32 episodes

Do you love rebels? Do you want to live in a place where outcasts shine their brightest? Welcome to Romanistan! We're your friendly neighborhood Gypsies, celebrating Romani identity and outcast culture, and practicing good diplomatic relations with other marginalized communities. We love the rebels who are living their truth, even if it clashes with tradition. We also love tradition and honoring our roots. This podcast is for everyone who loves and supports Roma & related groups, and anyone who feels like a misfit and wants to uplift others to create a beautiful community. We feature pioneers in culture, fashion, art, literature, music, activism, cuisine, and everything good. We adore the intersections of gender, sexuality, spirituality, ability, and identity. We cover all topics, from the difficult to the glorious. Let's sit crooked and talk straight. Hosted by Paulina Verminski and Jessica Reidy. We reclaim the slur Gypsy, but if you aren’t Romani, we prefer you don't use it. xoxo

Romanistan Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 33 Ratings

Do you love rebels? Do you want to live in a place where outcasts shine their brightest? Welcome to Romanistan! We're your friendly neighborhood Gypsies, celebrating Romani identity and outcast culture, and practicing good diplomatic relations with other marginalized communities. We love the rebels who are living their truth, even if it clashes with tradition. We also love tradition and honoring our roots. This podcast is for everyone who loves and supports Roma & related groups, and anyone who feels like a misfit and wants to uplift others to create a beautiful community. We feature pioneers in culture, fashion, art, literature, music, activism, cuisine, and everything good. We adore the intersections of gender, sexuality, spirituality, ability, and identity. We cover all topics, from the difficult to the glorious. Let's sit crooked and talk straight. Hosted by Paulina Verminski and Jessica Reidy. We reclaim the slur Gypsy, but if you aren’t Romani, we prefer you don't use it. xoxo

    The Art of Dream Divination

    The Art of Dream Divination

    Paulina and Jez interview each other about the art of dream interpretation & divination to kick off our spooky season themed episodes this October. This episode also launches the first advice column, and we invite listeners to write in with their problems, and we will pull a tarot card each and give you some advice as best we can. Take it with a grain of salt— we’re fortune tellers, not therapists.

    Paulina & Jez also shout out some wonderful Romani fortune tellers that they have gotten readings from recently: Bibi Jaz, Katelan Foisy, Bimbo Yaga (Ylva Mara Radziszewski), Opulent Witch (Kiki Robinson), & Sasha Ravitch. We highly recommend.

    Our advice column this month is about how to repair a wounded friendship. We mention the podcasts Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel, Best Friends with Nicole Byer & Sasheer Zamata, and the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.

    Jez started that Patreon too!   https://www.patreon.com/jezminavonthiele

    Thank you for listening to Romanistan podcast.
    You can find us on Instagram @romanistanpodcast, and on Facebook under the same name, and on Twitter @romanistanpod
    We started a Ko-fi fundraiser to help us expand. Our goal is to continue releasing 2 episodes a month, including our advice column, and we would eventually like to expand so we can produce content by other Romani & Sinti creators. We are hoping to cover production costs, like paying for our hosting site, website, editing and producing, and all the rest. We would love it if you could contribute and spread the word. The link, Ko-fi.com/romanistan, is in our bio on Instagram too.
    Please rate, review, and subscribe. It helps us so much. 
    If you would like to advertise with us, write in for our advice column, or otherwise reach out, email us at romanistanpodcast@gmail.com. We offer sliding-scale for Romani, Sinti & related businesses.
    You can find Jess on Instagram @jezmina.vonthiele, and you can find Jess’ vintage and curiosities shop Evil Eye Edit on Instagram @evileyeedit & Etsy.
    You can find Paulina Verminski on Instagram @_paulina_v_ and at https://romaniholistic.com/. Follow Paulina’s store, Romani Holistic, in Corona Del Mar, CA, on Instagram @romaniholistic 


    Romanistan is hosted by Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski
    Conceived of by Paulina Verminski
    Edited by Cherub
    With Music by Viktor Pachas
    And Artwork by Elijah Vardo

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Caren Gussoff Sumption and Science Fiction

    Caren Gussoff Sumption and Science Fiction

    Paulina & Jez had a blast chatting with Caren Gussoff Sumption about her writing career and her latest sci-fi novella, So Quick Bright Things Come to Confusion. 

    Caren Gussoff Sumption is a writer and editor of Romany ancestry, living near Seattle, WA. The author of 5 books and more than 100 short stories, Caren's been awarded a Hedgebrook Elizabeth George Award, the Speculative Literature Foundation's Gulliver Grant, a stint as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Geek of the Week, and honors from the European Commission on Science and Society.
    She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 2008, was the Carl Brandon Society’s Octavia E. Butler Scholar at Clarion West. She also holds a seat on the Renton Municipal Arts Commission, and volunteers time to We Need Diverse Books, and other organizations promoting diversity and inclusion in literature.
    By day, she chips away at injustice, as a social services specialist serving as a state and nationally certified peer counselor, victim advocate, and community health worker.
    Caren is on the Autism spectrum, lives with chronic autoimmune disorders, and can't carry a tune (she tries anyway). Find her online at www.spitkitten.com and https://linktr.ee/spitkitten.

    This episode’s Romani crushes are performer & writer  Mihaela Drâgan of Giuvlipen & designer & performer Zita Moldovan of Loly & Giuvlipen. 

    Thank you for listening to Romanistan podcast.
    You can find us on Instagram @romanistanpodcast, and on Facebook under the same name, and on Twitter @romanistanpod
    We started a Ko-fi fundraiser to help us expand. Our goal is to continue releasing 2 episodes a month, including our advice column, and we would eventually like to expand so we can produce content by other Romani & Sinti creators. We are hoping to cover production costs, like paying for our hosting site, website, editing and producing, and all the rest. We would love it if you could contribute and spread the word. The link, Ko-fi.com/romanistan, is in our bio on Instagram, and will be in the show notes
    Please rate, review, and subscribe. It helps us so much. 
    If you would like to advertise with us, email us at romanistanpodcast@gmail.com. We offer sliding-scale for Romani, Sinti & related businesses, so reach out!
    You can find Jess on Instagram @jezmina.vonthiele, and you can find Jess’ vintage and curiosities shop Evil Eye Edit on Instagram @evileyeedit & Etsy.
    You can find Paulina Verminski on Instagram @_paulina_v_ and at https://romaniholistic.com/. Follow Paulina’s store, Romani Holistic, in Corona Del Mar, CA, on Instagram @romaniholistic 
    Romanistan is hosted by Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski
    Conceived of by Paulina Verminski
    Edited by Cherub
    With Music by Viktor Pachas
    And Artwork by Elijah Vardo

    • 49 min
    Konstantin Polyakov on Music as Therapy and Adoption

    Konstantin Polyakov on Music as Therapy and Adoption

    Paulina and Jess speak with Konstantin Shaw-Polyakov, who recently released his album, Where Are We Headed? Konstantin is a Roma/Ashkenazi multi-instrumentalist and songwriting transracial adoptee. He was born in Volkhov Russia in June of 1996, moved to an orphanage and adopted in 1997 by Quakers from America. Konstantin grew up with an adoptive name, Matthew, and few clues of his Roma heritage. Identity is a key driving factor in Konstantin's music, it is often about exploration through imagination and wonder, evoking thoughts of travel and connectivity. You can find his music on all streaming services. He has been writing songs since he was nine and was given his first guitar, a classical guitar.

    You can listen to Where Are We Headed? anywhere, including Spotify and Sound Cloud. Follow Konstantin @polykostya17 on Instagram to keep up on what he’s doing.

    Romani crushes this episode are Esma Redzepova, Muharem Serbezovski, Elijah Vardo, & the artist Sylvia @sy.cl0ps_

    Thank you for listening to Romanistan podcast.
    You can find us on Instagram @romanistanpodcast, and on Facebook under the same name, and on Twitter @romanistanpod
    We started a Ko-fi fundraiser to help us expand. Our goal is to continue releasing 2 episodes a month, including our advice column, and we would eventually like to expand so we can produce content by other Romani & Sinti creators. We are hoping to cover production costs, like paying for our hosting site, website, editing and producing, and all the rest. We would love it if you could contribute and spread the word. The link, Ko-fi.com/romanistan, is in our bio on Instagram, and will be in the show notes
    Please rate, review, and subscribe. It helps us so much. 
    If you would like to advertise with us, email us at romanistanpodcast@gmail.com. We offer sliding-scale for Romani, Sinti & related businesses, so reach out!
    You can find Jess on Instagram @jezmina.vonthiele, and you can find Jess’ vintage and curiosities shop Evil Eye Edit on Instagram @evileyeedit & Etsy.
    You can find Paulina Verminski on Instagram @_paulina_v_ and at https://romaniholistic.com/. Follow Paulina’s store, Romani Holistic, in Corona Del Mar, CA, on Instagram @romaniholistic 
    Romanistan is hosted by Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski
    Conceived of by Paulina Verminski
    Edited by Cherub
    With Music by Viktor Pachas
    And Artwork by Elijah Vardo

    • 39 min
    The End of the Tattoo Series: Meesha Ratzlaff

    The End of the Tattoo Series: Meesha Ratzlaff

    In this episode, we end the tattoo series... for now! Paulina and Jess interview Meesha Ratzlaff, a multidisciplinary Romani tattoo artist based out of Vancouver, BC., Canada. Meesha’s personal works are largely based and reminiscent of renaissance imagery and architecture, paying homage to her motherland and heritage of the Czech Republic. As a tattooer, she is exploring ways to connect themes of nostalgia, Gypsy pride, recognition as well as negligence in tattoo design and flash pieces.

    You can follow Meesha at @gypsy.tattoo on Instagram and book with her here or through the link in her bio. She gives a shout out to her former tattoo parlor, Sleight of Hand @soh_vancouver, and is, at the time of recording, about to open her own shop, Svatura! Follow her on social media to stay tuned.

    Romani crushes this episode include L.L. Junior @l.l.junior, and Meesha thinks Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello counts as well! Jez added Romaní @r.o.m.a.n.i too.

    Get 15% off Rowena Marin's memoir Who Am I in This World? with code WHOAMI15 at checkout until the presale ends on August 31st. Every sale makes it possible for this book to be published! Buy the book here.  Follow her on Instagram at @rowenam.author.

    Thank you for listening to Romanistan podcast.
    You can find us on Instagram @romanistanpodcast, and on Facebook under the same name, and on Twitter @romanistanpod
    We started a Ko-fi fundraiser to help us expand. Our goal is to release 2 episodes a month, create video content, like an advice column and other treats, and we would also like to register as a nonprofit so we can produce content by other Romani & Sinti creators. We are hoping to cover production costs, like paying for our hosting site, website, editing and producing, and all the rest. We would love it if you could contribute and spread the word. The link, Ko-fi.com/romanistan, is in our bio on Instagram, and will be in the show notes
    Please rate, review, and subscribe. It helps us so much. 
    If you would like to advertise with us, email us at romanistanpodcast@gmail.com. We offer sliding-scale for Romani, Sinti & related businesses, so reach out!
    You can find Jess on Instagram @jezmina.vonthiele, and you can find Jess’ vintage and curiosities shop Evil Eye Edit on Instagram @evileyeedit & Etsy.
    You can find Paulina Verminski on Instagram @_paulina_v_ and at https://romaniholistic.com/. Follow Paulina’s store, Romani Holistic, in Corona Del Mar, CA, on Instagram @romaniholistic 
    Romanistan is hosted by Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski
    Conceived of by Paulina Verminski
    Edited by Cherub
    With Music by Viktor Pachas
    And Artwork by Elijah Vardo

    • 30 min
    International Relations: Tattoo Artist Priya Kaur Handa

    International Relations: Tattoo Artist Priya Kaur Handa

    In this episode, Paulina and Jess talk with Priya Kaur Handa, our international relations (gadje/non-Romani) guest about the traditional roots of tattooing as a sacred or healing practice, and her work as an intuitive tattoo artist.

    Priya is a tattoo artist based out of Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Priya grew up with the influences of the Bay Area art scene along with doing work on community murals and painting for different social justice causes. When she started tattooing she wanted to find a way to bring the same intentions for healing and community into her tattoo work. From there and simultaneously being on her own healing journey she started doing Intuitive Tattoos at MINKA Brooklyn. Currently, she works as a painter, muralist, and tattoo artist. Follow Priya at @priya.k.handa.

    Some inclusive tattoo studios that Priya loves in Oakland, CA are Amore Eterno Arte, Tres Leches, and Julay at Sacred Spirit Ink.  Priya also is inspired by artists Tamara Santibañez and their book Could This Be Magic?, muralist Brett Cook,  muralist Juana Alicia, and the artist collective Trust Your Struggle. 
    Thank you for listening to Romanistan podcast.
    You can find us on Instagram @romanistanpodcast, and on Facebook under the same name, and on Twitter @romanistanpod
    We started a Ko-fi fundraiser to help us expand. Our goal is to release 2 episodes a month, create video content, like an advice column and other treats, and we would also like to register as a nonprofit so we can produce content by other Romani & Sinti creators. We are hoping to cover production costs, like paying for our hosting site, website, editing and producing, and all the rest. We would love it if you could contribute and spread the word. The link, Ko-fi.com/romanistan, is in our bio on Instagram, and will be in the show notes
    Please rate, review, and subscribe. It helps us so much. 
    If you would like to advertise with us, email us at romanistanpodcast@gmail.com. We offer sliding-scale for Romani, Sinti & related businesses, so reach out!
    You can find Jess on Instagram @jezmina.vonthiele, and you can find Jess’ vintage and curiosities shop Evil Eye Edit on Instagram @evileyeedit & Etsy.
    You can find Paulina Verminski on Instagram @_paulina_v_ and at https://romaniholistic.com/. Follow Paulina’s store, Romani Holistic, in Corona Del Mar, CA, on Instagram @romaniholistic 
    Romanistan is hosted by Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski
    Conceived of by Paulina Verminski
    Edited by Cherub
    With Music by Viktor Pachas
    And Artwork by Elijah Vardo

    • 38 min
    Wes: Tattoo Artist

    Wes: Tattoo Artist

    Wes is a tattoo artist living in New Orleans, Louisiana, working at Hell or High Water Tattoo. Growing up in Kansas he relied heavily on the library and a mentor to learn about painting, often bringing home stacks of books he’d study instead of his schoolwork. He decided to devote his life to “low-brow” art after realizing how accessible, practical and human it felt. Once getting written up for drawing on schoolmates in sharpie, he now gets to meet people from all over the world and help them tell their stories. Like many American Roma he learned about his heritage in parcels of tales passed down from family members, grasping at what shreds of culture were left after a couple generations of assimilation. Tattooing can be a method of memory storage and often be a gender or body-affirming practice. As a trans man he feels privileged to provide this service to people around him.
    You can follow him on Instagram at @wesdoestattoos

    Our Romani crush this week is Gonzo Phoenix! You can follow them at @gonzo_phoenix.makeup and @shuvanicandleco. 

    Thank you for listening to Romanistan podcast.
    You can find us on Instagram @romanistanpodcast, and on Facebook under the same name, and on Twitter @romanistanpod
    We started a Ko-fi fundraiser to help us expand. Our goal is to release 2 episodes a month, create video content, like an advice column and other treats, and we would also like to register as a nonprofit so we can produce content by other Romani & Sinti creators. We are hoping to cover production costs, like paying for our hosting site, website, editing and producing, and all the rest. We would love it if you could contribute and spread the word. The link, Ko-fi.com/romanistan, is in our bio on Instagram, and will be in the show notes
    Please rate, review, and subscribe. It helps us so much. 
    If you would like to advertise with us, email us at romanistanpodcast@gmail.com. We offer sliding-scale for Romani, Sinti & related businesses, so reach out!
    You can find Jess on Instagram @jezmina.vonthiele, and you can find Jess’ vintage and curiosities shop Evil Eye Edit on Instagram @evileyeedit & Etsy.
    You can find Paulina Verminski on Instagram @_paulina_v_ and at https://romaniholistic.com/. Follow Paulina’s store, Romani Holistic, in Corona Del Mar, CA, on Instagram @romaniholistic 
    Romanistan is hosted by Jessica Reidy and Paulina Verminski
    Conceived of by Paulina Verminski
    Edited by Cherub
    With Music by Viktor Pachas
    And Artwork by Elijah Vardo

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Gish700 ,

Thoughtful, Powerful

The shows keep getting better. This is the show I needed when I was young. But it is also the show I need now. Thank you for your great content and thought-provoking interviews.

crh badaire ,

Honestly can’t stop talking about this show.

Romanistan is among the growing ranks of vitally important Romani podcasts which uplift voices in our community and share crucial information on the history, culture, and achievements of the Romani diaspora. Something I love about Romanistan is how generously Jessica and Paulina share from their own lives, and how skillfully they address and clarify common misconceptions about Roma people. To be honest, I think that the early episodes of this show are a perfect entry point for outsiders seeking to learn more about Roma people and how to be our allies. I do work in criticism and media analysis, and am often asked to speak on the misrepresentation of Romani people and history in fiction, particularly around archetypes such as witches or travellers. I have recommended Episode 2 of Romanistan to my own audience and clientele several times, and I think it’s just a fabulous accessible primer on the subject.

Bimbo Yaga ,

Opre Roma!!!!

We need this podcast!!! This is the cultural content we needed, thank you both for this work.

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