Romanies feel discriminated against

According to a study conducted in the Czech Republic the majority of Romani there, and I should assume also elsewhere, feel discriminated against.

Well, we are being discriminated against and have been discriminated against forever and a day. Our People have been murdered, and indeed are still being murdered, for being Romani, for being Gypsy. We should be used to it by now and no law, let's face it, is going to change the nature of the people who discriminate against us. Time to wake up and time that we woke up to that fact and stopped harping on about it. Time for us to take our destiny and that of our children, whether we in fact have children of our own or not, into our own hands and did something about it. We must, first and foremost, create a positive image of the Rom and be proud in what we are, be proud in our Race... the American Black did it, so can we... we have scientists amongst our people even... many a star of the silver screen is of Romani origin. The names of Bod Hoskins and Michael Caine may be familiar to some. In the field of sports, and not just in boxing, there are many that are of the Romani Race. We must celebrate those achievements and others of our People.

While, probably, we should not (have to) accept discrimination against us as a People we should have developed a much thicker skin by now. While we must fight discrimination against us as a People as as individual because of our belonging to that particular Race of ours we must also learn to live with it and rise above it.

The term “sticks and stones” comes to mind here. So what if someone calls you “Gyppo” or “Pikie” or whatever else. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words shall never hurt me”, goes the old saying that I was referring to in the beginning of this paragraph. And while we must learn not to be hurt by words, I do know that words do hurt.

Having battled for years against discrimination of our People and written letters to editors, to chief constables, and what ever else there may have been, without much if any result, even to the extent that the bodies such as the EU have said that on certain issues they know better than we, the People affected, I have come to the conclusion that there is but one way to deal with this and that is to have deep and strong pride in what we are, namely Romani, namely Gypsy, even to the extent and especially using this very name with pride – the term Romani only confuses the silly Gadje and I am sick and tired of telling them that I am NOT from Romania – and by basically retaliating any insult with taking even more pride in our ancestry. The second point is to educate out own, children and adults alike, to have this deep pride in our Race, even to the extent of referring to ourselves as Gypsy, as Zigeuner, as Tsigan, as Gitan or Gitano, etc., and especially to take pride in the many great people that are Romani by origin, from composers, over musicians, actors, sports personalities, and also politicians and scientists.

Let's show the Chale a thing or two and show the world that we have many well-known and well-respected people amongst our ranks, people who they, the Chale, adore as well.

There are composers far back in history even whose ancestors are Rom, such as, as is said, Paganini, and others. Then there are the musicians and composers such as Django Reinhardt. There are well-known and well-loved actors of the silver screen that are of Romani origin, such as the late Yul Brunner, and there are also Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, and many more. Charles Spencer Chaplin was Rom and soc was Elvis Presley. This should be enough to go on with to be proud in the Romani People as our own, and we could just throw in a scientist and inventor who, it is said, too was Gypsy by birth, and he is the inventor of the jet engine, Whittle by name, and knighted by the British Crown.

So, let's be proud of being Gypsy by Race and stop bemoan the fact that we are discriminated against. Let's do something for ourselves – yes, I did say “for ourselves” - instead if hoping for hand-outs from various sources with the claim that “the Godje owe us”. I am sick and tired of hearing that the Gadje, because of their discrimination against us, as a People, as a Race, owe us and must give us money so that we can do this or that project, mostly in Eastern Europe (why don't the Sinti and Romanichals in the West get a looking in ever?), the money which then ends up in some leader's pockets and never gets to the People at the bottom, that are the ones discriminated against and who need to have help. However, the Irish old term of “Sin Fein” also is applicable to us. Sin Fein means “ourselves alone”. We must do things for ourselves alone without outside aid and without us demanding their aid.

In the same way as we cannot and must not demand that we, the Rom, in the UK, for instance, get preferential treatment when it comes to planning law. However, we should have an even playing field. This means that when Rom want to build a house somewhere or even a settlement then obstacles should not be put in the way that would not be put in the way when it would be non-Rom that would make such application. There are ways and means around certain discriminations like that, however. Ways and means that are legal. But we also must stop being idiots and try to get planning after the even, especially on land that cannot be used, as per law, for building residences of whatever kind.

We also must wake up to the fact that we must have our own professionals, including medical personnel, law enforcement, and elsewhere. This means that we must take a new look at education. Many Romani families seem to have a problem with schooling for the children and see it as not important or have problems with it on different grounds. The different grounds, which often is the case that they do not want to have the children end up in the government system I can but agree with. Education, however, is important for any of the children of the Rom to succeed in any way whatsoever in the modern world. Not everyone can run a scrap yard, and the time for the door-to-door knifegrinder sure as night follows day is gone, and even if anyone would still be able to follow any of those occupations, today the need to be able to read and write and more than that even will be needed to legally follow such trades.

The government schools are not something that is a requirement for learning and education. Education of NOT something you get at any of them places anyway. It is conditioning into good government slaves, mostly. All we need to start with is to learn to read and write and then let the children take it at their own pace to read. I did and while I may not have a scientist's job nor am I employed as a journalist, I nevertheless know how to write and how to read.

Now we come to the legality of doing things: when running a business it is important that one follows the same rules as do the Gadje, which also means that our businesses are subject to tax and the keeping of books. Now to do that you have to have some knowledge of reading and writing, etc.

Will this stop discrimination? No, sure it won't. Can we force people to stop discriminating against us? No, this will not work either. It is a fact of life that the Gadje will always have a problem with the Rom (and other Races that don't fit in, as they will see it, even if those Races are Gadje to us as well). Legislation cannot and will not stop such actions, how ever wrong they may be. It will only stop when the others come to see us, the Gypsy, in a different light than they see us presently, and especially have us presented to them all the time. We may not be able to change and influence the media in the way they do things as regards the Gypsy, us, either, and believe me, I have tried. So what is the answer: the previously mentioned Irish term... “ourselves alone”. We are alone in this and we must do it ourselves. Period! No asking for hand-outs. No asking for special treatment. Equal treatment – yes – special treatment – NO!

Most important; we, the Gypsy People, must have pride in what we are and show this pride. Only that way can we change the perception by the Gadje of us, as a People.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

German Sinti against term “Sinti & Roma”

A growing number of grassroots Sinti in Germany, and from Germany, though resident in other countries, it would appear, are finally standing up against the new description for the Romani People being used by the authorities, namely the all-encompassing term of “Sinti and Roma”, and also the term “Roma”, which is being aimed to include the Sinti.

The statement used, and it is rightfully used in this way, is that they are Sinti and not Roma and while they may wish no Roma ill they do not wish to be called Roma when they are not.

This was, I must say, a long time coming but it has finally arrived. Better late than never, as they say.

Now let us see, however, what the powers that be make out of that and the likes of the “Central Council of German Sinti and Roma”, the latter who have been so much behind this terminology and who are also the ones who accepted, on behalf of all Sinti (they must have forgotten to ask the majority), that they, the Sinti, are but a tribe of the Roma. Duh?

Most Roma too know much better than to see the Sinti as a tribe of the Roma and know that they Roma and the Sinti, while Romani, are not one and the same and the Sinti are Sinti and the Roma Roma and not the Sinti being a tribe of the Roma. The truth be told there are actually a great many of the Roma who do not accept the Sinti, or the Romanichals, or other groups of Romani, as Romani, and will refer to them, in their presence even, as Gadje. This is something that I very much object to, but that is a different story.

Shame that the so-called “leaders” do not seem to understand this, and one must ask is it a case of not being able to understand it or more a case, for political expediency, or money, or both, not wanting to understand it. My bet is on the latter case here, namely that they very well understand is but do not with to have it true because it suits them and keeps them in power. The fact is, of that I am sure, that the “leaders” only went the route of accepting, on behalf of all Sinti groups, the idea of being a “tribe of the Roma” to be able to get funding from and via the likes of the International Romani Union (under Dr. Jan Cibula and others), the same organization who had the Irish Travellers sign us a “Roma”, from the United Nations and such like. I doubt that it has worked, much, however. The idea of being represented in UNESCO seemed to be a carrot though.

What representation is that. We are a People, a Nation, the Romani Nation, the Gypsy Nation, and we should have, in the United Nations, a standing of a nation, though without land, and not as a cultural organization in the body of cultural organizations. This is an insult too and those “leaders” who accepted that are as guilty as those that accept the “Roma” title for those that are not.

The issue has even come to being a joke, e.g. the terminology of “Sinti and Roma” to such an extent even that, in the documentary that has been made about the German Sinti boxer and world champion Johann Trollmann, who was denied his title, and was subsequently murdered, by the Nazis, he was referred to as a “Sinti and Roma”. Well, he can only be one or the other now; he cannot be Sinti and Roma both at the same time. Rukelli Trollmann may have been very fast on his feet in the boxing ring but being two things ate the same time even he would not have managed.

But this is how stupid this terminology is becoming. “Sinti and Roma” is being used in the same, discriminatory, way as is and was “Zigeuner”, “Landfahrer”, “Fahrendes Volk”, etc. We might as well call ourselves “Zigeuner” again, in German, as the Gadje will not ever use anything appertaining to our People with any degree of respect. It makes not one iota of a difference what the word and terminology might be; in their eyes it will always be “dirty Gyppos”.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Two-thirds of Czech Romanies feel discriminated against

Seven out of ten Romanies in the Usti nad Labem region, north Bohemia, felt discriminated against in the past two years, a project conducted by local field workers has shown.

Within the one-year project organised by the "Romodrom Association", 970 Romanies living in ghettoes were questioned.

Half of the cases of 691 Romanies who experienced discrimination concerned work. Other cases concerned access to education, restaurants and housing.None of the above cases has got to court, a spokesperson for the organization pointed out.

It was difficult, she said, for Romanies to defend themselves because the Czech Republic had no anti-discrimination law until now. Some of Romodromthe cases were just dealt with as misdemeanors, she added.

When Romany applicants asked for a job, they were told the given position was not vacant anymore, but when a "white" applicant inquired afterwards, he or she was often offered the job, the spokesperson said, and that many Romanies actually consider discrimination a part of their life.

The spokesperson also said even the ghetto in which they live is a "discriminatory address" that prevents them from getting a job and finding better housing, and that there still exists the problem of sending Romany children to special schools for pupils with learning difficulties.

Only a single one of some 20 Romany children continued to attend a normal elementary school after several months, while all the other Romany first-graders were moved to special schools, the spokesperson noted.

It must be said that this is not new, not in the former CzeRomodromchoslovakia, nor in other EU member states. In Germany even still to this day, as far as we are aware, Sinti and Roma children are, after entering the school system, more often that not, be sent within weeks of their school entry, their “Einschulung”, to the so-called “Hilfsschule”, to the “school for the educational subnormal” as it is also known.

The spokesperson for the “Romodrom Association” said the problem was that the parents agreed with the fact that their children would attend a special school, but she added that both the parents and the children often got under pressure if they did not agree with the step.
For children who attended a special elementary school it is very difficult to continue in their studies and consequently get a qualified job later in life.

In fact, let's face it, those that attend “Hilfsschule”, in Germany, for instance, have the same problems and face the same dilemmas. No one is going to employ someone who just has a leaving certificate from such a “special school”, and far less even so if that person is, obviously, of the Gypsy community.

Where are, however, the European Union human rights laws here? They are not even being implemented in the slightest way. The laws are no use if those charged with implementing them are still tainted, and nothing ever is going to change that, the racist mentality against the Romani People, be this in the Czech Republic, in Slovakia or in Germany.

In the UK we have not really seen much of a problem with this as far as Romani-Gypsy children are concerned. The Problem here is that, because of the cultural way that Gypsy children learn, they have problems fitting into the mainstream schooling often. There is an alternative in this country, in the same way as there is in the USA, to this, and that is homeschooling.

Schooling is important for Romani-Gypsy children but it also must be in the cultural setting, at least in the early, formative years. It is possible and can be done, but it must be done by the community, by the People, and the People must not suit there demanding it comes from the state. That way we will never get what our children need.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

The Nazis murdered a Million of Gypsies

The truth is that the Nazis, in the camps and elsewhere, murdered, more than likely, even more of our People than the million though there are some that still want to deny that figure and play with 250,000 to 500,000. Even one murdered Gypsy is one too many.

The Frankfurter Fachhochschule has, after intense study and research, suggested, in the later 20th century, the figure 1.5 Million dead Gypsies in the camps and elsewhere and some Romani organizations in Eastern Europe put the figure as high as 2 Million plus. As said, whatever the figure, one murdered Rom was one dead Rom too many.

However, what makes us different from the Jews and that is why we are still having problems of having the real figure of our dead (and let's not even talk about the generations unborn because of those that were forcibly sterilized) is that we do not do any lobbying work that reaches the heart and soul of the people, neither in Germany, nor, and where it is even more important, in the United States, nor even in France. The greatest problem though is that we are still seen to most non-Gypsy as “dirty Gyppos” and no more, though sometimes even worse.

We also have a distinct lack of poems and books by Rom on this matter of the Holocaust, though some there are, as those by the late O. Tom Odley from Britain, and one or two others. There are the novels “Fires in the Dark” and the older one that makes mention of it “After the Mourning”, and then there is the book “Winter Time” that is the story of Walter Winter and his time in the Camps. In addition there is the movie “And the Violins Stopped Playing” and a couple of songs and laments there are too on this matter. So, to suggest, as it has been that we have done nothing on that level, though the movie and the book “After the Mourning” may be non-Romani in origin, the subject, nevertheless, of the Romani persecution and murder for the self-same reasons as those of the Jews, namely that of Race, is documented by Rom and non-Rom alike.

To say “Zigeuner” or “Gypsy” today gets you dirty looks from the political correct lobby who want it to be “Sinti and Roma” or, preferably, as it would appear, just Roma. They hereby, like with the memorial for the “Sinti and Roma” Holocaust victims that is now, finally, going to be build in Berlin, after a wrangle of years over the inscription as the suggestion of “Zigeuner” could not possibly agreed to by the “Central Council of German Sinti and Roma”.

Now the term “Sinti and Roma” has in the German areas, in the same was as “Roma” in Eastern Europe, has become synonymous with and to mean Zigeuner in exactly the same connotation.

By using the term “Sinti and Roma” nothing has been gained whatsoever, and neither has by the term “Traveller” in Britain for instance, when the Romanichals, after WWII, around the 1950's, began using the term “Traveller” to refer to themselves. Now when the people hear “Travellers” they thing “Gypsy” which means they think Irish Travellers though, with their mess and their bad behavior.

No, I am not saying that all Romanichals are angels. Dordi! No! Far from it. Nor are all English people saints, are they now. However, the great majority of those that cause the Gypsy or Traveller (as in Romani) to be given a bad name are the Irish Travellers and not only in this country. The same holds true for Norway and Sweden.

The term Gypsy, which we have called ourselves, to outsiders at least, for amongst our own we more often that not may have use the term “Rom” in the singular, and “Roms” in the plural, was abandoned in favor of the term “Traveller” because some misguided do-gooders of the Gohja community, and also one or two “learned” Romanichals, went to the people telling them that “Gypsy” is a bad and incorrect word for us. However, they never told them to use Romani or Romanichal instead, did they now. They encouraged them to use the term “Traveller”. Why? To make the Rom look and appear to the outside world one with the Irish Traveller and the non-Rom “English” Travellers.

We should never have, ever, abandoned the use of the term “Gypsy”. Fine, it was not our own word. So what. I doubt that “Jew” is really the term either for one of the Judaic faith. The word Jude in German comes from their word for the Tribe of Judah. But, alas, the do-gooders and others do not realize that nor do they want to. Jude and Yid became words with bad connotations in the same way as did Gypsy and Zigeuner. Did the Jews give up the term Jews. No, sure they did not. So why were we so stupid?

Adopting the term “Traveller” gave us nothing but grief and does so to this very day. Some Romanichals in this country, and overseas, are finally coming back to using the more common name, namely, Gypsy. The word Gypsy, according to the Oxford Dictionary, should also only refer to the Romani. So why do the powers that be and the media call the Irish Tinkers and others, Gypsies, whether with a capital first letter or with a small? Because they are simply ignorant or because there is a different agenda on the go? Methinks the latter for it is not possible to have so many ignorant people about in the same places.

The use of the term “Sinti and Roma”, also, has, in the case of the memorial, excluded the Lalleri and the Manouche. Those two groups, while more than likely, in the same was as the Romanichels and Romanichals, being Sinti do not, per se, refer to themselves as Sinti. They use the term “Lalleri” or “Manouche” or “Romanichel” or, in cases even, “Gitans”. The Lalleri and Manouche were also persecuted as “Zigeuner” under the Nazis, as indeed were the so-called Jenische. While the Lalleri and Manouche are, indeed, of the Romani People, some of the Jenische are while others are not, and of those that are not all deny vehemently any link to the “Manische” as they call the Sinti. By the use of the term “Sinti and Roma” active discrimination is, however, enacted against other Romani groups who do not go by either of those two terms, whether they be the Cale, the Spanish Romani (Romani, please and NOT Roma), or those in the East that call themselves Cigan/Tsigan (all depending on the spelling) rather than being called Roma and, while they may, or may not be Sinti – those that thus call themselves Cigan or Tsigan, in other words “Zigeuner” or Gypsy – they are not aware of being of that group either and therefore use the term Tsigan, especially when they are called “Roma” by so-called experts. Many of them have been unable to work out – what is so difficult here – why those refuse to be called “Roma”. Simple answer; because they are NOT Roma, period. They too are being excluded in this term “Sinti and Roma” or the often so preferred overall term “Roma”, with the experts claiming that we are all but tribes of the Roma, which we are not, are actively being discriminated against.

Let us return back to our roots, and not only in the way of our old Faith and our Culture and Traditions. Let us use again the terms that we once used and that people always understood.

Tell someone you are Romani in England and you get “oh, you are from Romania”. Erm, sorry, nope, I am not. Tell them – though I won't because I am not – that you are “Roma” and they go, “oh you are from Roma, from Italy”. No idea as to the perception of “Sinti” except for blank face, even in Germany.

However, use “Gypsy” in England or other English-speaking country, and the equivalent colloquial words that have been used by us before – and please no one come me again with the “fact” that they always called themselves “Sinti” in Germany. Sure, and on an airfield nearby a squadron of pigs is preparing for takeoff”. I have been in Germany and I have been told by my relations themselves that only amongst Rom would they have ever called themselves Sinti, or by their tribal group rather, but to the outside it was “Zigeuner”. And that even after the time of the Nazis.

I know that there will be folks that will claim different and that they have always used “Sinti”. Well, and I shall look out for all those pigs on the wing.

We need to lobby for people to understand better who and what we are but that will not work if we confuse the issue, muddy the waters, and especially discriminate against and exclude others who are of Romani Blood, in the same way as we must get away from denying those that are of mixed parentage their Birthright as Rom.

Dosta penauas!

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Traveller 'village' takes council by surprise

Monday 24th March 2008

A gypsy encampment has sprung up just 200 yards from the country home of government minister Tessa Jowell.

Dozens of travellers piled on to the site over the bank holiday weekend, setting up a water supply and laying electricity cables.

A septic tank has been installed and concrete pathways laid on the site, near the town of Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire. Fencing has also been erected and hedges have been pulled down.

Residents reported the caravans moved on to the two-and-a-half acre site on Friday, leading to accusations that the gypsies were taking advantage of the public holiday when nobody at Warwickshire County Council was working.

The field, which has space for at least 30 caravans, is just 200 yards from the country home of Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, 60, and her estranged husband David Mills.

It was reported the gypsies had bought the site from a local businessman.

Conservative councillor Chris Saint represents the area on Warwickshire County Council. He said: "Up until last Thursday it was simply a piece of pasture land. On Friday morning I got a call from one of the parish councillors to say that there was some frenzied activity taking place on the field.

"We view it with alarm because I have no information about a planning application even being lodged, let alone granted, and I would be the first to know.

"I understand that water and electricity have been brought on and I also understand they have put in a sceptic tank and put down roads and fencing."

Asked whether he thought the gypsies had targeted the bank holiday weekend as no-one would be working at the council's offices, Mr Saint added: "We don't know that for certain but the speculation is that they have done this because there is a four day window when officialdom is unlikely to get to them.

