View on Romani and About Them

This forum is the place to have more serious discussions about politics and religion, and your opinions thereof. Be courteous!

Moderator: Forum Administrators

Forum rules
When a registered user insults another person (user or not), nation, political group or religious group, s/he will be deprived of her/his permission to post in the forum. That user has the right to re-register one week after s/he has lost the permission. Further violations will result in longer prohibitions.

By default, you are automatically registered to post in this forum. However, users cannot post in the politics forum during the first week after registration. Users can also not make their very first post in the politics forum.
vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-21, 1:52

Johanna wrote:Can we all just not call them "gypsies" in English? It's one thing if the corresponding term is OK in Czech for example, but that doesn't make one bit of a difference when it comes to English.

Yeah, I agree. I'm pretty sure I mentioned before that that term is especially offensive with a lowercase "g." Every other ethnic group I can think of is spelled with an uppercase letter.

User avatar
loqu
Posts: 11835
Joined: 2007-08-15, 21:12
Real Name: Daniel
Gender: male
Location: Sevilla [seˈβiʝa] (Andalucía), born in Cádiz [ˈkaði]

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby loqu » 2014-10-21, 8:04

I'm so glad we don't have capital letters for nationalities/ethnic groups in Spanish.
Dir la veritat sempre és revolucionari.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-21, 18:34

Tbh, there are other problems with the use of that term in English specifically that I can only hope don't exist in Spanish. The image of the "gypsy" originated in Romaniticism since Romani people were seen as a part of the rural life that was disappearing as a result of the Industrial Revolution and urbanization. They were seen not only as thieves, fortune-tellers, wanderers, kidnappers of children (which is particularly odd), etc. but as carefree, happy people utterly untouched by civilization and free to do as they wished. In reality, this is entirely an imaginary concept, completely at odds with what Romani people themselves experienced. Some people use "gypsy" to refer specifically to this imaginary image and "Romani" to refer to the actual ethnicity. In English, in any case, "Romani" is a term that is attested in the literature since at least the nineteenth century (though with various spellings), not a neologism by any means.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22019
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-21, 19:22

Sol Invictus wrote:You seem to be focused on racism against certain individuals, but what I meant was perception of the group in general - if there's significant part of that minority that seems to be different from what is accepted by majority as "normal", some people will just overgeneralize and assume that this is how all members of that minority are. Like, if we return to gypsies, they often live in very poor conditions and are not educated, which does lead to some of them being rather antisocial (this is an example of what I meant by lifestyle), however people generalize and associate that kind of thing with all gypsies.

I can't think of an ethnic group in the USA that's more "normal" (i.e. assimilated to hegemonic cultural norms) than Asian-Americans, yet they're still subject to a litany of ridiculous racial stereotypes. All stereotypes are based on something except when they're not (as in the example vijayjohn gave of Romanies as childnappers).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-21, 20:50

linguoboy wrote:I can't think of an ethnic group in the USA that's more "normal" (i.e. assimilated to hegemonic cultural norms) than Asian-Americans, yet they're still subject to a litany of ridiculous racial stereotypes.

I'm not sure what you mean. :hmm: South Asian Americans (and I believe also East Asian Americans) are effectively forced to struggle between the norms of American culture and those of their heritage culture, which are very, very different in nature, so I wouldn't say we necessarily get assimilated all that easily.
All stereotypes are based on something except when they're not (as in the example vijayjohn gave of Romanies as childnappers).

As ridiculous as the childnapping one is, it's possible that it has to do with the fact that sometimes, young non-Romani women who found themselves pregnant before they got married would choose to leave the baby in the care of Romani people.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22019
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-21, 21:56

vijayjohn wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I can't think of an ethnic group in the USA that's more "normal" (i.e. assimilated to hegemonic cultural norms) than Asian-Americans, yet they're still subject to a litany of ridiculous racial stereotypes.

I'm not sure what you mean. :hmm: South Asian Americans (and I believe also East Asian Americans) are effectively forced to struggle between the norms of American culture and those of their heritage culture, which are very, very different in nature, so I wouldn't say we necessarily get assimilated all that easily.

Well, "Asian-Americans" are a pretty heterogeneous group, when you get down to it. But I'm talking about the overall "model minority" effect of accepting middle-class American values (like education, careerism, and deference to authority) and doing as well or better on traditional measures of "success" as Whites.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2985
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-10-22, 2:57

linguoboy wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:You seem to be focused on racism against certain individuals, but what I meant was perception of the group in general - if there's significant part of that minority that seems to be different from what is accepted by majority as "normal", some people will just overgeneralize and assume that this is how all members of that minority are. Like, if we return to gypsies, they often live in very poor conditions and are not educated, which does lead to some of them being rather antisocial (this is an example of what I meant by lifestyle), however people generalize and associate that kind of thing with all gypsies.

I can't think of an ethnic group in the USA that's more "normal" (i.e. assimilated to hegemonic cultural norms) than Asian-Americans, yet they're still subject to a litany of ridiculous racial stereotypes. All stereotypes are based on something except when they're not (as in the example vijayjohn gave of Romanies as childnappers).

