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On The Word “Gadje”

biggadjeworld:

In every single dialect of Rromanes, the Romani language, there is a word specifically for those outside of our ethnicity; gadje, gadže, gažhe, gaujer, gage, gorger, gorgio, etc..

It is speculated that this word came into being from a Prakrit term meaning “civilian”, suggesting that at least part of our diasporic group was somehow militarily involved.
This is mere speculation, though, and is not based in concrete facts.

The term, “gadje”, and any derivations that exist in other dialects simply mean “non-Romani people”.

“Gadji” means “non-Romani woman”.
“Gadjo” means “non-Romani man”.
“Rakle”, or “raklja” mean “non-Romani children”.

These words have one meaning & one meaning only: not Romani.

They are in no way inherently derogatory.
Saying “gadje” is no different than saying “non-Romani”. “Gadje” is just the word we use in Rromanes. It is no different than using “nem Rroma”, “nicht Rromani”, “ne Rromu”, “non-Romani”.
We just have a single term for those outside of our ethnicity in our own language.

That being said, people who do not speak Rromanes, people who are not ethnically Romani, should not use “gadje” or any other forms of the word.
You should refer to yourself & others outside of our ethnicity as “non-Romani”, or whatever the term is that exists in your language.

Maybe you know a Romani person who is okay with you referring to yourself as “gadje”, but you should only use this term when speaking with that individual.
Otherwise, you are bastardizing, or appropriating a word from our language.
This word is not yours; it is ours. 

I do not know exactly what it is that frightens people about this word.
No, we will not stop speaking our own language simply because it makes you uncomfortable.

Most Romani on here, or on other forums only use “gadje” amongst each other.
We have found ourselves in a predicament where this word is either stolen from us & used by non-Romani, or that we are chastised for using a word that comes from our language.
Many times, when we post in English, we will use non-Romani because that is the only English translation of the term.

If we want to insult you, “gadje” is not the term we would use.
We have our own swear words & our own insults that we are not shy about throwing around.
“Gadje” is not one of those words.

The only arguments I have heard against the word are from ill-informed non-Romani who wrongly think this word is a slur, or from those who can only claim Romani “ancestry” & do not quite understand what it means to have people tell you that you cannot speak your own language.


If you are non-Romani; do not use “gadje” to refer to yourself unless you are speaking with a Romani person who is okay with your using it.

If you are non-Romani; do not ask us to stop speaking our own language because you have a misunderstanding of a term that we use.

Tagged: romromaromaniromanyrromrromarromanigypsygipsygazhegadjegorgergaujerreblog

a letter to gadje

static-nonsense:

note: since i know i have non-romani followers, that’s all that gadje means. someone who is not romani.

i am writing this from the position of gadje. while i am of romani heritage, i was raised without awareness of the culture. and it pains me that i have to be one saying this, to get people to listen instead of my romani brothers, sisters, siblings and peers whose voices are the real ones that should be heard. but, alas, this is a gadje world. i just hope that someone, anyone, will listen.

you and i, we are assholes.

no, i’m serious. sit down and listen.

we’re major assholes. we are racist, antiziganist appropriative assholes that promote assimilation and monoculturalism. i am not going to pad the blow here, because it needs to be said and felt in full.

there are things that we can do to help deconstruct this, both within ourselves and in the world we live in. because we need to work on not being such assholes, we really do.

stop flooding the gypsy tag. it is not ours to take. it is a vile, disgusting slur that we have no right to use or absorb ourselves in. it is a weapon, wielded by people like us, used to attack and demean our romani siblings. only they can take this weapon and turn it into something more personal, something powerful in healing and reclamation. it belongs to their voices, not ours.

stop conflating gypsy and boho with fashion and obsessions with stereotypes of carefree behaviors and whimsical travels. it is appropriative, it is offensive, it is wearing an ethnicity and culture as some sort of new patchwork skin. get rid of your costumes, your stereotypes and misconceptions, your fake gold and evil eye jewelry and throw them into the trash bin where they belong. these cultures are not ours to play with, they are not toys to use for 5 minutes and then toss aside. they are torn from the lives of people who breathe and fight every single day.

