Migration and immigration have recently become burning issues all over the world, even though they are not new topics. People have always been moving around the world in smaller or bigger numbers, from south to north or east to west, for one reason or another.
The books about the history of flamenco talk about the different possible routes how the gipsies – originally from India – reached Andalusia. Via land through Turkey and Europe or via land and sea, through Africa and through the Mediterranean. This was the first major migration relating to the people of flamenco and at that time, they were not even called flamencos yet, they were just people moving in the world. After this journey, as the gypsies settled down in Andalusia and their culture mixed with the locals and the local traditions, flamenco evolved and surged. Throughout history, people of flamenco had to leave their homes many times in the search of a better life (and mostly simply for survival). Famous example of migration is the one around the Spanish Civil war. Lots of people, including the flamencos, left Andalusia when the Spanish Civil war started, and many of them settled down in Catalonia. They are called ‘charnegos’ in Spanish. Flamenco examples of the people leaving Spain in 1936, at the start of the Spanish Civil, are Carmen Amaya, the gypsy dancer from Barcelona and Sabicas, the gypsy guitarist from Pamplona. During the ’30’s and ’40’s they first toured together South & Central America, then the United States, and while Carmen Amaya returned to Spain a decade later, in 1947, Sabicas settled in New York permanently, and didn’t even visit his native Spain until 1967.
Sometimes, circumstances of life force us give up our current lives. Be it a desired change, or not! No one can be blamed for fleeing war or poverty, or for wanting to have a better life for themselves and for their children.
Some of us were lucky to be born in a country where there is no war or poverty, and some of us even had the luck of having parents who wanted and could care for us. But not everybody. Turning away from these people, building fences and walls, separating children from their parents, is not the solution. Over the past decades, the world has become global. We know now what’s happening around the world, because technology allows us to have connection and communication with distant parts of the world, not to mention the possibility of travelling there.
This is why I strongly believe that we should all realise that the responsibility is also global! The ones in a better position must help the ones in need.
After all, we are all humans.
(The song is a mariana sang by a singer from Jerez, his name is El Londro and he sings “I come from Hungary with my caravan searching for life”. The original was sung by Bernardo de los Lobitos, but I really like this version too. Interesting to think that the song could be about me, as well.)