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Celebrating the Gypsies of Granada

Competition at www.piccavey.com/blog until 22nd November 2013

On October 30, 1996, the Andalusian Parliament declared that November 22 is to be celebrated as El Día de los Gitanos Andaluces, The Day of the Andalusian Gypsies. This day celebrates the arrival of the first group of Gypsies (gitanos) to Andalusia and their friendly reception by Don Miguel Lucas de Iranzo, Count of Jaén, in 1462.

Even though the first group of Gypsies arrived in Jaén, today 50,000 Roma call Granada home, many of them living in the distinctly Roma district of Sacromonte. The Granada Gypsies have long been associated with a rich, flamenco tradition. Sacromonte is a good place to see zambra, a flamenco variation with a more Oriental feel in which the singer also dances. Two popular — or at least well-established — zambra venues are Zambra Cueva del Rocío (Camino del Sacromonte 70) and María la Canastera (Camino del Sacromonte 89). The Center for the Interpretation of Sacromonte (Centro de Interpretación del Sacromonte) is a kind of Roma open-air folk museum, offering an insight into Sacromonte’s geology and environment, cave building, and Roma crafts, food, and musical traditions (with English explanations). The center also features flamenco shows and classical guitar concerts in its wonderfully scenic setting on the main Sacromonte lane (Barranco de los Negros).

Beyond the tourist caves of Sacromonte, there is a wealth of professional talent coming from the Roma families of Granada. Estrella Morente is an accomplished flamenco singer from Las Gabias, daughter of singer Enrique Morente and dancer Aurora Carbonell.

Another famous performer from Granada is Antonio Carmona, who is considered one of the best representatives of “the new flamenco,” or “flamenco fusion.” Antonio comes from a long line of flamenco artists. He is the great grandson of guitarist “Habicuela el Viejo,” the son of guitarist Juan Habicuela, and the nephew of guitarist Pepe Habicuela.
Throughout the years, the Roma population in Andalusia has passed from favor to systemic persecution, which has brought about a great loss in their culture and language. The Gypsy influence in the poetry of García Lorca, in the music of Falla, in the paintings of Picasso, the flamenco of Camarón, all attest to the special contributions of the Gypsies to Andalusian culture. It is for the purpose of remembering this culture that the Andalusian Parlament has declared Novembrer 22 as the Day of the Andalusian Gypsy.

In honor of El Día de los Gitanos Andaluces, Susan Nadathur is offering her novel City of Sorrows—an epic story set in the enigmatic world of Gypsy Spain—at a special promotional price of up to 40% off the retail price on the Kindle edition and 30% off the print edition throughout the month of November. Additionally, Susan will donate one free copy via a contest on this blog.

To participate in this contest, leave a comment on the post on piccavey.com answering the following question:
In twenty-five words or less, tell us why you think the Spanish Gypsy should be celebrated. Both Susan and I are interested in hearing what you have to say about honoring this marginalized group.
Contest begins on November 14 and ends on November 22, 2013.

The winner will be notified by email and shipped either the print or Kindle version of the book.
Susan Nadathur is a widely-traveled writer, teacher, and self-proclaimed “outsider” from Connecticut who lives on-and-off in Spain with an extended family of Gypsies in Seville. City of Sorrows is her debut novel, available for purchase at Amazon or on Susan’s website .

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