Sanela – The Teacher

Sanela – The Teacher

A ROMA WAY BETWEEN STAGE AND SCHOOL IN SKOPJE

by Ivana Petrusevska, Charlotte Funke and Kristina Ozimec

She wanted to be a Snowhite in the kindergarden, but she got the role of little angry dwarft, just because she has dark skin colour. It was good enough reason for her to enroll the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje and to become the first Roma actress in her class. In this way she broke all the stereotypes in Macedonia about the Roma in this profession.

„I don’t want to play just the Roma characters, I want to play Macedonian characters, because I’m Macedonian and this is my country. I don’t want to receive scholarship, just because I’m a minority, but because my grade average is one of the highest „ says 33 years old Sanela. She spent the last two years working as a teacher of Roma language in elementary school „Braka Ramiz i Hamid“ in Shuto Orizari. Over 50.000 Roma live in this famous municipality in Skopje.

While she was a student, she played many roles in theatres and films, but after graduating her prospects were very limited. Theatres don’t offer her any role .Today this positive actress is only occasionally invited to participate in projects concerning Romas and social matters.

Talented Roma needs education

„Everyone knows that Roma people are natural born actors. All they need is education“. The are excellent players, communicators and analysists. Sanela takes her class to special acting camps. She strongly believes that combination of these factors with the quality education can produce great actors.

It takes only few minutes to really get to know Sanela up close and personal. Cheerful and optimist, she is fully dedicated in creating strong bond with the kids she teaches. Even though her theater carrier is stagnating, she is really fullfilled with her job as a teacher.“ At the moment my carrier is not important –what really matters is that I’m focused on the kids that I teach and that I try to make them fall in love with the teather“, explains this dynamic actress and jokingly adds that Roma lives are just like single plot dramas and not complex contemporary arts.

Barriers come from the past

She classifies people as humans and the ones who are not. For the barriers in the communication she blames our ancestors. New generations are more socialized, they go out together, they are friends and even lovers ..

Mutual respect

„There needs to be mutual respect . All of my collegues passed the Macedonian language exams easily. Me, I had to take it five times but in the end I got the highest grade“- she proudly recalls. This fierce lady explained that everybody has their lucky star. Limits are only in our heads. If we dream a little bigger everything is possible.

Sanela has never regreted her choice of profession.

„I believe that one day Roma will have their own theater in this country.“ It is a great vision of hers to create a theater group with all ethnicities.On her scene you will be able to hear cacophony of languages,but everybody will be learning Romanese.

„We need to start appreciating ourselves, if we want the appreciation of others. I know that next generations will remember me,somwhere, somebody will mentioned me … and it is because I did good!“

 

“Gelem Gelem” is the international Roma Hymn. It’s based on a love song with the same title. Sanela and her class sing the love song.


Gelem Gelem lungone dromenca,
Maladilem chorore romenca.
Gelem Gelem lungone dromenca,
Maladilem baxtale romenca.

Ooo, romalen,
Ooo, chavralen.
Ala voliv lake kale jakha,
Kaj si gugle sar duj kale drakha.
Ala voliv lake kale jakha,
Kaj si gugle sar duj kale drakha.
Ooo, romalen,
Ooo, chavralen.

Kindem lake lolo dikhlo tursko,
Ni volil man achel latar pusto.
Kindem lake lolo dikhlo tursko,
Ni volil man achel latar pusto.

Ooo, romalen,
Ooo, chavralen.

Sanela stands in front a row of garages, behind her two young students
Entrance Hall of a Skopjan Primary School
Staffroom of the Primary School, Plans and Picture on the wall, old TV
Sanela in Front of shelves with class books
Close-Up of Sanelas Eyes, the rest of the Face is covered by her arm in foreground
Portrait of the Teacher Sanela Emin talking to the interviewer
Close-Up of Sanelas hands with very short nails
Close-Up of Sanela's face, in the backgounrd, blurred, a classphotoPortait of Sanela sitting on a table staring on it and talkingClose profile of Sanela's face, she's talking to the interviewer
A framed classphoto, in the foreground, blurred, Close-Up of Sanela's face

Roma in Macedonia

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