mari, dar m ascult i �mi mulumesc dup aceea." 42 RAMONA RAMONA 43 "Two days a week I'm working in schools. When I'm there I try to teach the kids but I'm trying to teach myself too. I like maths, art, and history. Now I'm not going to say I've never been to school, because I have, and I'm doing years one and two and seven and eight all at once. I want to go to college at some point. But I know that if I do that my income will get lower. I'll need to find work that is better paid, and not work three jobs, because when I start I want to go right through and not stop." "Dou zile pe sptman lucrez �n coli. C�nd sunt acolo �ncerc s �i �nv pe copii, dar �ncerc s �nv i eu �n acelai timp. �mi place matematica, arta i istoria. Acum, nu vreau s spun c nu am fost la coal niciodat, pentru c am fost, i fac clasa �nt�ia, a doua, a aptea i a opta �n acelai timp. Mi-ar place s merg la universitate la un moment dat. Dar tiu c dac voi merge, venitul meu ar fi mai sczut. Ar trebui s gsesc un loc de munc mai bine pltit, i s nu lucrez la trei locuri de munc, pentru c atunci c�nd �ncep ceva, vreau s fac acel lucru cum trebuie p�n la capt i s nu m opresc." 44 RAMONA RAMONA 45 46 RAMONA "This was my first time on an English train, and we were on our way to Blackpool: me, Amar and his two girls. I'd only ever seen the sea on a TV � I'd never felt the fresh air or the water and didn't know how it would be. I was excited and wondering what it would be like." "Aceasta este prima dat c�nd am cltorit �ntr-un tren �n Anglia, i ne �ndreptam spre Blackpool: eu, Amar i cele dou fiice ale lui. Vzusem marea doar la televizor � nu simisem aerul proaspt sau ap i nu tiam cum o sa fie. Eram emoionat i m �ntrebam cum va fi." RAMONA 47 48 RAMONA RAMONA 49 50 RAMONA RAMONA 51 "Sometimes on the inside I feel very lost. In Manchester I work day and night and while I'm proud of what I'm achieving, I also feel that something's missing. Something was telling me to go home to Romania, see my daughter and my mum. But it was really about finding myself too." "C�teodata m simt at�t de pierdut �nuntru. �n Manchester lucrez zi i noapte i chiar dac m simt mandr de mine atunci c�nd realizez ceva, simt c totui ceva lipsete. Ceva �mi spunea s m duc �napoi acas �n Rom�nia, s �mi vad fata i mama. Dar �n acelai timp era despre a m gsi pe mine �nsumi." 52 RAMONA RAMONA 53 54 RAMONA "I was going home to Romania a few weeks later, and I wanted to buy more and more gifts. When the time came to leave, I was carrying with me half of England. I bought the hat you see in my hand for my brother. When I looked in the mirror I was seeing him wearing it � I was looking at the colour and thinking of him." "M duceam acas �n Rom�nia c�teva sptmani mai tarziu, i vroiam s cumpr c�t mai multe cadouri. C�nd a venit timpul s plec, le-am crat cu mine jumatate din Anglia. Am adus cciula pe care o vedei �n man pentru fratele meu. C�nd m uit �n oglind, �l vd purt�nd-o � m uitam la culoare i m g�ndeam la el." RAMONA 55 "I was very pleased with Amar that day, he was making me happy. He was saying I could buy what I wanted for my family. Not all Roma men would be like that, supporting you to buy gifts and spend money like I was. He came with me to buy presents for my daughter and family, not for him and his family. That meant a lot to me � it showed me he cared." "Am fost foarte mulumit de Amar �n acea zi, �ncerca s m fac fericit. �mi spunea c pot s cumpr tot ce doresc pentru familia mea. Aa ceva nu le-ar place tuturor brbailor romi, s te susin s cumperi cadouri i s cheltuieti bani aa cum fceam eu. El a venit cu mine s cumpr cadouri pentru fiica mea i pentru familie, nu pentru el i familia lui. Aceasta a �nsemnat foarte mult pentru mine � a artat c �i pas." 56 RAMONA RAMONA 57 "In England it can be hard to find clothes that I like which cover me. For a Roma woman, wearing a long skirt means I'm respectable in the eyes of my community. I may be beautiful but if I wear jeans or short skirts when I am married, people will think I'm vulgar � that's just our tradition. I have to behave right." "�n Anglia este greu s gsesc lucruri cu care s m �mbrac care s �mi plac. Pentru o femeie roma, s port o fust lung �nseamn c sunt respectabil �n ochii comunitii mele. Poate c sunt frumoas, dar dac port jeans sau o fust scurt atunci c�nd sunt cstorit, oamenii cred c sunt vulgar � asta este pur i simplu tradiia noastr. Trebuie s m comport cum trebuie." 