If you look at racist attitudes as a spectrum are issues Asian Americans face as serious and as widespread as minorities that are not as well adapted to mainstream? Childnapping is a boogeyman story applied in many different cases and actually is symptomatic that prejudice already exists - it shows that people dislike certain group enough to think they need to protect their children from it. I am not claiming that, if there is a stereotype that all members of minority X do Y it's always because some X actually do Y, but that if many members X behave "abnormally" people start thinking that all X are like that and if there are numerous differences, especially, if some of those differences are seen as a serious problem, then hatred is stronger, more widespread and vile stories are told.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-22, 9:09

Sol Invictus wrote:You seem to be focused on racism against certain individuals, but what I meant was perception of the group in general - if there's significant part of that minority that seems to be different from what is accepted by majority as "normal", some people will just overgeneralize and assume that this is how all members of that minority are.

Wait a minute. You may not have been talking to me, but still, when did I ever talk about racism only against particular individuals? I gave two examples of groups that were culturally similar to the surrounding population but still are victims of racism.

User avatar
loqu
Posts: 11835
Joined: 2007-08-15, 21:12
Real Name: Daniel
Gender: male
Location: Sevilla [seˈβiʝa] (Andalucía), born in Cádiz [ˈkaði]

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby loqu » 2014-10-22, 9:13

vijayjohn wrote:Tbh, there are other problems with the use of that term in English specifically that I can only hope don't exist in Spanish. The image of the "gypsy" originated in Romaniticism since Romani people were seen as a part of the rural life that was disappearing as a result of the Industrial Revolution and urbanization. They were seen not only as thieves, fortune-tellers, wanderers, kidnappers of children (which is particularly odd), etc. but as carefree, happy people utterly untouched by civilization and free to do as they wished. In reality, this is entirely an imaginary concept, completely at odds with what Romani people themselves experienced. Some people use "gypsy" to refer specifically to this imaginary image and "Romani" to refer to the actual ethnicity. In English, in any case, "Romani" is a term that is attested in the literature since at least the nineteenth century (though with various spellings), not a neologism by any means.

I think I can understand. The romantic view of Roma people is described in Spanish with the word cíngaro. According to the Accademy, cíngaro and gitano mean the same thing, but their connotation is actually different. You wouldn't ever hear cíngaro today used for anything else than the 19th century legend characters.

(I guess this is the kind of image portrayed in the song Gypsy by Shakira, isn't it? It got sold in Spain in its Spanish version Gitana, but I remember it as particularly puzzling, since the lyrics didn't fit what we understand today under the word gitana, which just means a Roma woman and nobody really thinks of the romantic image anymore when hearing that word).

I said before that Roma people would never use romaní in Spanish to describe themselves, but I remembered a neutral word for them that is never used derogatorily: calé. It is not as frequent as gitano (not even among them), but it is quite well-known.
Dir la veritat sempre és revolucionari.

User avatar
Johanna
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6404
Joined: 2006-09-17, 18:05
Real Name: Johanna
Gender: female
Location: Lidköping, Westrogothia
Country: SE Sweden (Sverige)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby Johanna » 2014-10-22, 11:51

loqu wrote:I said before that Roma people would never use romaní in Spanish to describe themselves, but I remembered a neutral word for them that is never used derogatorily: calé. It is not as frequent as gitano (not even among them), but it is quite well-known.

Isn't that the main subgroup of Roma in Spain though, the Iberian Kale?
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2985
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-10-22, 12:46

vijayjohn wrote:
Sol Invictus wrote:You seem to be focused on racism against certain individuals, but what I meant was perception of the group in general - if there's significant part of that minority that seems to be different from what is accepted by majority as "normal", some people will just overgeneralize and assume that this is how all members of that minority are.

Wait a minute. You may not have been talking to me, but still, when did I ever talk about racism only against particular individuals? I gave two examples of groups that were culturally similar to the surrounding population but still are victims of racism.

Those two groups actually seem to have significant enough differences from majority (but do mind that most I know of them is from stories) and the way you guys phrased your posts it seemed like you might have meant members of minority as members of certain community. I feel I explained what I mean in reasonably understandable manner now.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22019
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-22, 16:07

Sol Invictus wrote:If you look at racist attitudes as a spectrum are issues Asian Americans face as serious and as widespread as minorities that are not as well adapted to mainstream?

As I said, it varies as much among Asian-Americans as between them and other groups. Critics looking to explode "model minority" myths are quick to point out that some Southeast Asian groups (e.g. Khmer, Hmong, Laotian) are disproportionately poor and uneducated.

In the days after 9/11, three South Asian men were murdered by White men who bragged that they were "defending" the USA. One was a Sikh, one a Pakistani, and one a Bangladeshi. Not coincidentally, these groups are also disproportionately singled out for searches in airports and street abuse.

