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Why The Gypsies Got it Right

An essay on Roma society

    From their medieval era arrival into Europe to today’s recurring headlines “Gypsy face and a jar” the world has been viewing the gypsies with a spoonful of pity and a cup of disdain.  After the Byzantines branded them Atsinganio after a heretic sect of sorcerers they traveled through much of Europe recorded as pilgrims begging for alms; that was way back then – the stereotype these days is kidnappers and wild party people propagated through reality TV and a competitive media leaning towards sensationalism.              

  A lack of Roma sources working within or consulted by mainstream
media is a major cause of the bias reported by Thomas Hammarberg, former EU commissioner of Human Rights.                                                                       


    Secrecy and isolation has been the Roma minority’s best means of defending themselves as author Walter O. Weyrauch noted in Romani Legal Traditions and Culture, “it is the protective nature of Jewish and most clearly Gypsy that keeps outsiders from knowing about their own affairs that makes it difficult for the outside world to comprehend the Roma ways,”(1) . T

poor like a gypsy” - the poverty factor

    The capitalist’s world view is “money makes the world go round” and a man’s success is gauged by his fortune: his job and its pay, money in the bank, the value of his home – quite unlike the Gypsy community where wealth is a state of mind measured by the abundance of family and which comes through loud and clear in some of the proverbs heard through the Gypsy camp, “a childless man is a poor man,” and “much children – much luck”.

... an original by Chuck Todaro



Tzigania Project is sadly no longer able to freely offer our exclusive research online due to plagiarism and other unconsented usage of our material.

 Our movement has always strongly believed in sharing objective truths of Roma history and culture as a means of combatting the abundance of misinformation and biased opinions feeding the stereotypes.

 Our excusive research is still freely available at our learning center locations. Contact us with ANY questions:

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding




 A small sample of the negativity floating about cyberspace: two evangelical Americans living in Romania had these "tips for Americans staying with Romanian host families”:

  Gypsies are everywhere. The kids especially will beg from you anytime, anywhere. I've taken the policy of not giving them money at all, but then, I live here. Expect the mournful eyes, the faked illness, the occasional tear, the whole guilt trip. They do this every day. I won't tell you not to give them anything, but know two things. 1) They are not going hungry and their next meal does not depend on you. 2) WHATEVER item of clothing you give them, they'll sell it.

poor like a gypsy


  Pressure to conform has been the Gypsies’ fate since entering Europe when expulsion was the status quo keeping them constantly on the go until the era of Enlightenment when forced assimilation became the fashion. The Austro-Hungarian empress Maria Theresa forced them to settle and confiscated Roma children for re-conditioning. Spain had other tactics including the "Great Gypsy Round-up" while Russia and other states forbid travel.  When these efforts failed they tried genocide; first the Heidenjachten - Gypsy hunts in the Netherlands culminating in "lives unworthy of life" propaganda used in Nazi Germany and the brutal “porajmos” - the devouring - killing an estimated 1.5 million Roma.

Poor like a gypsy

better to sing


(1) Romani Legal Traditions and Culture. Walter O. Weyrauch
(2) Tsigania = gypsy community

(3) Gelia Grigore. Purity and Impurity in the Traditonal Roma Family

(4) Roma Hope for Understanding after Mystery Girl Scandal. USA Today Nov 4, 2013.. “A 2012 survey by the EU Advocacy for Fundamental Rights found more than 90% of gypsy households lived below the national poverty line”
(5)Dietrich von Schachten 1491
(6) Poll: Most American Workers are Discontented Zombies. Healthline News: June 27, 2013