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  #1  
Old Jun 5, '08, 8:46 am
HashemEchad HashemEchad is offline
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Default The Romany People ('gypsies')

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for it, but I'd really like to ask people worldwide what the situation truly is with the Romany people.

A few years ago, I first learned of the horrific persecutions they have endured, not only from the Nazis in what they call the porrajmos (the devouring, a/k/a holocaust), but in general, throughout most of their history. I feel as a Jew that they have suffered more than we have!

But then, I have met many people online, mostly Europeans, who tell me very negative things about them, and I have not heard even one good thing, which has me concerned.

What am I really think? I don't want to dislike any ethnic or religious group, as long as they are not harming anyone else, and they truly do seem, based on everything I have read, to be the most hated and persecuted people in the world.

But I'm an American and have had very limited exposure to Romany people. In fact I only know one, and he is a college professor.

What is the real deal? I don't want to base my opinion on possible prejudices. I have heard so many negative things and nothing good, which is a first for me because almost every ethnic group I have heard of, I have heard some good and some bad.

My mother used to say that as a child, people used to say the gypsies wander the earth because they made the nails to crucify Jesus ....I keep hearing things like that, and that they "all steal", etc I even had an elderly woman try to tell me that in Europe, they steal babies

So because the only Romany people I've ever heard of are a college professor and the late actor Yul Brynner, I'd like to know what the truth is.

Oh, and before I forget, what religion are they anyway? Anyone know?
  #2  
Old Jun 5, '08, 9:04 am
LDNCatholic LDNCatholic is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

I'm part Roma on my father's side, though most of that family history is sadly lost, we also have reason to suspect Jewish ancestry, but no proof.

I'm very interested in knowing more about that part of my history so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
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  #3  
Old Jun 5, '08, 12:50 pm
FCEGM FCEGM is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDNCatholic View Post
I'm part Roma on my father's side, though most of that family history is sadly lost, we also have reason to suspect Jewish ancestry, but no proof.

I'm very interested in knowing more about that part of my history so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
I remember hearing that their origin was India and this website confirms this:

http://www.romani.org/local/romhist.html
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  #4  
Old Jun 5, '08, 12:54 pm
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ruslan ruslan is offline
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Arrow Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Some more info:

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/o.../RR/pxrfh.html
  #5  
Old Jun 5, '08, 1:37 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

since the rom with whom I am most familiar are Hungarian, and that comes through music, I add this link
http://www.mtapti.hu/mszt/19942/csalog.htm
Hungarian gypsies, (roma) and music
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  #6  
Old Jun 5, '08, 2:21 pm
strngrnrth strngrnrth is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Quote:
Originally Posted by HashemEchad View Post
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for it, but I'd really like to ask people worldwide what the situation truly is with the Romany people.
They are he world's least respected large ethnic group but many are making major gains in the last several years.
Quote:
A few years ago, I first learned of the horrific persecutions they have endured, not only from the Nazis in what they call the porrajmos (the devouring, a/k/a holocaust), but in general, throughout most of their history. I feel as a Jew that they have suffered more than we have!
It's likely, actually. Most of the children in Romania's notorious orphanages were Gypsy children, dumped there to die.
Quote:
But then, I have met many people online, mostly Europeans, who tell me very negative things about them, and I have not heard even one good thing, which has me concerned.
When two large groups live near each other the more prosperous or more politically secure one tends to fear and project bad things on the other one.
Quote:
What am I really think? I don't want to dislike any ethnic or religious group,
then don't.
Quote:
as long as they are not harming anyone else
Ethnic groups don't harm people. Individuals and ideological groups sometimes do. An entire ethnicity doesn't jump up at once and run out to commit any crime.
Quote:
But I'm an American and have had very limited exposure to Romany people. In fact I only know one, and he is a college professor.
You very likely know a few more than you think.
Quote:
My mother used to say that as a child, people used to say the gypsies wander the earth because they made the nails to crucify Jesus ....I keep hearing things like that, and that they "all steal", etc I even had an elderly woman try to tell me that in Europe, they steal babies
And we know no one has ever said such things about anyone else.... When people show their prejudice and lack of originality at the same time it is tiresome, isn't it?
Quote:
So because the only Romany people I've ever heard of are a college professor and the late actor Yul Brynner, I'd like to know what the truth is.
The truth is that because of discrimination that goes all the way back to a time of horrendous enslavement in the Middle Ages, the Gypsy peoples, of whom the Romany are one, have dealt with mistrust and persecution which became part of a vicious circle everywhere they went. They wandered, not because of innate restlessness, but in search of respect and hope and to avoid the periodic persecutions. And you have probably known quite a few.
Quote:
Oh, and before I forget, what religion are they anyway? Anyone know?
many are Catholic, many are Baptist, many are Hindu, and some are other religions as well.
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  #7  
Old Jun 5, '08, 2:46 pm
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JharekCarnelian JharekCarnelian is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Family story, we have Gypsies in Ireland, not all are Romany but some are and some are part Romany where Irish travellers who were originally just people forced of their land by eviction or possible starvation intermarried with Romany people. Anyways, years ago my cousin met and fell in love with a Romany man, the outcry from some sections of the family did them no credit and deep seated prejudices started to come out from some, ending up in a blazing row where my father and older sister were of the opinion it's was no-ones business but the young couples and others were going on about how the young man would 'corrupt' the girl etc. As a point of amusement 25 odd years later the couple are happlily married and have lovely kids and many of those shouting at them have had marital problems themselves! Considering the young man in question was a very shy, quiet man who worked incredibly hard and didn't drink or smoke most mothers would have been happy to see their daughters with him.

Central and Eastern Europe sadly has some odd prejudices about the Roma, I remember getting in a blazing row with my best friend's father who was from Slovenia as he seriously attempted to regale me with the old myths mentioned above Roma stealing babies and selling them etc. etc.

Sadly for a variety of reasons the Roma's experience during World War 2 is not giving the focus it deserves and so prejudice against them is still seen as acceptable to a degree.

And as somone said there entire ethnicties do not jump up and commit crimes. If a Jew or an Irish or an American or Russian or French person commits a crime they are not representative of the criminal nature of that group but of their own only.
  #8  
Old Jun 5, '08, 2:54 pm
Freshman88 Freshman88 is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Quote:
Originally Posted by JharekCarnelian View Post

Central and Eastern Europe sadly has some odd prejudices about the Roma, I remember getting in a blazing row with my best friend's father who was from Slovenia as he seriously attempted to regale me with the old myths mentioned above Roma stealing babies and selling them etc. etc.
I come from a Slavic, Eastern European household, and our family stories aren't anywhere near as nice. I think its just as bad to label their experiences as being born out of superstitions. But the world has always viewed us as being backwards, as is evident in popular media.

Of course you can't judge a whole people based on a few bad experiences, but I still think it prudent to hold tightly to your belongings and to avoid any kind of sales transaction.

I'm sure most are nice people, but I wonder about those who hang around in touristy areas.

In any case, I'll trust my own family, before I trust political correctness.
Quote:
Sadly for a variety of reasons the Roma's experience during World War 2 is not giving the focus it deserves and so prejudice against them is still seen as acceptable to a degree.
Rightly or wrongly there seems to be only one group that receives focus when it comes to the holocaust.
  #9  
Old Jun 5, '08, 3:08 pm
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JharekCarnelian JharekCarnelian is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Um I don't view Eastern Europeans as backwards, my wife is Russian and I tend to trust to her judgement more than mine on many issues as she's more level headed in some ways than me.

Yes some Romany people are organised with crime, but generally speaking where people are marginalised that will happen and the idea of been careful with dealing with them in monetary transactions is an old one in Ireland as well. The stereotype there was to be extremely cautious at horsefairs which many gypsies attended. Mind you that was common sense I would think when doing any trading at such fairs regardless of whom you were dealing with. I only ever went to a few such fairs when a kid and that's getting on for 25 years back now. That would have been with my uncle who had been a jockey and then a trainer for horses.

The way our own gypsy community have been treated is not exactly lovely, they are not all loveable or perfect but the way we have mocked their culture and excluded them because it is different to the norm is sad. There was a documentary film made a few years back about one particular young girl in the community in Ireland and while she didn't come off as perfect the hard-hearted nature of some of the state organisations dealing with her and their summing up of what is a fellow human being in a few words like 'dysfunctional' was upleasant.
  #10  
Old Jun 5, '08, 3:32 pm
HashemEchad HashemEchad is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

I feel a lot better after reading some of the posts here...I was starting to wonder what was going on, with all the things I was hearing elsewhere!

I have a large collection of Romani music which I began collecting when I first became interested in this, a couple of years ago. I agree with another poster, their music is very moving and very beautiful!

I'd like to do something to help the Roma in working for their civil rights; unfortunately it seems most of the groups doing this are in Europe (where most Roma seem to be.)

And Freshman88, I agree with you 100% that one group (I suppose I'm allowed to name them: the Jews, my own people) gets a disproportionate share of the attention when it comes to the Nazi genocide. I've done some work in the Jewish community to try to change that, and have spoken out a bit on this.

I will say that I do not know of ANY people more viciously persecuted throughout history than the Roma. They had many of the same things done to them that have been done to my own people, such as having their children stolen from them to be raised as something other than what they are (this first happened in Bohemia, from what I've read.)

And I have read that in Czechslovakia, Roma women were being forcibly sterilized by the government? Anyone know anything about that?
  #11  
Old Jun 5, '08, 3:36 pm
Eden Eden is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

I read a book many years ago called Bury Me Standing, that gave an interesting inside look at Gypsies. It gave me a greater understanding and sympathy for the Romany people.

From Amazon:

They travel endlessly and seem to appear almost everywhere, yet they are the world's most mysterious people: Gypsies. Isabel Fonseca has done the impossible, entering into their world, living and traveling with Gypsies during several long trips to Eastern Europe, and she has brought back an insightful, highly personal, and very readable account of who the Gypsies are and how they live. The Gypsies have a legendary aversion to "gadje," or outsiders, but Fonseca has lifted the curtain and written gracefully about their lives on the edge of society.

http://www.amazon.com/Bury-Me-Standi...2701522&sr=8-1
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  #12  
Old Jun 5, '08, 3:40 pm
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JharekCarnelian JharekCarnelian is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...51C0A9659C8B63

Although from that article it's obvious to see it's a rather more complex issue than one short set of paragraphs like that could hope to address in-depth. By the way remember Czechslovakia no longer exists the two countries that formed it went their seperate ways.
  #13  
Old Jun 5, '08, 3:44 pm
HashemEchad HashemEchad is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eden View Post
I read a book many years ago called Bury Me Standing, that gave an interesting inside look at Gypsies. It gave me a greater understanding and sympathy for the Romany people.

From Amazon:

They travel endlessly and seem to appear almost everywhere, yet they are the world's most mysterious people: Gypsies. Isabel Fonseca has done the impossible, entering into their world, living and traveling with Gypsies during several long trips to Eastern Europe, and she has brought back an insightful, highly personal, and very readable account of who the Gypsies are and how they live. The Gypsies have a legendary aversion to "gadje," or outsiders, but Fonseca has lifted the curtain and written gracefully about their lives on the edge of society.

http://www.amazon.com/Bury-Me-Standi...2701522&sr=8-1
That's one of the first books I read, its a very good one!

BTW one book I don't really recommend is "The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies" because the author seems to be of the view that the Roma people were not truly genocidal targets of the Nazis, and that only Jews were. He seems to feel they were killed but not in an effort to wipe them out wholesale (?!)
  #14  
Old Jun 5, '08, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

Here is a link I found;
http:www.bbc.co.uk/kent/voices/heathers_paper.shtml
there even seems to be letters you may contact people
the religion I don't see it mentioned
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  #15  
Old Jun 5, '08, 4:12 pm
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JharekCarnelian JharekCarnelian is offline
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Default Re: The Romany People ('gypsies')

http://www.itmtrav.com/

That's a link to the Irish travellers group, most Roma groups have similar organisations in their countries of origin -if you flick through that one you will get a clear idea of some of the peculiar problems facing you if you are part of this group and some of the deep seated prejudices you can run up against. You can still find pubs here in Britain and Ireland with not traveller signs plasted over them as an example of a real everyday bit of prejudice.
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