Route of Roma Culture and Heritage in France
The Association CHAVE FOUN I WINTA (The Sons of the Wind), was founded in 2001 in the Arège (France), to bring attention to the specific values of the Travellers and to provide them representation with public authorities.
Joseph Stimbach - a Manouche (Sinti people of France) - and Maryse-Alice Gargaud have criss-crossed France to attest to the uniqueness of this culture and to speak at meetings and cultural events about the errors made in the process of settling down in communities and adopting a sedentary lifestyle,. also defending the gypsy writers (Joseph Stimbach is himself a writer).
In 2008 they participated in the foundation of the UFAT (French Union of Gypsies Associations), which is putting together 20 associations lead by the Manouches, Gitanes and Roms of France to be more effective in making national policy.
In June 2009 the Tzigane cultural centre FRAIDA AN MARO DJI (Free in our hearts) was founded in the Departments of Tarn and Garonne to defend the particular qualities of this unique French group. Thanks to the support of the Mayor of Montricoux, there will be an important cultural event organised from 23-25 July 2010 in the Marcel Lenoir Museum, which will include exhibitions,
theatre performances, a circus and musical acts.
This event is in the French leg of the Route of Roma Cultures and Heritage, making it possible to bring together and inspire contacts between
"non Travellers" and the rich and distinctive gypsy cultures.