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?
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.
Why non-Romani people should NEVER EVER use the word g*psy.