A small city in Romania.
A Roma mother with her two daughters is shopping at the supermarket. All of them in colorful traditional dresses, with long skirts and headscarves in red, yellow, purple, blue, green. More colors than the wall of flags in front of the United Nations building.
The non-Roma Romanians, whose politicians had tried a few years ago to officially rename the Roma as gypsies because “the bad treatment and negative discrimination of the Roma could otherwise unjustifiably extend to Romanians”, look askance at the Roma women, critically eyeing their dresses, although these are not an uncommon sight in Târgu Mureș.
I display my friendly and genuine disadvantaged-minorities-deserve-friendliness-too smile.
Then an apparently Muslim girl with a tightly bound headscarf appears from the back of the supermarket and walks past the Roma family. One after the other, the three Roma women turn around, staring after the girl, their heads turned almost 180 degrees, with open eyes and mouths, as if they had spotted an extraterrestrial. The mother explains something to her daughters, of which I only understand the word “hijab”.