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Subject: Current meaning of gypsy and traveller? Accptable lables?
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Author Messages

17 Aug 2007 19:24  
Hello :)

I'm trying to get my bearings on words at the moment. I know the Roma are a specific ethnic group. I know Gypsy orrigionaly came from the word egyptian. But Im wondering about modern day meanings?

Can any group of traveling people be gypsys? Not claming to be Romani, just gypsys, weather they be Romani, Bedawin, moorish, or of no specific group, but some one who follows a traveling nomadic life style?

And what about the lable traveller? Can only Roma use this? or Roma and Irish travelers? If some one lives a nomadic life style can they be classed as travelers?

Also how do you define Gadje? Is it some one who isnt a Romani? Some one who is of no traveller/gypsy life? Or no Traveller of gypsy heratige? :)

Looking forward to your views!

Thank you

Beanie :D
Cj Eastwood

18 Aug 2007 00:57  
Hi Beanie :)

Is Beanie your surname as I have relations with the surname 'Beaney' who live in Kent? They are married in with the Ripleys, Coopers, Arnolds, Eastwoods, Smiths, Brazils.

To me personally I believe that the true original meaning of the word Gypsy should be used for people who are Egyptian. If you have ever seen the TV series 'Rome', you'll notice that at one pont the Romans referred to the Egyptian royalty as 'Gypties'.

When used in connection with travelling / nomadic people then it should only be used in connection with Roms as it is the Romani people that it was first used in connection with.

It is the British who are to blame for the mass use of the word as they tarnished any nomadic / semi-nomadic group as being gipsy. When trying to get support or recognision for the Romani people from people of the Indian subcontinent it is hard as they instantly say "we got gipsies back home". Often this means they are implying they are dirty people and do the horrid jobs like sewage etc.

The reason is that the British brought the word to India while occupying it. I find it is better when we can show that the Romani originate from an equal Indian status as this way I get total respect and support. An example of this is the Indian ex-prime minister under the knowledge of W.R. Rishi greatly supported the Romani and even held a festival for them in Chandighar. The Romani centre is still in Chandighar and they even have a special day for them.

With regards to the word traveller. This to me is th proper title we can call all groups whether Romani, Irish, Domari, hippy etc etc

All the best
Cj Eastwood

18 Aug 2007 01:18  
With regard to bedawin and moorish. Moors are North African people in origin and Bedawin I believe are Arabian in origin. Usually they are referred to nomadic groups but this is just another name meaning travellers.

Just to expand on the last post, I feel that by the Indian people seeing we come from an equal or higher status when back in India helps the Indian lower caste nomadic groups. If we came from Kashtriya caste as all the evidence and dna suggests then if we as a group now travel it helps loose the differences between the lower castes and the lives of the higher castes. Often "gipsie" in India are not nomadic, they just live in tents or shelters and do lower jobs. I find Indians can be very snubbish with regards to their status.

I personally refused to be looked down on by anybody. If anyone tries to snub my culture I take it very seriously, lol. Opre Roma!!

29 Aug 2007 12:27  
Dear CJ, you mentioned the festival in Chandihar, I wonder if that festaval was for, Gypsy dances, etc, by coincedence my tribe the Lovara, were in India then, but I am not sure if it was at that time, they were invited by the late prime minister of India mrs Indhira Gandhi, not only the lovara tibe, but all Roma/Gypsies through out the world, the lovara I mentioned are my near relatives, I wish if you could give me the date of that particular festival,much obliged Victor
Cj Eastwood

01 Sep 2007 02:26  
Hi Victor Phral.

Yes it is the festival set up by the late Indian Prime Minister Mrs Indhira Ganghi. I believe they still hold a festival there dedicated to the Roms of the world. I'm not sure how often or the date.

I believe there is also an office in Chandighar dedicated to the Romani people that was headed by the great late Dr W. R. Rishi and is now headed by his son.
I'll have to have a look through my notes as I'm sure I've got all the info on this.

Take Care
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