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Subject: Need Clarification on matter of Romnichal-ness
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kezbekistan
Posts:4


14 Apr 2009 10:35  
Hello All. I hope someone can help me with my question. If someone, through no fault of their own, was denied knowledge of their Romnichal heritage until later in their life, can still they call themselves Romnichal? What I mean is... if, out of embarrassment or 'whatever', a family chose to cover up all their Romnichal ancestors (calling them 'half Jewish' for example), can the present generation call themselves Romnichal, even partly Romnichal? Among the Australian Aboriginals, many seemingly 'white' children were stolen from 'black' families, and raised as white in white society. Now many of these stolen children want to discover something of their Aboriginality, and wish to proudly say "I am an Aboriginal". But many traditionally raised Aboriginals oppose this, saying that because they weren't raised as Aboriginal, they can't call themselves Aboriginal. It obviously has little to do with colour, as there are very white Aboriginals, and very dark people who are obviously (and proven to be) of Aboriginal descent that cannot say they are Aboriginal. To me, this is a huge shame and tragedy; a great loss to the Aboriginal People. These lost/stolen people don't want land claims, they don't want hand outs, they just want connection to a history. So I wonder; is it the same with the Romnichal people? Is it breeding, nurturing, lifestyle, or state of mind that makes you Romnichal? If my post doesn't make sense, I'll try to clarify it. If I can; I'm not very good at this sort of thing. Looking forward to your help with this. Cheers. kez.
cathayb
Posts:121


14 Apr 2009 12:42  
now adays many true bred roms will refuse to own up to be romany but they cant change their bloodline and they are rom.likewise someone brought up as none rom who has two romany perants is definately and always will be a romany.you can change your blood lines.if your half and half you can have the best of both worlds and go which way you choose.for my thinking the blood line comes down through the father not the mum and if your dad was a romany and yopur mum a gaujo i would sy your 100 percent romany but thats just my thinking!!!
kezbekistan
Posts:4


14 Apr 2009 22:18  
Thanks for your answer, rhodie. It makes a lot of sense to me. I don't want to start talking romany, or anything like that. To me that's wankerish. I just want to be able to say "this is where I come from; this is part of what makes me who I am" without offending anyone. I don't want to claim Romnichal culture, just learn about it, and pass that knowledge on to my children and grandchildren, as part of their history and heritage. I personally don't believe anyone is 'pure' anything, so I won't say my great grandmother was 'pure' romany. But both her parents were Romnichal. The man she married would have been called gorjo (sp?), but my research shows he too had romnichal blood. Then her son, my grandfather, married a woman who also had Romnichal blood. I was quite sad when I found out that a lot of my cousins in England believe my great gran to be 'half jewish', but it's not my place to argue with them about it. They will have to find out and accept it. If denying their Romnichal ancestry has helped them avoid discrimination, and I reckon it would have, then that's what they needed to do to survive at the time. It's the same with aboriginal blood... when I found out one of my distant relations had an aboriginal wife, and so we had part aboriginal cousins, my mother wouldn't speak to me for months! (which wasn't a bad thing!) When I told her that I thought my father had gypsy blood, she wouldn't speak to me for another 6 months! I suppose I'm just a typical australian bitzer... bits a this and bits a that.
kezbekistan
Posts:4


14 Apr 2009 22:40  
thanks for your answer, cathayb. no, you can't change your bloodlines, and it's a shame when people try to cover them up with lies. Like being half Jewish, or Spanish or whatever. i always think of the bloodline coming down from the mother, so there you go! I have Romnichal on both grandparents from my father, and Irish traveller on one grandparent from my mother. I do know one Rom word too! My grandfather used to call my pet rabbits "shooshie" (my wrong spelling), which I have found out means rabbit in Romnichal (shushi) he also called wasps "jasper", but I don't think that's Rom, just a local word from his area of Dorset maybe?
xrosiex
Posts:297


15 Apr 2009 03:03  
hello kezbekistan this is a hard question to answer and even gypsy that have been brought up in the gypsy world will have different opinion on this i believe ..but i think a lot will feel like me and have no problem with someone wanting to find out there family background and who they came from and if someone like this said to me i come from gypsy people or have gypsy family then i would think that was fine.. but i don't think anyone can say i am a gypsy unless they have been brought up in the gypsy way ..i think why gypsies get so upset when people with gypsy blood but no gypsy up bringing say they are gypsy is because we are so proud of our ways and beliefs and someone with just gypsy blood will not have there's so will show us in a way that is different then who we truly are...there are a lot of people out there with either a gypsy granddad or gran and when they find this out all of a sudden they become gypsy (the way they see them to be) they have a romantic idea in their head what a gypsy is and try to be that, when the thing they are trying to be is nothing like what we are truly like they show us to the world in a way we don't wont to be seen so we get angry and say "you aint a gypsy"..but if people with gypsy blood said to us i have gypsy blood and went to learn about my people (for we would still be your people ) then i think most gypsies would say come and learn...as for gypsy denieing who they are, when there is so much racism against us and bulling more so in the past its no wonder the weakest among us become scared and deny what they are, even jesus was denied by his desipal out of fear ...but i myself and most gypsy i know would shout it from the roof tops "I AM A GYPSY " and am glad and proud to be so and would never deny myself or my gypsy people...anyways not sure if that is any help to you but nice to meet you all my best to you rosie
xrosiex
Posts:297


15 Apr 2009 03:04  
hello cathayb i hope you are well and had a nice easter loves rosie xx
kezbekistan
Posts:4


15 Apr 2009 06:02  
hello rosie. I don't want to buy a van and a horse and start pretending to be a gypsy. (although I do have a horse, and a lurcher ) I know it makes me really cranky when someone buys a couple of acres and a cow and starts saying they're a farmer; so i understand where you're coming from. My life has been one of not knowing or accepting my roots; part of my coming to terms with where I come from is learning about my heritage, and my people (as you so kindly put it, thank you!) When someone is bagging out gypsies, I want to be able to say "hang on, I have Romnichal ancestry, and I know that's rubbish." and back it up with information. I really appreciate how people have said "unless you've lived as a Romany, you really can't call yourself one. But we're willing to show you where you've come from." That's an honest answer. I guess we all feel the need to belong, to be part of a bigger 'tribe' (I can't think of a better word, sorry) Cheers kez
vince smith
Posts:19


15 Apr 2009 12:36  
Kezbekistan,

I have cousins who emigrated to Canada. Their Mother didn't tell them of their origins. One of them came back to England to search out his roots. He was dark and people didn't believe him when he said he was of English origin. When we got to know him, he was more Gypsy than we were. It was uncanny, he just walked, talked, and acted like his cousins who had been brought up in England in the Gypsy life.

I think we inherit a lot more than just looks from our parents. Good that you're finding pride in what you are. I think that people who marry in, often end up more gypsy in their ways than the ones with the blood. They try harder. No reason why you can't be the same, so long as you learn to mix. You will not learn it from a book or a computer.
cathayb
Posts:121


15 Apr 2009 17:32  
gosh this is turning out to be really interesting and as it looks like we may well be related kezbekistan i am really enjoying your views from the australian point of view.its so good to learn how we all differ in our opinions.imagine if we were all the same?wouldnt life be boring?

hi xrosiex.hows our mutual friend?hes a super chap isnt he.i had a good hol even if we were moving caravans and mobiles all week end as we have had to make room for a returning offspring and her son.still we had fun.trust you had a good hol aswell.love cathayb
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