While it may seem strange to those of us who do not live in Eastern
Europe, prejudice against modern-day gypsies still runs rampant. Pop
superstar Madonna felt the animosity first hand at her Wednesday night concert in Romania.
crowd of 60,000 fans booed Madonna after she made a statement defending
Gypsies. “It has been brought to my attention … that
there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in
general in Eastern Europe, it made me feel very sad,” she said. Her
statement was greeted by jeers and boos, but the 51-year-old songstress
continued her defense. “We don’t believe in discrimination … we
believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone.”
also known as Roma are a nomadic group ancestrally from the Indian
subcontinent. Hundreds of thousands have moved across Southern and
Eastern Europe looking for jobs and a better life. Up until the 1800s,
gypsies in Romania were slaves, but their music and dance has woven
itself into local culture.
Roma performers joined Madonna
onstage Wednesday night as a part of her worldwide “Sticky and Sweet”
tour. “Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal
troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination
toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief
statement,” said Madonna’s publicist Lizz Rosenberg.
While many booed, Madonna herself said that after her statement, she also heard some cheers.