|Why The Gypsies Got it Right|
An essay on Roma society
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
lack of Roma sources working within or consulted by mainstream
a major cause of the bias reported by Thomas Hammarberg, former EU commissioner
of Human Rights.
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
like a gypsy” - the poverty factor
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
Project is sadly no longer able to freely offer our exclusive research online
due to plagiarism and other unconsented usage of our material.
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.
excusive research is still freely available at our learning center locations.
Contact us with ANY questions: email@example.com
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”:
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.
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.