Oliver Rajamani’s “flamenco india” music is not fusion music to only show the technical similarities between Indian and flamenco traditions which are plenty and overly done with intellectual precision by artists today. His is rather a therapeutic interpretation of his spiritual connection to his ancestral homeland of India and his connection to the ongoing saga of all immigrant people who survive hardships and create a new nation, home and perception for others to mimic, experience and enjoy.
Flamenco has many influences from the Middle Eastern and Spanish cultures but the single most honest and important factor of the creation of flamenco is the flamenco-awareness only held in the mind, body and spirit of the Spanish Gypsies. Before the Spanish people accepted flamenco to be a national treasure or even a form of art, the Gypsies had been living and breathing this awareness of freedom for ages. It had been their one pathway to transcend the world of pain and persecution brought on by the Europeans. It was for the Gypsies a natural form of communal therapy and spiritual ritual. This spiritual pathway of music we can trace all the way back to the original homeland of the Gypsies which is India.
India is the original homeland of the Romani people or better known as Gypsies. The Romani people are historically, genetically and linguistically connected to India. According to historical data the Roma’s first appearance in Europe was in the 14th century. The term “Gypsy” comes from the misbelief Europeans had that the Roma were Egyptian. There were other misbeliefs the Europeans held of the Roma that lead to many persecutions the Romani populations faced over the hundreds of years since their arrival in Europe.
In Spain the Roma faced the Spanish inquisition established in 1478. The inquisition as much as it was meant to have a negative purpose of getting rid of foreign blood, it also became a unifying factor for all foreign cultures within Spain to bond. Out of this bonding and pain blossomed the therapeutic awareness now known as a tradition and labeled as “flamenco.”
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