stop stealing the skirts, dances, scarves and braids and songs. these and much more have such cultural significance that we will never begin to understand. i don’t care if your great great grandmother on your mother’s side was rumored to be gypsy. this is not a fucking game.

stop the Molotov cocktails, the baseball bats, the racist demonstrations and beatings and rapes. these are human fucking beings. these actions are killing people. not just lives, but their hearts and souls as well. who the fuck are you to play god, to decide whose culture and lives are a disgrace and unworthy of you?

no. just. stop.

sit down, shut up, and think.

think about how people deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as you, how people deserve to live and feed themselves and their families, how people deserve to hold dear to them the customs of their lives and cultures as anyone deserves in any other culture in the world.

sit down and listen. listen to their voices, the voices of our siblings in the world.

their voices matter too.

Tagged: romanigypsynon-Romanigadjeopen letter

I’m sorry, but no you cannot & never will you be.

biggadjeworld:

“Gypsy”

What is a “gypsy”?
Some will have you believe that simply moving frequently, or wearing boho-esque clothing will make you a “gypsy”. I have read countless websites about Pagan “gypsy” magic, and articles on how to dress “gypsy”. I’m here to tell you; you’re doing it wrong!

So, you want to be a “gypsy”? Well, you can’t. Not only are you not a “gypsy”, but you can never become a “gypsy”.

This little word, “gypsy”, makes my skin crawl. It causes aches in my heart and beats at my soul. I die a little inside everytime I must say or write the word.

“Gypsy” is a racial slur. It is tantamount to the “N” word.

Like the “N” word, “gypsy” was created by people who believed we were sub-human and enslaved us. “Gypsies” were slaves?

Yes!

These “gypsies” you speak of are actually people who belong to the Romani ethnicity. We are an ethnic minority with no nation, no homeland. We trace our ancestry back to Rajasthan in India and parts of what is now Pakistan. This is not speculative. There is no more question as to where “gypsies” came from. This has been proven through extensive DNA and linguistic studies.

You cannot be “gypsy”. You cannot wake up one day, start moving around, and call yourself a “gypsy”. How many people say they want to be African American, or Asian? They don’t. It’s an impossibility.

White female youth pay large sums of money to dress “gypsy”, or what they call boho. Well, Bohemia is a region of the Czech Republic. You cannot be Bohemian either, unless of course you are Czech. There is also a huge problem with equating Boho to “gypsy”.

The Czech people murdered us.

“Vi man sas ek bari familiya,
Murdadas la e kali legiya.”

“I once had a big family,
but the Black Legions murdered them.”

That is a line from our anthem. We may not have a nation, but we have an anthem and a flag. “Gypsy” people have been so greatly oppressed in the Czech Republic that this line made it into our anthem. The Black Legions were a military unit that opreated in the Czech Republic during World War Two. They are responsible for killing nearly ninety-percent of the “gypsy” populations in parts of the Czech Republic.

Not only have you offended me by trying to dress “gypsy”, but calling yourself a “boho-gypsy” just tore my heart into one million pieces.

Before you ask and I have to answer; yes. Yes. Yes, I had family in the Czech Republic and Hungary during World War Two. Yes, they died in concentration camps like Auschwitz and Lety.

We are Romani. We call ourselves Romani. We are the Romani people.

You cannot be “gypsy”. The only way you are “gypsy” is if you are from the Romani ethnic population. Perhaps in your next life you can be born to Romani parents and be “gypsy”, but not in this one. No, you simply cannot.

Why would you want to?

Why would anyone on Earth want to belong to the most oppressed and persecuted race of people on this planet?

I don’t have a choice. I cannot scrub my “gypsy” off. I cannot simply wake up and decide I no longer want to be “gypsy”. It’s my ethnicity.

There are similar words used in Central and Eastern Europe to describe us. They are akin to “gypsy”:

Zigeuner, Czigany, Tigane, Tsigane, etc..

I dare you go to Central and Eastern Europe and utter these words to a “gypsy”. I triple dog dare you. See how much they like their “gypsy” word.

It means slave. Tsigane means slave. Zigeuner means slave. Czigany means slave.

There is a similar word in every single European language of this region. They all mean slave. 

Like “gypsy”, words similar to tsigane have been used as a means of oppression. 
Maybe I can put this into persepctive.

In America, we do the same thing with the “N” word. Not me, personally, but I have heard it from countless Americans. Someone is “N” word rich, that car is “N” word rigged, don’t act like an “N” word.

The same is done with “gypsy” and “tsigane” in Europe. Don’t act ”gypsy” with me, it looks like “gypsies” live here, that’s such a “gypsy” thing. 

Does it make sense now?

Please stop trying to be us. We are not flattered. What truly flatters Romani “gypsy” people is when others try to learn about our true culture. Please don’t argue with us & tell us that you know all about “gypsies” because you belly dance, read Tarot cards, or move a lot. If you really knew so much about “gypsies”, you would afford us the respect of not calling us a racial slur. You would know that there is no such thing as “gypsy” magic, that we are not dirty people who do not bathe, that we do not all steal, and that we have a beautiful culture.

No, you cannot be “gypsy”. Maybe in your next lifetime.

Tagged: gypsyromanigadjeracial slurslurantiziganism

Gypsy…Punks..

lookingforadoctor:

golden-zephyr:

lisipuska:

golden-zephyr:

helloimlulu:

Just a quick bitch. It bothers me tremendously that Gogol Bordello has popularized the word “Gypsy.” They have non Rromani kids screaming “GYPSY PUNK!” at every turn and seem to be doing little to educate anyone on the history of that word?

If Eugene Hutz, who identifies as Rroma, wants to use that word..thats his choice. I say Gypsy and often refer to myself as a Gypsy in conversations with gadze because its tiring not to, sometimes. 

I am wondering what are some of you guys (Rroma and gadze) opinions about this?

Should Gogol Bordello, as a band, stop using the word? Should they try to educate others on the history of the word and explain why gadze fans should think twice before using it?

Yeah, after hearing him explain it, I felt better with it. I suppose their idea was to alter the perception of the word—the fact that Rroma can be (and are) successful and modern and stuff…

But, the more I see the people who idolize him…. I don’t know. I mean some of his songs try and and explain things, but I’m not sure people get it. I think the songs are just … nice sounding words, they don’t mean anything…

I think even he has been romanticized and sometimes I think he’s sold out just a little bit. Like you say, where is his activism and education of the gadže? 

One of my friends here loves him and has met him… but she still used the word “gypsy” ALL the time until I explained things to her…

So, obviously, he’s not doing a great job…

Being Gadje, I can’t say how the music speaks to Roma - I have no idea of that. However, a lot of their fans are immigrants - first or second generation, many from eastern Europe, South America, etc. I strongly identify with the songs, because they sound like everything I listened to growing up.

Slavic music mixed with Latin and Italian. A mish-mash of languages spoken. Speaking of living poorly (by monetary standards), etc.

I think she does romanticise Roma a bit, but growing up in Ukraine, they are romaniticised. I was actually confused, because in America Roma are really romanticised, and I didn’t realise they were in former USSR too (not sure if right now, but before - yes).

Even websites I may visit that are Russian and are out to explain the “facts” just say a bunch of bullshit about how “Gypsies prefer not to wear shoes” and “Gypsies, being so loved, were allowed to roam freely across Russia, unlike everyone else”.

If someone grew up in the USSR, like my family, these thoughts, ideas, and very different perception of the world is really hard to shake off.

So to me, even if Hütz is trying very hard to get the word out, to say what Gypsies really are, he still has some of this mindset, even if he doesn’t realise, doesn’t want it, that is there. THe other musicians in the band aren’t Roma - they’re immigrants. I think this also immediately skews the image and message. Westerners/Americans look at this “Gypsy” band and see multi-coloured people (which is wonderful, by the way), and think “Yes, this is Gypsy. Americans, Ukrainians, Chinese, Israelis, etc, playing together and roaming the world freely”.

I don’t think his music really gets the message out - if you don’t listen to it right, or don’t already have a slight understanding of who Roma are and their ongoing situation. But his interviews are nice. He usually does talk a bit about it, his family, etc.

I don’t even know what I wrote - just, uh, sort through it, sorry, haha.

Reblogging for commentary

I’m not Rroma, so I can’t really say how it speaks to Romani people, but I can say what affect their music had on me. I fell in love with the band when I was a about 13 and didn’t know anything about Rroma. I only knew what western media presented me with, which was just a load of stereotypes. When I learned that Eugene Hutz was of ‘Gypsy’ descent I decided to learn more about it, because I liked learned about different cultures and I loved the music. Now, a while later, I actually want to have my job be something to do with properly educating non-Rroma  people about them. So, in that way, the use of Gypsy Punks to describe the band brought about a new consciousness, for me at any rate.

Reblogging for more commentary

Tagged: gypsygogol bordelloeugene hutzgypsy punkromaromanirromarromanigadzegadjeI don't care if you don't carereblogging it anyway

Gypsy…Punks..

golden-zephyr:

lisipuska:

golden-zephyr:

helloimlulu:

Just a quick bitch. It bothers me tremendously that Gogol Bordello has popularized the word “Gypsy.” They have non Rromani kids screaming “GYPSY PUNK!” at every turn and seem to be doing little to educate anyone on the history of that word?

If Eugene Hutz, who identifies as Rroma, wants to use that word..thats his choice. I say Gypsy and often refer to myself as a Gypsy in conversations with gadze because its tiring not to, sometimes. 

I am wondering what are some of you guys (Rroma and gadze) opinions about this?

Should Gogol Bordello, as a band, stop using the word? Should they try to educate others on the history of the word and explain why gadze fans should think twice before using it?

Yeah, after hearing him explain it, I felt better with it. I suppose their idea was to alter the perception of the word—the fact that Rroma can be (and are) successful and modern and stuff…

But, the more I see the people who idolize him…. I don’t know. I mean some of his songs try and and explain things, but I’m not sure people get it. I think the songs are just … nice sounding words, they don’t mean anything…

I think even he has been romanticized and sometimes I think he’s sold out just a little bit. Like you say, where is his activism and education of the gadže? 

One of my friends here loves him and has met him… but she still used the word “gypsy” ALL the time until I explained things to her…

So, obviously, he’s not doing a great job…

Being Gadje, I can’t say how the music speaks to Roma - I have no idea of that. However, a lot of their fans are immigrants - first or second generation, many from eastern Europe, South America, etc. I strongly identify with the songs, because they sound like everything I listened to growing up.

Slavic music mixed with Latin and Italian. A mish-mash of languages spoken. Speaking of living poorly (by monetary standards), etc.

I think she does romanticise Roma a bit, but growing up in Ukraine, they are romaniticised. I was actually confused, because in America Roma are really romanticised, and I didn’t realise they were in former USSR too (not sure if right now, but before - yes).

Even websites I may visit that are Russian and are out to explain the “facts” just say a bunch of bullshit about how “Gypsies prefer not to wear shoes” and “Gypsies, being so loved, were allowed to roam freely across Russia, unlike everyone else”.

If someone grew up in the USSR, like my family, these thoughts, ideas, and very different perception of the world is really hard to shake off.

So to me, even if Hütz is trying very hard to get the word out, to say what Gypsies really are, he still has some of this mindset, even if he doesn’t realise, doesn’t want it, that is there. THe other musicians in the band aren’t Roma - they’re immigrants. I think this also immediately skews the image and message. Westerners/Americans look at this “Gypsy” band and see multi-coloured people (which is wonderful, by the way), and think “Yes, this is Gypsy. Americans, Ukrainians, Chinese, Israelis, etc, playing together and roaming the world freely”.

I don’t think his music really gets the message out - if you don’t listen to it right, or don’t already have a slight understanding of who Roma are and their ongoing situation. But his interviews are nice. He usually does talk a bit about it, his family, etc.

I don’t even know what I wrote - just, uh, sort through it, sorry, haha.

Reblogging for commentary

Tagged: gypsygogol bordelloeugene hutzgypsy punkromaromanirromarromanigadzegadje

image

golden-zephyr:

There are no words for this. You wonder why we’re angry; why we won’t stand for your bullshit.

Look at this. LOOK AT THIS. A white woman attacking a Rroma mother AND HER BABY.

I’m literally crying right now, here in my chair, in the office at work. It’s something I’ve dealt with in my life more than once and something I fear every day. I don’t even “look” particularly Rroma now.

I just don’t know how you can sit there, in your privilege and comfort and deny this happens.

LOOK.

Vo!  Gaadži dukhavel pe do čhajorjake dake!!!

[Photo Source: Anthony Cronin/Flickr. Details:

I was walking down Moore Street Dublin on a Sunday when I was passed by a family of Romany Gypsies and then I heard behind me a bunch of Irish teenage girls shouting abuse at them and thinking they were very funny. 

They then picked up old fruit from the stalls and were throwing this at the Romany Gypsies, this escalated as the Gypsies responded verbally. Then further as one teenage girl found old stallholders chair and ran after the Gypsies hitting the woman pictured from behind. The woman tries to protect her baby wrapped in her arm in blankets”

Horrific. The only word I can think of.

Tagged: RromaRomaniRomagypsygaadžigadjehurtattackracismphyiscalDublin

Hatred

stfugadje:

helloimlulu:

So, today I opened my YouTube and noticed I had new comments. They were from one person and said: 

“Cigan, Ciganka, Cigos, Gypsy. Whatever you call yourself your people and your culture is filth. There is NOTHING to be proud of in your bullshit blood. Go back to pakistan where you orginate from and take your tribe with you, noone in Europe wants you, and noone in Europe likes you!”

“We do not care if you are half, or can pass as European (white). You are tainted and forever deserve to rot with the rest of them. Europe doesnt want you, North America doesnt want you. Noone wants you.”

This was so hard for me to read, but I want gadje to read it and understand. This is what you gadje are contributing to when you dress up like a “gypsy” for halloween. This is what you reinforce with your ignorance. How are you, in your cluelessness, any different from this person? At least they are open and honest in their hatred.

Tagged: gypsyanti-ziganismgadjeromaniracism

image

golden-zephyr:

Change Please - 

© 2011 NIMATARADJI | Photography 
Facebook | Tumbler | Website | Blog

This image just breaks my heart. I know what that feels like. Everyone stepping over and around you, as if you’re not there. 

te avel man maj love demas tut.

Tagged: RromaRomanigypsyParisgirlsadbegginggadjeman dukhal o yilo

STFU, Gadje!: mesotheliomata: strengthofourlimbs: wasabiweed: Glaine ár gcroí/Beart... →

stfugadje:

wasabiweed:

omg words have different meanings. i wasn’t using the term ‘gypsy’ racially or ethnically. just because that’s the only way you hear it doesn’t mean it’s the only way it’s used. fucking hell.

Things gadje think: that a racist slur can ever be divorced from it’s true meaning as a racist slur.

“I wasn’t talking about YOU, I was talking about the racist stereotype that I have of you! Don’t take this so PERSONALLY.”

lol no. “Gypsy” has always been a racist slur, it will always be a racist slur, and your “non-racialized” image of what a “gypsy” is is, in fact, INCREDIBLY racialized and, well, racist. There is NO SUCH THING as a way to use that term without any implications of race and ethnicity. None. It was created out of racism, it was and is still used to justify forced displacement and ethnic cleansing - you know, mass murder? - and just because you’ve never felt the sting of it doesn’t make you entitled to tell those of us who have what it means.

We KNOW what it means. It’s our word. It’s not your word.

Tagged: racismgadjestfugypsy

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL GADJE:

mesotheliomata:

All of you—all of you gadje—you always, always, always forget about the Porrajmos. About what happened to us during the Holocaust. You only remember the Shoah and the poor Christians caught in there and the Poles and maybe even queer folk, but us? No. In the library at my university, five floors, thousands of books—hundreds of them exclusively on Jewish history and the Shoah—there is not a single books on the Porrajmos. The only writings on Walking People are four racist, musty tomes on the Pavee and “their mysterious lives” and a book on UN policy regarding European Rromani peoples. The only thing I’ve found on the Porrajmos is a few chapters, maybe amounting to fifty pages in whole, scattered across various volumes (sidenotes to accounts of the Shoah), and it refers to the Porrajmos as “the persecution of gypsies during the Holocaust.”

“Gypsies.”

I despise that word. It is a name given to us wrongfully by gadje, a misnomer, a mark of shame. In Moravia in 1548, the Diet of Augsburg declares that “whoever kills a Gypsy will be guilty of no murder”. We were wiped out entirely—whole populations gone—in Croatia, Estonia, the Netherlands and Lithuania. Two million dead. In the Czech Republic, they build meatpacking factories over the holding camps where we died. We don’t exist, far as you gadje are concerned, except in fairytales and Disney movies. We’re supposed to be seductive and mysterious and able to tell your fortune. Fucking bullshit.

You shut the fuck up and you listen to me, alright?

We were never nomadic by choice; unlike most other traveling ethnic groups, we are not pastoralists, with the exception of a very few subgroups. Nine hundred years of being chased down, beaten, burnt, gassed, exiled. Driven out of India, enslaved by the Romans, killed by the Ottomans, enslaved—again—in Romania (released only in 1856), buried by the Nazis. Go ahead. Mock us in your films with “gypsy curses” and “evil fortune tellers”. Not like it’d be different from anyone else.

Tagged: people who do NOT need to STFURromaniporajmosporrajmosgadje

Source: faggotxvx

I WATCHED YOU AS YOU DISAPPEARED: behold, the defensiveness of gadje when called on their BS →

stfugadje:

amarantoseverlasting:

strengthofourlimbs:

stfugadje:

@redlightvoices Flavia Dzodan
.@rowanwasp where exactly did I speak like Roma women have no agency?! specifically when I linked to sites and initiatives of Roma women?
Gadje, please. You called us “illiterate”, said that we live in…

Funny because when my grandmother (who btw, wasn’t illiterate even though she NEVER once stepped in a school and in fact taught some of her friends back in Spain to read and write) was faced with a Domestic Violence situation, when my grandfather’s drinking had gone out of control, she took her children and stayed with a friend, after informing my grandfather that she loved him but she would not be returning until he sobered up and cleaned his act. Yes, she was loyal to him and never once considered divorce or permanent separation…as is or was customary of Spanish Roma but she didn’t put up with it either. Within months my grandfather cut down his drinking and made changes so his family could be together again. My grandparents were married for 75 years until two years ago, when my grandfather passed away. All of their children got a formal education, they all have degrees today. My grandma was not a victim, she was a fighter and she was not oppressed or afraid to get help…she acted the way she thought was best to save her family and her husband, the love of her life (married since they were 16). She protected her children but did not abandon her husband…after losing two of her children to genetic illnesses and raising three more in absolute poverty (but always rich in many other things and never complaining) while sticking by her man and recently losing him to an accident…I’d say she’s a hero, an admirable woman who’s not in a position to be pitied and one who doesn’t need the condescension and so-called help of people who don’t understand. She was not forced to stay with my grandfather, she chose to do so and at his funeral she said she was glad she stuck by him and he gave her the best life she could have dreamed of…her best friend, she called him. So this whole crap about Roma women not being able to help themselves when  faced with abuse…is a load of bs to me. I have yet to meet stronger and more ballsy women than Gitanas españolas…and I speak only of the Spanish ones because that’s all I know but I’m sure this applies to all Roma women.

Ahh! Your grandmother sounds so amazing.

I find it very telling that gadje are so invested and determined to believe in this story of Rroma women as helpless victims. I shows not only how much contempt they hold for us, but how limited their own capacities are for handling crises. They cannot even IMAGINE how they would survive domestic violence without all their privileges, and they can’t envision the different ways other communities might deal with such things, so they think it must be impossible.

It’s a misconception that could be cleared up by, oh, I don’t know, simply listening to and respecting the voices of Rroma women - and of Pavee and Irish Traveller women! - but if most gadje were up for that task, I wouldn’t have started this blog in the first place.

Your grandmother sounds wonderful!

I’ll also make a little mention, as the only Romanies I know are on-line, they all seem strong and brave to me.

But I’ll also just mention that in a book I have about Romani laws and customs, it mentions in parts the women and customs and such revolving around them, and not once when reading it did I feel they were helpless and victimised. On the other hand I felt they had a lot of strength and power.

Even in videos I watch, the women always seem to carry themselves in a way that shows how strong they are.

Anyway, not to intrude on anything! Just wanted to share another post here. Love your blog a lot!

Please, readers of Aj-Rromale, go check out this blog, especially if you are an ally, such as myself, it is very important to have this side of the argument.

Cheers,
Aliska

Tagged: rromapaveetravellertravellers doing it for ourselvesgadje

here come the rants…

stfugadje:

hipsterpagan:

As a white majority, I probably don’t have much say in this.  But after thinking it over for a while, I came to the pretty obvious realization of why so many privileged whites think being a ‘Gypsy’ is ‘cool’.

they’re…. racist? They’re racist. For real. This post better not attempt to explain this as anything other than “they’re racist” -

 We’ve been Romanticized.

Oh, okay. >_<

 Especially us Americans.  I mean, look at our cowboy culture.  For the longest time, kids looked up to the infamous outlaws of the West -Bonnie and Clyde, Jesse and James.  We also made idols out of heroes like the Lone Star, a man that traveled around the West, not connected to any one place.

I guess you could call these narratives “romantic”, but you could also call them racist. “Cowboys” are the imagery of a time when white settlers were actively trying to wipe out Native people in North America - their popularity isn’t just due to the fact that they were “free spirits”, it also has a lot to do with narratives of white supremacy. Cowboys were, after all, supposedly making the land “safe” for white settlers to occupy.

 Away from the Rromani people, we developed this sense that they were, in a way, similar to our Old West heroes and villians, simply travelling and living off of the land.

Rromani people exist in North America.

Rromani people exist in North America.

Rromani people have existed in North American for a long time, dating back to the colonization of the land (when Romanichal people were shipped over to North America as chattal slaves, similar to the African diaspora, by the way).

 By no means is that correct.  But in a way, for someone looking to escape the dull uniformity of their current life, it seems better, at least, when they look at the Romanticized portrait.

I’ve also come to the realization that people are going to keep using that word until something else can replace it.  What about ‘vagabond’, or ‘nomad’?  These are also terms that describe a wanderlust lifestyle.  And, as far as I know, it’s not describing a culture (well, nomad kinda does, but there are nomads in every single culture across the world, so…)

Just replacing the word without challenging and dissembling it on a structural, fundamental level isn’t going to change the intent and impact of it. If you say “vagabond”, but you really MEAN “gypsy”, it’s still fucking racist. I’m really uncomfortable with a gadje weighing in on what to do about the word “gypsy” with anything other than “hey guys, let’s cut this shit out”. “Gypsy” is a racial slur. “Vagabond” and “nomad” are NOT synonymous with “gypsy”.

Tagged: rromaromanichalgypsytravellersracismgadje

Source: queenofdaffodils

thetruthisone-deactivated201203 said: that post wasn't about you. i absolutely understand and recognize your position. but i hold my opinion strong and clear: to be concerned about a kate moss photoshoot is a waste of time. you should be concerned about other things. not this.

I am concerned about other things—we are concerned about other things - hence this entire blog. But, your blatant refusal to acknowledge the damage these type of things can do, means that you really don’t understand anything at all. 

A Kate Moss photoshoot is a part of a much bigger and systemic problem for Romani. To tell a Romani that this is a “waste of time” is, in itself, offensive. 

I’m not going to argue anymore. You’re not Romani, you’re not gypsy… you have no idea what this means or how it affects us. 

You do not speak for us, in fact, it would seem you’re part of the problem: You sit in your white settled privilege and tell us how to feel… 

Tagged: thetruthisonegypsyRomaniappropriationgadje

We are roma and not gypsies

golden-zephyr:

Close your eyes and envision a “Gypsy”. What did your subjective mind conjure up? Was it consistent with the present day myth that portrays the Roma as ear ringed, dark men riding horses alongside a caravan strung with pots and pans, women and dirty-faced children whose laughter echoes through the valleys, villages, and towns of which these exotic and mysterious people travel? Can’t you just hear the violins playing in the background? That’s probably what you think of and, in all honesty, who can blame you? The “eyes” through which we view the world is a manufactured perspective that serves only one force within society: the dominant one. A dominant force that includes assimilation, stereotyping, labeling, and most of all, its own perpetuation. A faceless, dominating force that devalues the rich heritage found within each ethnicity contributes to the composition of peoples referred to as Canadians. A home for those with enough courage to share their space with people whose views may not parallel their own; a home for the lovers of freedom.

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Tagged: RomanigypsyRoma People Awarenessstereotypesgadje