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Transcript of Roma Gypsies
The Meaning of the Official Roma Flag-
Adopted at the First World Romani Congress in 1971, The Romani flag is an important staple in Romani tradition. The Blue represents the sky and the heavens, where the green is for the land, every growing and organic. These two colors touch upon not only the earthly values, but also the spiritual values of the Romani people. Most importantly, the red Chakra wheel is located in the middle of the flag and represents movement but also pays respect to those who have lost their lives during the progression of their culture.
Living Conditions for the Romani vary. For a majority of the population, money and income are scarce. For these reasons and having the freedom to pick up and leave to the next place when economy requires, many of the Romani people live in cars, trucks, wagons or shantytowns. These traveling neighborhoods consist of dilapidated shacks which often fall victim to destruction ordered by local governments who are against the Roma occupying their towns.
Nancy Sipps & Traci Waring
The Roma are very secretive about their ethnic dance. Due to historical persecution, Roma Gypsies prefer to not allow the outside world to learn their personal methods for expression. Unlike typical dance which is described as graceful, dance of the gypsies is described as earthier and somewhat socially unacceptable to the outsider. Roma dance often uses hip articulations and torso undulations, as well as no age restriction or attention paid to the physique of the dancer. Roma dance is based on acceptance, of their lot in life as well as the importance of accepting each other within their culture.
The Roma typically traveled in patriarchal extended families, consisting of up to hundreds of people. The family dimensions of the Roma culture holds very defined positions. The men traditionally were the bread winners and speakers of the house. The women, tended the home and gathered food. On occasion, the women would have to go outside the home in order to make additional money as healers or fortune tellers to the non-Roma communities around them, in these cases, the eldest daughter would stand in her mother’s place. In dire situations when income was scarce, the Roma children would be expected to panhandle for money, feeding off of the pity of others in order to feed their family.
The Romani travel with large groups,
mostly consisting of extended families.
Very rarely do members of the Romani
community socialize outside of their
group, especially with non-Roma.
The exception to this majority
rule is in regards to work or
trade, during these instances
having ties outside of the community proves financially
benifitial for the individual.
used mostly for governmental and official meetings, the Romani
alphabet is derived from India. It is argued whether this is one
language, or a group of closely related languages.
The Roma people migrated from North-East India to Persia as early as between 224 and 622 CE. Their cultural journey has since displaced them into many European countries and as recently as the 19th century brought them to North America, searching for a home where prosecution and prejudice will not predominantly occupy their lives
Anti-Romani beliefs began during WW2 when the Nazi’s, under the Hitler regime, deemed them as inferior and attempted the mass extermination of them. Since the end of the war in 1945, the Roma have fought for their independence and a place in society.
In many cases, the travelling Roma people adopt not only the language, but the religion of the area that they inhabit. There are specific customs regarding spirituality that they choose to participate in, that are not based on religion. Fortune telling, curses and healing spells and rituals are just a few of these customs that stem from the Roma’s bond with the supernatural.
Communication within the extended population
Because Gypsy's are primarily a nomadic group, maintaining communication within family is very important. There are many different web sites and registries dedicated to the recording and registering of families so that contact can be upheld. It is a closely held belief that even through the separation of marriage, in order to maintain using the title of "Gypsy", socialization and frequent communication must be upheld within the previous communities.
Failure to comply with
result in excommunication
from the "community"
and the loss of family
rights for not only the
specific member, but their offspring as well,
A gypsy man, may marry a non-gypsy woman, if she so chooses to adopt the way of life.
A gypsy woman, if she marries outside of the community, risks excommunication from the community because she then thins the bloodline and risks the future generations of gypsy.
When a gypsy child is born, the parents and baby are isolated for the first two weeks before the child is baptized. At the baptism, the child's name can be announced, not before.
Children born into the group, are raised by the group as a whole. The entire tribe is responsible for the care, teaching and raising of the child.
Whenever possible, a Gypsy must be moved outside of their home, vehicle, tent when dying. To die within the home is said to bring evil spirits that can attack other family members.
When a member of the tribe dies, all of their belongings must be destroyed, their corpse may not be touched and their name no longer spoken. To do so risks them returning as a spirit and being unable to move on to the next supernatural plain.
Introduction to the Gypsy
Ager, Simon. (2007) “Romani” Retrieved 5, August, 2013 from http://www.omniglot.com/writing/romany.htm
Robinson, B.A. (July 1998). “The religion, culture & status of the Roma.” Religious Tolerance.org. Retrieved on 11 July, 2013 from http://www.religioustolerance.org/roma.htm
Roma- Romani-Rom. (n.d.). Retrieved on 11 July, 2013 from http://cultural.profiles.spirasi.ie/countries/roma.shtml
Countries and Their Cultures. (n.d.) “Roma.” Retrieved on 11, July 2013 from http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Norway-to-Russia/Roma.html
Morgan. (n.d.) “Gypsy’s”. Retrieved on 11, July 2013 from http://gypsy3m.tripod.com/roma.html
Geocities. (2009) “Roma Religion.” Retrieved on 11, July 2013 from http://www.oocities.org/tragicpixie/GMreligion.html
Kiger, Patrick. J. (n.d.) “A History of the Romani People” National Geographic Online. Retrieved on 11, July 2013 from http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/american-gypsies/articles/a-history-of-the-romani-people/
Roma National Congress. (2008) “Umbrella of the Roma Civil and Human Rights Movement.” Retrieved 11 July, 2013 from http://romanationalcongress.webs.com/whoweare.htm
GRTHM London. (n.d) “Romani Nationalism, Flag and Anthem.” Retrieved on 11, June, 2013 from http://www.grthmlondon.org.uk/information/romani-nationalism-flag-and-anthem/
The Romani people value close
family, communication within
their culture and the ability
to survive through difficult
times while striving to make a
life for themselves.
The Rom-Roma-Romani people are a population of dark skinned travelers whom have been persecuted and punished for many years.. Though being born into a stigmatized culture, the Romani are a proud race who value family and loyalty above all else.
History shows that the persecution of the Romani people has subsided, but even now in current society, the Romani National Congress actively fights and petitions governments for the rights of these travelers and their families, seeking equality and partial citizenship rights for those who have chosen to settle with their families rather than live in a nomadic fashion.
With all the negative stigma surrounding the "idea" of being a gypsy, the Romani people remain proud and resilient focusing on their personal survival as well as the survival of their adored culture.
Welcome to the World of The Roma Gypsies.. Enjoy the presentation
We sincerely hope that you enjoyed our presentation of the Romani Gypsies. We urge you to delve a little deeper into the Gypsy culture and educate yourselves on the history of, the persecution of, the courageous faith and following of the Roma. Thank you for your time.
Katie and Traci