Koko wrote:I definitely sympathize for the Romani, too. Since I have heard nothing from them (probably for obvious reasons), I have a one-sided opinion that is based only on reports. The fact that they come from the cultures that have a thing against the Romani doesn't make it a good opinion either.
Yeah, unfortunately, Romani people are one of the most discriminated minorities in Europe (or perhaps even worldwide) and have very rarely had the opportunity to give their side of the story. Most of the accessible information on them comes from non-Romanies, and even this has had such a harmful effect on Romani people that it can be almost impossible for them to trust a non-Romani researcher. However, interestingly, the Romani people are originally from South Asia and are (I think) growing increasingly aware of this, so I've found Eastern European Romanies very much open to talk to ethnic Indians such as myself. I actually think it's kind of sad how much they're willing to let us get away with just because we have roots in South Asia, too.
I appreciate your input vijay
Since you know a thing about the topic, it's as close as I think I'll get to hearing the Romani's side.
Perhaps the only reason they are treated today as they is because of their history? Though, that's a big grudge to hold :/
The Romani people have been dragged through hell and back many times throughout their history in Europe, so yes, I'd say they have incredibly big grudges to hold. That being said, the reasons why they are treated the way they are today are complex, but I think the biggest factor in any kind of racial discrimination is simply ignorance.
When I was in like, grade six, I read a book called Milkweed and the protagonist was a Romani (Gypsy was used (is capital G okay? It would save over-repetition.) during the Holocaust.
Gypsy with a capital G is OK with Romani scholars IME (and by that I mean scholars who are Romani); some of them even use that term in their own research. I don't know whether that term is considered acceptable on this forum, but here you were just saying that they used the term "Gypsy," so that's okay.
Misha was a bread thief, but only because he was an orphan and had absolutely no home. Since I cried at the end of the book, I have sympathy for the Romani, too, because I liked Misha (name given to him; he didn't remember his name so Uri gave him one). A weird reason, but I got connected to a fictional Romani.
Yeah, there are some stories like this that non-Romanies propagate. I suppose sympathetic stories help more than non-sympathetic ones, but they're really no substitute for seeing what Romani people themselves have to say. What they went through during the Holocaust was truly horrific, though the situation in Eastern Europe has hardly improved since then and is getting worse, not better.
I hadn't heard about that before, sounds interesting. Can you tell a bit more about that, like what do the cultural/religious/spiritual reasons entail?
Well, here, I'd like to quote from p. 75 of We Are the Romani People
, a book written by my advisor explaining this from a Romani perspective (and relating it to Hinduism) more succinctly than I possibly could.
To live properly is to abide by a set of behaviours collectively called Rromanipen, Rromipe or Rromanija, and this entails maintaining spiritual balance. This Ayurvedic concept, called karma in India (and in Romani kintala, or in some dialects kintari or kintujmos) is fundamental to the Romani worldview. Such a dualistic perspective groups the universe into pairs, God and the Devil, Romanies and non-Romanies, adults and children, clean and polluted - even the stages of life are two in number: adulthood (when one is able to produce children) and, together, childhood and old age (when one is not able to produce children).
Time spent in the non-Romani world (the jado) drains spiritual energy or dji. Sampson (1926:257) gives the various meanings of this word as "[s]eat of the emotions, heart, soul; temper, disposition, mood; courage, spirit", comparing it to Sanskrit jīva, Hindi jī, "life, soul, spirit, mind" and Armenian (h)ogi, "soul". One's spiritual batteries can only be recharged by spending time in an all-Romani environment - in the normal course of events, in family homes. It is in this area of spiritual and physical wellbeing (baxt) that the Indian origin of our Romani people is most clearly seen.
I recommend this book pretty highly, by the way. It's an easy-to-read introduction to the Romani people, including their language, history, culture, and the issues they face in dealing with non-Romanies, and I also find it just generally useful for reference purposes because it has some useful data in it as well. It's available through Amazon (see here
, for example).