58 RAMONA RAMONA 59 "I'm just being a simple woman cooking for her family. It's not about proving myself to someone or about being a professional. Decembra, the other woman in the photo, is a friend. She's older than me and has been in England longer, and yet she comes to me and asks for help and advice." "Sunt doar o femeie simpl care gtete pentru familia ei. Nu mai este vorba s m dovedesc cuiva sau s fiu profesionist. Decembra, cealalt femeie din fotografie este o prieten. Ea este mai �nv�rst dec�t mine i a stat mai mult �n Anglia, i totui ea vine la mine pentru ajutor i sfaturi." 60 RAMONA RAMONA 61 62 RAMONA RAMONA 63 64 RAMONA "This woman is the best friend I've had in all my life. Marimar stayed with me for hours while I was crying about my daughter. She offered me peace inside because thanks to her I found God. We met a few months after I arrived. I was very lost then, saw no future, no light or hope. One day she gave me a Bible in Romanian. At the time I thought: `What do I need this for?' But I kept it in my handbag and started looking at it on the bus, and reading a few pages bit by bit. After 50 or 100 pages my life began to change, I saw more light. I can't be certain but maybe if I hadn't met her I would be living back in Romania by now." "Aceast femeie este prietena mea cea mai bun pe care am avut-o in toat viaa. Marimar a stat cu mine �n clipele �n care pl�ngeam dup fiica mea. Mi-a oferit pace �n inim deoarece datorit ei l-am gasit pe Dumnezeu. Ne-am �ntalnit c�teva luni mai t�rziu dup ce am ajuns aici. Eram foarte pierdut, nu vedeam nici un viitor, nici o lumin ori speran. �ntr-o zi mi-a dat o Biblie �n rom�n. �n acele clipe m g�ndeam: `La ce �mi trebuie asta?' Dar am pstrat-o �n geant i am �nceput s m uit la ea �n autobuz, i s citesc c�teva pagini �ncetul cu �ncetul. Dup 50 sau 100 de pagini viaa mea a �nceput s se schimbe, am vzut mai mult lumin. Nu pot fi complet sigur, dar poate dac nu o �nt�lneam, as fi trit �napoi �n Rom�nia p�n acum." RAMONA 65 66 RAMONA RAMONA 67 "I'm waiting to catch my plane to Romania. This is the journey of my life. I had too many memories and some were starting to fade. Before I got there I was dreaming a lot, I was scared and I was happy and I was emotional. I was terrified of the reaction of my daughter when I arrived and I was terrified how she would react when I left again to go to Manchester." "Atept s prind avionul spre Rom�nia. Asta este cltoria vieii mele. Aveam prea multe amintiri i c�teva din ele �ncepeau s dispar. �nainte s ajung acolo visam mult, �mi era fric i eram fericit i aveam emoii. �mi era team de reacia fiicei mele c�nd ajungeam i �mi era team de reacia pe care o va avea atunci c�nd voi pleca din nou la Manchester." 68 RAMONA RAMONA 69 Elvira Elvira 72 ELVIRA ELVIRA 73 74 ELVIRA "Elvira is simple, no ambition, no education, no aspiration. She's the mum, the wife, the daughter, the sister and the auntie. She had dreams of saving the world but never thought they would come true. She doesn't care about the way she's dressed, having her hair done or herself. The most important thing is to serve the family and visitors. When she was having her baby, Elvira was losing hope that her dream would ever come true. She thought she was more special than the other women, the ones with four and five kids. Who knows why, but she thought she was different. When she had Latifa she found peace within herself because she realised she had achieved something � her daughter, the most important thing for her. Elvira's most horrible fear is that her mum will die, or that something could happen to her daughter. Her mum is her best friend, she taught her to be a woman, a mum, a wife, a sister, and all the rules a Roma woman has to follow. The simple things please her, like her family, music, watching TV, cleaning the back yard or the home. She creates her own world in her head. I say sometimes that Elvira is crazy because she has all these images in her head, but they offer her protection and peace." "Elvira este simpl, fr ambiii, fr educaie, fra aspiraii. Ea este mama, nevasta, fiica, sora i mtua. Viseaz s salveze lumea, dar nu s-a g�ndit c se va �mplini. Ei nu �i pas despre cum se �mbrac, cum �i aranjeaz prul sau despre ea. Cel mai important lucru este s slujeasc familiei i invitailor. C�nd era gravid cu fiica ei, Elvira �i pierdea sperana c visul ei se va �mplini vreodat. Credea c era mai special dec�t celelalte femei, cele cu patru sau cinci copii. Cine tie de ce, dar credea c este diferit. Atunci c�nd a nscut-o pe Latifa, a gsit pace �n ea deoarece i-a dat seama c realizase ceva � fiica ei, lucrul cel mai important pentru ea. Teama cea mai mare a Elvirei este c mama ei va muri, sau c ceva i se poate �nt�mpla fiicei ei. Mama ei este cel mai bun prieten al ei, ea a �nvat-o s fie o femeie, o mam, o nevast, o sor i toate regulile pe care o femeie roma trebuie s le urmeze. Lucrurile cele mai simple o mulumesc, cum ar fi familia ei, muzica, s se uite la televizor, s fac curat �n curtea din spatele casei sau �n cas. Ea �i creaz propria lume �n mintea ei. Spun cateodat c Elvira este nebun pentru c ea are aceste imagini �n mintea ei, dar ele �i ofer protecie i pace." ELVIRA 75 "I was feeling pain in my stomach. I was waiting for my daughter to arrive and was thinking how she would be. I was very scared, impatient. I didn't know what I was doing, what I was saying, what reactions I would have. I felt like a stranger, I wasn't feeling it was my house, my place. To be honest I didn't like the house when I saw it: I was expecting to see changes but didn't find any. Because I'm not the same anymore, I didn't feel like I fit there. A bit like some old trousers that you love, but then you get fat and can't wear them anymore. Other than my daughter and family, I don't want to know the past � it's painful and sad." "Simeam durere �n stomac. Ateptam s �mi soseasc fiica i m g�ndeam cum va fi. �mi era aa de fric, aveam emoii. Nu tiam ce o s fac, ce o s spun, ce reacii voi avea. M simeam ca un strain, nu simeam c eram acas, la locul meu. S fiu sincer, nu mi-a plcut casa c�nd am vzut-o: m ateptam s vd schimbri, dar nu am gsit niciuna. Deoarece nu mai sunt aceeai, nu simeam c m potrivesc acolo. Puin ca o pereche de pantaloni care �i plac, dar te �ngrai i nu mai poi sa �i pori. �n afar de fiic i familie, nu vreau s tiu de trecut � este dureros i trist." 76 ELVIRA ELVIRA 77 "This is my first night in Romania, but I felt like the most horrible person in the planet, because my daughter preferred to stay with my brother's girlfriend instead of with me. I was trying to hold her hand but she was snatching it away and taking the hand of the other girl. I was feeling like the sky fell on me. I felt I had achieved nothing as a mum, and that was horrible. In that moment I was having regrets that I had ever left and I was also sorry I had come back." "Este prima mea noapte �n Rom�nia, dar aici m simt ca cea mai oribil persoan de pe planet, deoarece fiica mea a preferat s stea cu iubita fratelui meu dec�t cu mine. �ncercam s o in de m�n i ea m zg�ria i lua m�na celeilalte fete. M simeam de parc cerul czuse peste mine. M simeam de parc nu realizasem nimic ca mam, i asta era �ngrozitor. �n acel moment aveam regrete c am plecat i �mi prea ru c m-am �ntors." 78 ELVIRA ELVIRA 79 80 ELVIRA ELVIRA 81 82 ELVIRA "When I redecorated my mum's bedroom I started to feel more comfortable back at home � I felt it was more mine. I had brought curtains and bedspreads over from England and wanted to do it as a surprise � I had it all planned in my head. When we were putting the sheets onto the bed she was telling me off for doing it too slowly, straight back into the little arguments, just the normal mother and daughter thing." "C�nd am redecorat camera mamei mele am �nceput s m simt mai comfortabil �napoi acas � simeam c este mai mult a mea. Adusesem perdele i cearceafuri din Anglia ca o surpriz � plnuisem totul �n cap. Atunci c�nd puneam cearceafurile pe pat mama m-a certat pentru c o fceam prea �ncet, direct �napoi la micile certuri, chestii tipice dintre mam i fiic." ELVIRA 83 84 ELVIRA ELVIRA 85 "She was crying for a chocolate egg � I didn't have the money to buy her one. On this day I discovered that she can be very spoiled. I discovered she needs a mum to tell her what is `yes' and what is `no' and to understand `I don't have' and `please wait.'" "Pl�ngea dup un ou de ciocolat � nu aveam bani s �i cumpr unul. �n aceast zi am descoperit c ea poate s fie foarte rsfat. Am aflat c ea are nevoie de o mam s �i spun ce inseamna `da' i ce inseamna `nu' i s �nteleag `nu am' i `te rog asteapt'." 86 ELVIRA ELVIRA 87 "I have that kiss every day in my mouth and on my lips." "Am acel pupic �n gur i pe buze �n fiecare zi." 88 ELVIRA ELVIRA 89 "At that moment my dad was criticising and criticising me and I was not feeling good. I wished to disappear, not to hear what they were saying. I wished to die in that second. Bad memories and reproaching, talking about the past, why I'd done this, why I'd done that. I had to think twice before I gave him any answers." "�n acel moment tata m critica i m tot critica i nu m simeam bine. �mi doream s dispar, s nu pot auzi ce �mi spunea. �mi doream s mor �n acea secund. Amintiri neplcute i care se apropiau, vorbind despre trecut, de ce am fcut asta, de ce am fcut aia. Trebuia s m g�ndesc de dou ori �nainte s �i rspund." 90 ELVIRA ELVIRA 91 "Elvira is in a trap. When she's in the UK she's got an answer for everything but here she had no answers for them. My mum was trying to tell to me that she still loves me and my dad still loves me but I still have debts, like a daughter and my family." "Elvira este �ntr-o capcan. Atunci c�nd este �n Marea Britanie are un rspuns pentru orice, dar aici un avea nici un rspuns pentru ei. Mama �ncerca s �mi spun c �nc m iubete i c tata �nc m iubete, dar c �nc aveam nite datorii, ca o fiic i familia mea." 92 ELVIRA ELVIRA 93 94 ELVIRA "I didn't expect my family to put so much pressure on me. I brought a lot of pictures to prove the work I'm doing, because I thought they would be proud of me. But it wasn't useful, they weren't interested. They said: `No, what is that, I don't care, I don't want to listen. The only thing I want is you back here with us.' I was envious of the other women who were in that house. Like the sister of my brother-in-law: she's simple, she didn't go to school, doesn't work, she lives with her mother-in-law, she has three kids, her husband isn't perfect, but she's still very happy. She doesn't have anything, and no one was criticising her. I can have a hundred times more but people wouldn't stop criticising my choices. I was envious of the way they could have simplicity and be pleased with it. But I dreamed a long time ago a dream and it is coming true. I can't just lose it because my mum and my dad want me near them. I'm not a child anymore � I need to follow my own life." "Nu m ateptam ca familia mea s pun at�ta presiune asupra mea. Am adus o mulime de poze pentru a le dovedi ceea ce muncesc, deoarece m g�ndeam c o sa fie m�ndri de mine. Dar nu a fost de folos, nu erau interesai. Mi-au spus: `Nu! ce este asta? Nu �mi pas, nu vreau s ascult. Singurul lucru pe care �l vreau este s fii �napoi aici cu noi.' Eram geloas pe celelalte femei care erau �n cas. De exemplu sora cumnatului meu: este simpl, nu a mers la scoal, nu lucreaz, triete cu soacra ei, are trei copii, soul ei nu este perfect, dar totui este foarte fericit. Nu are nimic i nimeni nu o critic. Pot s am de o sut de ori mai mult, dar lumea nu se oprete s �mi critice alegerile. Eram geloas pentru felul �n care ele pot avea simplitatea i s fie mulumite cu ea. Dar avusesem un vis cu ceva timp �n urm i se �mplinea. Nu pot s �l pierd pentru c mama i tatl meu m vor l�ng ei. Nu mai sunt un copil � trebuie s-mi urmez propriul drum." ELVIRA 95 "In the background you can see my sister-in-law Dana. She is not Roma, she is Romanian and she and I are like opposites. Before she married my brother, she was like Ramona, very proud of herself, studying and working. When we speak on the phone we laugh. I will say I'm going to work and she tells me she's sweeping the backyard. We exchanged lives." "�n spate o poi vedea pe cumnata mea Dana. Ea nu este o femeie roma, ea este rom�nca, ea i eu suntem opuse. �nainte s se cstoreasc cu fratele meu, ea era ca Ramona, foarte m�ndr de ea �nsi, studioas i muncitoare. C�nd vorbim la telefon, r�dem. Eu �i spun c m duc la munc i ea �mi spune c d cu mtura prin curtea din spate. Am schimbat vieile noastre." 98 ELVIRA ELVIRA 99 100 ELVIRA ELVIRA 101 102 ELVIRA "When I was a little child I was scared to go out of the house, and my only friend was the TV. I didn't go to school because I had to look after my younger brothers when my parents worked away, but the TV taught me how to behave in public. For Roma women, education is not the most important thing. If you've been to school you can read and write, but when you get married you may not know how to cook, wash and look after your children and husband. It's a mother's responsibility to educate her daughter. If she doesn't know how to look after the house, the whole community will know and will blame the mother for not doing her job properly. I was 19 when I got married. I didn't want to marry but my parents said I was old enough and arranged it for me." "C�nd eram mic �mi era fric s ies din cas i singurul meu prieten era televizorul. Nu m-am dus la scoal pentru c trebuia s am girj de fraii mei mai mici c�nd prinii erau plecai la munc, dar televizorul m-a �nvat cum s m comport �n public. Pentru femeile rome, educaia nu este lucrul cel mai important. Dac ai fost la coal poi s scrii i s citeti, dar c�nd te cstoreti poate nu o s tii s gteti, s speli i s ai grij de copii i de brbat. Este responsabilitatea unei mame s �i educe fiica. Dac nu tie s �ngrijeasc de cas, toat comunitatea va afla i o va �nvinovi pe mam c nu i-a fcut datoria. C�nd aveam 19 ani m-am cstorit. Nu vroiam s m cstoresc, dar prinii mi-au spus c sunt destul de mare i au aranjat totul pentru mine." ELVIRA 103 104 ELVIRA ELVIRA 105 "We're in my mum's room and I'm starting to feel very happy and secure. My mum is my best friend and those two � my mum and my daughter � are my real family. No England, no husbands, no problems, no debts. No more Elvira or Ramona, just a mum and a daughter, and another mum and her daughter." "Suntem �n camera mamei mele i �ncep s m simt fericit i �n siguran. Mama este prietena mea cea mai bun i am�ndou � mama mea i fiica mea � sunt adevarata mea familie. Nu Anglia, nu soi, nu probleme, nu datorii. Nu Elvira sau Ramona, doar mam i fiic, i alt mam i fiica ei." 106 ELVIRA ELVIRA 107 "They are listening to what I'm saying. No more arguments. We are very close. She's still going to be my mum and I'm still going to be her daughter, no matter how old I am and no matter who I am. My mum has never really said to me `I love you' but she does a lot to prove it. She shows it in a very special way." "Ei ascult ceea ce spun. Sunt relaxat. Fr certuri, doar vorbind. Suntem foarte apropiate. �nc va fi mama mea i eu �nc �i voi fi fiic, nu conteaz c�i ani am i nu conteaz cine sunt. Mama mea niciodat nu mi-a spus `Te iubesc', dar o arat de multe ori. O arat �ntr-un mod foarte special." 108 ELVIRA ELVIRA 109 110 ELVIRA ELVIRA 111 "I believe in these pictures of the saints and when I came here I felt my prayers were being listened to. I prayed to God to look after my family and keep them healthy. I asked Him to ignore me and look after them: `Don't make me happy, make them happy, don't look at me, look at them.' And I begged Him to give me the strength and the power to look after them." "Cred �n aceste poze ale sfinilor i c�nd vin aici, simt c rugciunile �mi sunt ascultate. M-am rugat lui Dumnezeu s �mi pzeasc familia i s �i in sntoi. �l rog s m ignore i s aib grij de ei: `Nu m face pe mine fericit, f-i pe ei, nu Te uita la mine, uit-Te la ei.' i �l implor s �mi dea trie i putere s pot avea grij de ei." 112 ELVIRA ELVIRA 113 "I was getting ready to leave. These three or four hours were a nightmare that I really don't want to remember. How I was touching her and saying goodbye. Three years ago when my husband left I was looking more horrible than this. At the aiport this time, I was trying not to let myself cry in the manner that I did then. Then I was crying so much I was sick: it hurt so much, I was suffocating, choking on my own tears, and I promised myself I wouldn't do it again." "M pregteam s plec. Aceste trei sau patru ore erau un comar pe care nu prea vreau s mi-l amintesc. Cum o atingeam i �i spuneam la revedere. Cu trei ani �n urm c�nd m-a prsit soul artam mult mai oribil dec�t acum. La aeroport, �ncercam s nu m las s plang �n felul �n care am fcut-o atunci. Apoi am pl�ns at�t de mult �nc�t mi-a venit ru: m durea at�t de mult, m sufocam, m �necam �n propriile lacrimi, i �mi promiteam c nu voi mai face asta." 114 ELVIRA ELVIRA 115 Epilogue Epilog 118 EPILOGUE "When I left my parents' home, half of me stayed with them and half of me went back to Manchester on the plane. The main reason that I went back to Romania was that I was missing my baby, who I hadn't seen for too long. It's more painful to be separated from her now though because I know the way she looks at me and the way she is talking to me. And I have her voice in my head. It hurts much more now than it did before and I'm going to need more time to be the person I was before I went there. My wounds have been opened with a big knife again and they are very painful, and I'm scared because I'm living here in the UK and she doesn't have me near her. Going back to Romania made me very confused about a lot of things but it also reminded me of who I am and what that means. A Roma woman has rules to follow � she needs to keep her head down. Roma culture is not so open to the new ideas, the modern way. I have to be respectable and not take on the English thinking too much. I must remember where I've come from and that somewhere in the world there is someone very special who needs me." "C�nd mi-am prsit casa printeasc, jumtate din mine vroia s stau cu ei i cealalat jumtate vroia s m �ntorc �n Manchester cu avionul. Motivul cel mai important pentru care am venit �napoi �n Rom�nia era c �mi era dor de bebeluul meu, pe care nu �l mai vzusem de mult vreme. Dar acum �mi era mult mai greu s m despart pentru c tiam modul �n care m privete i cum �mi vorbete. i am vocea ei �n mintea mea. Doare mult mai mult acum dec�t m durea �nainte i �mi va trebui mai mult timp s devin persoana care eram �nainte s m duc acolo. Rnile mele au fost deschise cu un cuit mare i erau foarte dureroase, i �mi este fric deoarece triesc aici �n Marea Britanie i nu m are l�nga ea. �ntorc�ndu-m �n Rom�nia m-a derutat �n privinta multor lucruri, dar mi-a reamintit totodat cine sunt i ce �nseamn asta. O femeie roma are reguli pe care trebuie s le urmeze � trebuie s �i in capul jos. Cultura rom nu este deschis ideilor noi, cii moderne. Trebuie s fiu respectabil i s nu m g�ndesc �n felul englezesc prea mult. Trebuie s �mi aduc aminte de unde am venit i c undeva �n lume este cineva foarte special care are nevoie de mine." EPILOG 119 "When I put these photos up, it was a form of self-harm. I knew I would end up crying for hours. They were the first things I saw in the morning. I was thinking of my family and crying again, tormenting myself for two days. In the end I had to take them down. They cannot be in the same room as me because Latifa is haunting me like a ghost." "C�nd am expus aceste poze pe perete, a fost metod de autovatmare. tiam c o s ajung s pl�ng timp de c�teva ore. Erau primele lucruri pe care le vedeam de diminea. M g�ndeam la familia mea i pl�ngeam din nou, chinuindu-m timp de dou zile. �ntr-un final a trebuit s le dau jos. Pozele nu pot fi �n aceeai camer cu mine pentru c Latifa m b�ntuie ca o fantom." 120 EPILOGUE EPILOG 121 "This is Manchester Town Hall, next door to the library where I was selling The Big Issue a year ago, and I had won a prize. I felt like Cinderella in that dress and it was a great moment when they said my name. I told them that many Roma women are treated like slaves. I told them that maybe I'm one of the first Roma women to be given an award and that this shows anything is possible." "Aceasta este primaria din Manchester, l�nga biblioteca unde vindeam revista Big Issue acum un an, i am c�stigat un premiu. M-am simit ca Cenureasa �n acea rochie i a fost un moment minunat c�nd mi-au strigat numele. Le-am spus c multe femei rome sunt tratate ca nite sclave. Le-am spus c poate sunt prima femeie roma care a primit un premiu i c aceasta arat c orice este posibil." 122 EPILOGUE EPILOG 123 Appendix Apendix Words by Ciara Leeming Scrisa de Ciara Leeming 126 APPENDIX Urziceni � Manchester: 1,430 miles/2,300km APENDIX 127 About Ramona Ramona Constantin � Elvira to those who know her in Romania and her immediate family in the UK � never went to school, married at 19 and was a housewife and a mother. But since arriving in Manchester she has become a role model within the Roma community. In just two years she has learned to speak fluent English and moved from selling The Big Issue in the North to working as an interpreter and community support worker. Such achievements make Ramona, 26, a pioneer within this traditional and marginalised community, and particularly unusual among its women. The determination it has taken to get this far cannot be overstated. The second of five children, she spent her early 20s as a housewife. But when her first husband walked out on her and their baby, something snapped inside her. When she met her new parter, they decided to move abroad. But Ramona's parents persuaded her to leave her daughter, then aged two, behind with them and she reluctantly agreed � a decision Ramona Constantin � Elvira pentru cei care o cunosc in Rom�nia i pentru familia ei apropiat �n Marea Britanie � nu a mers niciodat la coal, s-a cstorit la 19 ani i a fost o nevast casnic i o mam. Dar c�nd a venit �n Marea Britanie a devenit un model �n comunitatea rom. �n doar doi ani ea a �nvat s vorbeasc engleza fluent i a progresat de la a vinde revista Big Issue in the North la a lucra ca traductor i lucrtor de sprijin. Astfel de realizri o fac pe Ramona, 26, un pionier �n tradiionala i marginalizata comunitate, i foarte neobinuit �ntre femeile acesteia. Determinarea care a dus-o at�t de departe nu poate fi supraevaluat. Cel de-al doilea din cinci copii, dupa ce a implinit doua zeci de ani i-a petrecut primii ani ca i soie casnic. Dar c�nd primul so a prsit-o pe ea i pe bebeluul ei, ceva s-a fr�nt �n ea. C�nd l-a �nt�lnit pe noul partener, s-au hotr�t s se mute �n strintate. Dar prinii Ramonei au convins-o s �i lase fiica, 128 APPENDIX Despre Ramona which haunts her to this day. The couple live with his two young daughters and members of his extended family. Professionally, her big break came a year after she arrived in Manchester, when she was the only woman invited onto a pioneering training course designed to prepare young Roma adults for the workplace. Initially, her involvement was not welcomed by a community in which men are the decision-makers. It is testament to her own courage that she put her trust in gadje � non-Roma � and to her husband's strength of character that he encouraged her to take a risk and follow her dreams. Over time and through sheer hard work, she has won her community's respect. She hopes her successes will inspire other young Roma people, especially girls, to make the most of the opportunities available to them in the UK, and challenge the negative views that many outsiders have of her people. atunci av�nd doi ani, cu ei. Ea a fost de acord dar fr tragere de inima � o decizie care o b�ntuie p�n �n ziua de azi. Cuplul triete cu cele dou fiice ale lui i cu membrii din familia lui extins. Profesional, prima ei posibilitate s-a ivit la un an dup ce a sosit �n Manchester, c�nd a fost singura femeie invitat sa participe la un curs destinat pregtirii tinerilor adulti romi pentru locuri de munc. Iniial, implicarea ei nu a fost primit de comunitatea �n care brbaii sunt cei care iau decizii. Aceasta este o dovad a curajului ei, c i-a pus �ncrederea �n gadje � oameni care nu sunt romi � i tria caracterului soului ei �ncuraj�nd-o s ia un risc i s-i urmeze visele. Cu timpul i prin munca grea, ea a c�tigat respectul comunitii ei. E spera c succesele ei vor inspira ali tineri romi, �n special fetele, s profite din plin de posibilittile de care dispun �n Marea Britanie, i s provoace opiniile negative pe care muli din exterior le au despre poporul ei. APENDIX 129 Roma journeys The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority, with about 10 million people spread across the continent. Most live in Eastern Europe and communities are diverse, speaking different languages and dialects and following different religions and cultural traditions. Analysis of the Romani language suggests their ancestors originated in India more than 1,000 years ago and moved through Persia, Turkey and into the Balkans, with secondary migrations branching off into Russia, Scandanavia, central Europe, France, Spain and the British Isles. The term "Gypsy" may come from the early belief that the Roma came from Egypt. They have been persecuted throughout history and wherever they have lived. Enslaved in Romania until the mid 19th century, they were also forgotten victims of the Holocaust, when up to a million may have died. In Czechoslovakia many Roma women were forcibly sterilised under Communism, while in some parts of Europe Roma children are still routinely sent to special schools. Romii sunt cea mai mare minoritate etnic din Europa, cu aproximativ 10 milioane de oameni rsp�ndii pe �ntregul continent. Cei mai muli triesc �n Europa de Est i comunitile sunt diverse, vorbind limbi i dialecte diferite, i urm�nd diferite religii i tradiii culturale. Analiza limbii rome sugereaz c strmoii lor au originea �n India, cu 1000 de ani �n urm, i au calatorit prin Persia, Turcia i �n Balcani, cu migraii secundare ramificate �n Rusia, Scandinavia, Europa Centrala, Frana, Spania i Insulele Britanice. Termenul "igan" ar putea veni de la convingerea timpurie c romii au venit din Egipt. Ei au fost persecutai de-a lungul istoriei i oriunde locuiau. �nrobii �n Rom�nia p�n la mijlocul secolului al 19-lea, au fost deasemenea victime uitate ale Holocaustului, unde pana la un milion si-au gasit sfrsitul. �n Cehoslovacia multe femei rome au fost sterilizate in pe vremea comunismului, �n timp ce �n unele pri din Europa copiii romi sunt �nc trimii de obicei �n coli 130 APPENDIX Calatorile romilor Roma life expectancy is 10-15 years lower than average. Over recent years a new migration has been taking place, with eastern Roma moving west as members of the enlarged European Union. Around half a million are thought to have settled in the UK since 2004. In Greater Manchester, communities from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary have developed, as families seek a better life. And a community of over 1,000 Romanian Roma has developed in Longsight, the area of Manchester where Ramona lives. Romanian citizens, however, face particular challenges. Together with Bulgarians, they are hampered by tough UK employment restrictions in place until at least 2013, which leave them with few options other than self-employment. Their generally poor English, low literacy rates and lack of skills put most Roma at an additional disadvantage. speciale. Durata de via a romilor este de 10-15 ani mai mic dec�t media. �n ultimii ani, o nou migrare a avut loc, cu romi din Europa de Est deplas�ndu-se spre vest ca membrii ai Uniunii Europene. Se crede c �n jur de un milion s-au stabilit �n Marea Britanie din 2004. �n jurul Manchester-ului, s-au format comuniti din Slovacia, Republica Ceh i Ungaria, deoarece familiile caut o via mai bun. i o comunitte de peste 1000 de romi rom�ni s-a dezvoltat �n Longsight, zon a Manchester-ului �n care locuiete Ramona. Cu toate acestea, rom�nii se confrunt cu anumite provocri. �mpreun cu bulgarii, ei sunt opriti prin restricii dure de munc in Marea Britanie cel puin p�n �n 2013, care le las puine obiuni de munc, altele dec�t ca persoan fizic autorizat. Cei care nu tiu engleza foarte bine, rata sczut de alfabetizare i lipsa abilitii de munc la majoritatea romilor sunt dezavantaje suplimentare. APENDIX 131 132 APPENDIX Methodology Metodologie Elvira and Me is a collaboration which aims to move beyond the typical stereotypes of Roma women and to give Ramona control over how she is represented. The images were shot over a period of about six months. The longer texts were generated through audio interviews, while the captions were generated using a technique known as photo elicitation, where Ramona was invited to interpret and comment on the selected images. She was involved as far as possible at every stage of the project. The book is bilingual to ensure she could share it with members of her community, should she choose to. Had time and resources been available the entire text would be displayed in Romani as well as English and Romanian, but circumstances meant only the two introductory texts appear in all three languages. The work was partly funded through a grant from the LipmanMiliband Trust and is, I hope, the first chapter of a long-term project documenting the UK's new Roma communities. Elvira i Eu este un proiect de colaborare care are ca scop micarea dincolo de stereotipurile comune ale femeilor rome i s-i ofere Ramonei control asupra modului �n care ea este prezentat. Imaginile au fost luate pe o perioad de aproximativ ase luni. Textele mai lungi au fost generate prin interviuri, �n timp ce legendele au fost generate folosind o technologie cunoscut sub numele de suscitarea fotografiei, unde Ramona a fost rugat s interpreteze i s comenteze asupra imaginilor selectate. Ea a fost implicat pe c�t posibil, la fiecare stadiu al proiectului. Cartea este bilingv pentru a se asigura c poate fi �mprtit membrilor comunitii din care face parte, dac se dorete. Dac timp i resurse ar fi fost disponibile, �ntregul text ar fi fost afiat �n romani, c�t i �n englez i rom�n, dar circumstanele au fcut �n aa fel �nc�t doar textul din introducere s apar �n cele trei limbi. Lucrarea a fost parial finanat printr-o subvenie de la Trust Lipman-Miliband, i sper c este primul capitol dintr-un proiect pe termen lung document�nd noile comuniti rome din Marea Britanie. APENDIX 133 134 APPENDIX Response Raspuns "I enjoyed doing this project very much. It was a unique experience, and it helped me discover many things about myself. Often when things are painful I try to avoid thinking about them but being forced to confront my thoughts and talk about them has helped me clear my head. When I saw the book I liked it very much and I cried many times. It's the history of my life, painful but honest." � Ramona "Mi-a fcut mare plcere s particip la acest proiect. A fost o experien unic, i m-a ajutat s descopr multe lucruri despre mine. Adesea, atunci c�nd lucrurile sunt dureroase, �ncerc s evit s m g�ndesc la ele, dar fiind nevoit s m confront cu g�ndurile i s vorbesc despre ele, m-a ajutat s �mi limpezesc mintea. C�nd am vzut cartea mi-a plcut foarte mult i am pl�ns de multe ori. Este istoria vieii mele, dureroas dar cinstit." � Ramona APENDIX 135 With special thanks to: Cu multe mulumiri: Daniel Achim Paulica Stan Dorothea Achim Varsovia Constanta The Lipman-Miliband Trust