Sol Invictus wrote:I am not claiming that, if there is a stereotype that all members of minority X do Y it's always because some X actually do Y, but that if many members X behave "abnormally" people start thinking that all X are like that and if there are numerous differences, especially, if some of those differences are seen as a serious problem, then hatred is stronger, more widespread and vile stories are told.

I still disagree. Jews are a good example. What "problems" between them and the rest of the population justified the ongoing spreading of blood libel or accusations of Jews poisoning wells? They simply practiced different religious rituals and wore distinctive garments. All other differences were imposed upon them by mainstream society (which prohibited them from owning land or practicing many trades, thus forcing them into commerce and finance).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-22, 18:10

Johanna wrote:Isn't that the main subgroup of Roma in Spain though, the Iberian Kale?

Yep, it's an endonym. Kalo (masculine singular, nominative case) in Romani means 'black'; kale is the plural of that (it is also both the singular and plural form of this adjective in oblique case). The word kale also exists in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi and means exactly the same thing (same gender, numbers, and cases).
Sol Invictus wrote:Those two groups actually seem to have significant enough differences from majority (but do mind that most I know of them is from stories)

Such as what?
linguoboy wrote:I still disagree. Jews are a good example. What "problems" between them and the rest of the population justified the ongoing spreading of blood libel or accusations of Jews poisoning wells? They simply practiced different religious rituals and wore distinctive garments.

And in some parts of Europe at least, the differences were even fewer. Ironically, a significant proportion of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust hardly even identified with their religion before that.
All other differences were imposed upon them by mainstream society

In fact, even though casteism and racism are not exactly the same thing, I think low caste people in India are another good example of how groups of people (or even the majority of people) can be victims of discrimination even though virtually all differences are imposed upon them by mainstream society.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22019
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-22, 18:35

vijayjohn wrote:In fact, even though casteism and racism are not exactly the same thing, I think low caste people in India are another good example of how groups of people (or even the majority of people) can be victims of discrimination even though virtually all differences are imposed upon them by mainstream society.

Good point.

Then you have the contemporary burakumin in Japan. Literally the only difference between them and mainstream Japanese are their ancestors' addresses.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2985
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-10-22, 19:21

linguoboy wrote:They simply practiced different religious rituals and wore distinctive garments. All other differences were imposed upon them by mainstream society (which prohibited them from owning land or practicing many trades, thus forcing them into commerce and finance).

And these somehow don't count as differences, because that would go against your opinion? Anyways, not in mood to discuss serious matters anymore, doubt any of us is going to change opinion any time soon anyway

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22019
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby linguoboy » 2014-10-22, 19:30

Sol Invictus wrote:
linguoboy wrote:They simply practiced different religious rituals and wore distinctive garments. All other differences were imposed upon them by mainstream society (which prohibited them from owning land or practicing many trades, thus forcing them into commerce and finance).

And these somehow don't count as differences, because that would go against your opinion?

In my opinion they don't count as "numerous differences, especially, if some of those differences are seen as a serious problem". Essentially it was a difference of religion (and a minor one, in the big picture, given that Jews and Christians are not only both monotheists but base their religions substantially on the same set of scriptures) that was blown up into something else. And, as vijayjohn points out, by the time the Holocaust happened, most Jews in Germany were all but indistinguishable culturally from their gentile neighbours. They dressed the same, they lived in the same areas, they worked at the same jobs, they listened to the same music, etc. Reform Jews even attended services on Sundays rather than Saturdays and not all of them kept kosher.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2985
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-10-22, 20:19

Anti-semitism is centuries old and has been enforced by state policy at various places and points of time, just because at this time religion (which BTW was one of differences I originally pointed out) is not as important doesn't mean it wasn't just few generations ago, which is not so long ago that very deep and well developed prejudice would be forgotten. Islam too is Abrahamic religion, doesn't stop people who know little about their religion from assuming they are entirely different and worship some different God named Allah. Besides it isn't really racism (unless somebody discriminates against them, because they don't seem to belong to imaginary race that requires everyone to be blonde and blue eyed) since Jews are lightskined, just goes to show that it isn't just about skin color.

Plus I meant it when I said I really don't want to be involved in serious discussion, I have to deal with something IRL and last thing I want to deal with at the same time is arguing with someone who's just going to be shifting the goal posts for days, currently life is bad enough without this.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-22, 20:54

Regardless of any differences of opinion we may have, I'm sorry to hear that.

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2985
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-10-23, 8:45

Thank you

I don't even think we have much difference in opinions - I'm not trying to justify racism and argue that racism makes sense, just that there often are deeper reasons for it than color of somebody's skin. I had dark skined classmates (presumably subject matter of this thread) who were very much like rest of us in everything else and as far as I can tell nobody cared about their nationality and skin color. Therefore I found it odd that a minority group that is practicly the same as majority is discriminated against.

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 21812
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: View on Gypsies and About Them

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-23, 11:20

Thanks, and I'm sorry if I made you feel bad (or worse), because that wasn't what I was trying to do.


Return to “Politics and Religion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest