In the Romani language, rom is a masculine noun, meaning "man, husband", with the plural roma. Romani is the feminine adjective, while romano is the masculine adjective. Some Romanies use Rom or Roma as an ethnic name, while others (such as the Sinti, or the Romanichal) do not use this term as a self-ascription for the entire ethnic group.
In the English language (according to the Oxford English Dictionary), Rom is a noun (with the plural Roma or Roms) and an adjective, while Romani (Romany) is also a noun (with the plural Romanies or Romanis) and an adjective. Both Rom and Romani have been in use in English since the 19th century as an alternative for Gypsy. Romani was initially spelled Rommany, then Romany, while today the Romani spelling is the most popular spelling. ...
Although Roma is used as a designation for the branch of the Romani people with historic concentrations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, it is increasingly encountered during recent decades as a generic term for the Romani people as a whole.
Because all Romanies use the word Romani as an adjective, the term began to be used as a noun for the entire ethnic group.
Today, the term Romani is used by most organizations—including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the US Library of Congress.
The standard assumption is that the demonyms of the Romani people, Lom and Dom share the same origin.
In the UK, "travellers" is a word for Nomadic people of a variety of heritages (Romani, Irish, Scottish, and people who have chosen the lifestyle of travelling).
What care I for my house and my land?
What care I for my money, O?
What care I for my new wedded lord?
I'm off with the alternatively-dressed Romani, O!
Last night you slept on a goose-feather bed
With the sheet turned down so bravely, O!
And to-night you'll sleep in sustainable green accommodation,
Along with the alternatively-dressed Romani, O!
I cannot think of a single time I have ever seen the word 'travellers' used here in the UK to refer to anyone other than an Irish Traveller, specifically. It might theoretically also include other nomadic people, such as Romani, but in actual use, it pretty much means Irish Travellers...
I'm pissed off at Europe for putting up with that kind of bullshit - and ashamed of Canada for not calling them on it.
Jehan, thank you for the link. But I'm still shocked - North Lincolnshire has its own county council?! I wouldn't have thought there were enough people up there.
(married into a Lincs family, one of my favorite counties :)
Malor: In the US, we don't care about the Roma at all; we're not prejudiced either for or against them, because they barely exist as more than fairy tales to us.
"That deportation was just one episode of centuries of ethnic cleansing in Western Europe. The Romani historians Ian Hancock and Angus Fraser have identified nu- merous expulsion orders from 1568 forward, by which all the European powers, the British monarchy, and the papacy as well, seeded their American colonies with Roma. Of particular significance to the Louisiana-Mississippi clans is the 1682 mandate of France’s Louis XIV who “ordered bailiffs throughout France to ‘arrest, and cause to be arrested, all those who are called Bohemians or Egyptians ... to secure the men to the convicts’ chain to be led to our galleys and to serve there in perpetuity, [and as for the women, they are to be] flogged and banished out of the kingdom; all this without any other form of trial’."
"Socially, the family’s position was far less settled. Her daughter Françoise had defied convention and taken an Indian husband, although the marriage was short- lived and it did not prevent her from finding an “American” to wed her thereafter. A second daughter, Marie Jeanne, had married another Rom from New Orleans— Louis La Prairie of the 1773 census, whose parents had come with Cécile’s parents to the colony aboard Le Tilleul. The young La Praries settled well into domesticity and their offspring would populate much of early Rapides.
Cécile and Babé, however, would continue to irritate authorities with their unconventional behavior; and the local commandant would repeatedly apply the “Gypsy” label to them (though not to the La Prairies after that first census)."
midmarch snowman: I have had about a half dozen black friends and acquaintances make it known they prefer "Black" to "African American," and I've heard exactly zero black people say they prefer "African American.
I am X, and I am different from Y. Other people are ignorant of the difference between X and Y. They must be educated. People, you must call me X and respect my difference from yourself, and from Y. You must refer to me by the term I have chosen to refer to myself by, and stay tuned for any changes I choose to make in this label, and new terms you must use to describe me -- those new terms which the stigma treadmill or reclamation of previously-taboo terms may, from time to time, make it necessary for me to substitute.
So there's no consensus, but I don't use the G-word around my cousin Chris. I try to correct people gently when they use "gypped" or insist that "Gypsy" isn't really an ethnicity (because those people universally don't understand that "Romani" is an ethnicity and think that "Gypsy" just means "nomadic petty criminal").
Do I care what you call me, faceless strangers on the Interwebs? No. But I have thick skin, and I do care when you do something that pisses off my family, so now you know. Any chance you could stop doing that?
Romani culture is extremely diverse, so it's really impossible to speak for all of us, though some have tried, with mixed results.....
Hancock teaching Romani to gadje angers many of the older generation, as they have been taught to keep our secrets to ourselves. I come as close as saying, "oh, hey, we're real and by the way, things aren't very good for us around the world," but that's it. Anything else is overstepping boundaries....It would be impossible to write a book that would encompass (and do justice to) all the different groups, and it is also considered disrespectful and 'against the culture' to tell outsiders many of the things that Hancock discusses freely.....what really needs to be said is that no matter where we are, there always seems to be prejudice against the Romani people.....
I am aware of the paradox that exists between building a bridge to understanding our culture while not betraying what is sacred to our ancestors. Let's not forget, Romani people became secretive and closed off for a reason, and those atrocities are hard to forget, especially for those who lived to see them firsthand. There are many lovely things about Romani culture... the music, the dancing, a strong loyalty to each other and solid family and cultural values.....
"Conditions at the two sites, one on a roundabout on the M50 within sight of Dublin airport's runway, the other just before a slip road, have deteriorated over the past few days. The scene resembles the slums of an Asian city rather than 21st-century Ireland.
The air around the two camps reeks of human excreta and rotting food; children as young as two play in mud and filth; grass verges to either side of the families' makeshift shelters are covered in rubbish and colonies of tiny flies attach themselves to anything that moves. The tents they sleep in have been flooded during the recent heavy rains. [...]
Apart from the threat of an epidemic breaking out in the camps, adults and children risk their lives on a daily basis crossing what is regarded as the busiest arterial route in urban Ireland. Small children could be seen begging on the slip road and at the roundabout as they tried to flag down cars, vans and buses. The AA in Ireland has warned that there is going to be a serious accident on this section of the M50 if the Roma children continue to beg on the motorway."
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