"Myself and colleagues have reported it to the local government offices over the weekend but the key person will not be back at their desk until tomorrow morning."

Editorial comment:

A gypsy encampment, is is said, has sprung up just 200 yards from the country home of government minister Tessa Jowell.

What kind of Travellers are those that are bing referred to as “Gypsies”? Anyone asked whether they are of the Romany People?

Until such as time that it is established whether those are Gypsies this is nothing but a Traveller encampment.

Is there actually an inherent problem with so-called journalists in the UK in that they (1) cannot or do not want to use a capital first letter when writing an ethnic group and (2) that they have no ideas as to the fact that “Gypsy”, theoretically, only applies to the Romany? So much for wasted funds and time having them going through how many semester of university... the mind just boggles.

Until such a time that it is properly established that those are Gypsies, as per the definition in the proper dictionaries, they are but Travellers. Time that journalists, councilors and general public learned that Traveller and Gypsyis not simply interchangeable.

So, the field has space for at least 30 caravans. That is not to say that there are 30 caravans pulling on there or are on there. This is scaremongering of the highest order.

While I would never agree with anyone, whether Travellers or Gypsies (Romani) moving onto a piece pf land illegally – I do not care whether or not they have bought it legally and all that jazz – and set up “camp” there or, as in this case, duplicate a “Dale Farm” Traveller village, there is no need going about scaremongering as to what may or may not happen.

The entire article and the statements of the supposed councillor that is being quoted is intended to inflame local and not so local opinion and feeling against the Traveller and Gypsy communities, yet again. How about if we would, if we could, substitute “Gypsy” or “Traveller” for “Black”, “Muslim” or “Jew” and then also use a small first letter too. Whoever would do such a thing would never get away with it and rightly so. But, when it comes to Gypsies or Travellers there is always a free-for-all going around.

As I have said already, I disagree with the actions of those Travellers, whether they be Travellers or Gypsy proper, if they do not have planning permission to do what they are doing. The law applies to us, the Gypsy People in this country, in the same way as it does apply to Travellers, whether Irish or other, or to the settled communities. It is one law for all and I would never ask for it to be different.

Gypsies are victims of stereotype

This statement does need little explanation, I am sure, for it indeed is the case. Gypsies, real Gypsies, are indeed the victims of stereotype.

It has to be said that many of our People, and in addition to that the media, and here especially the gutter press such as in the UK the likes of the Sun, the Mirror, the Express, do not help here one bit.

The Gypsy, the true Gypsy, the Romani, and yes, we still exist, though we no longer travel in wooden horse-drawn wagons and no longer have a campfire outside, is put on the same level, on purpose, with the trailer trash that travel the highways and byways of the British Isles and other countries and live by scamming and thieving, in that the dear media always insist on calling those “gypsies”. They are not Gypsy, they are hedge-mumpers or worse.

I am a real Gypsy but I am not Roma. This is another misconception. Some claim that we all prefer to be called Roma. No, we don't, for those of us who, while Romani, such as Sinti and Cale, but who are not Roma, do not wish to be called thus.

While I may never have been to school or college I nevertheless an educated and do an ordinary job while at the same time I am also a journalist. No, and I did not go to university to study journalism and I am glad, seeing the capability of so many journalists that went there, or the lack of capability and ability, that I did not go to such a place.

It is amazing how many people wonder whether, despite the work that I do, I live in a wooden vardo with a yog outside. Dordi! And I have even been asked whether I do not mind no longer being a Gypsy. Duh?!? Hello, people! We are a Race not a lifestyle.

The other stereotypes are that all Gypsies are thieves, scam artists, vagabonds and society dropout. If Nick Rosen can be believed, which he cannot, then there are no longer any true Romanies around, whether in the UK or elsewhere, but all those that still travel or live in trailers (and many of ours still do travel and live in trailers on sites) are nothing but pretenders or scum.

Well, I am the first to admit that we have rogues amongst the Romani, as much as amongst other people, and we have our share of criminals, petty and bigger, as well, and there are those among our that, unfortunately, do pick on the elderly and the vulnerable, and steal from them while they pretend to fix their roofs or do up their gardens, or such. However, let us place the ball firmly in the proper court; the majority of travelling folks that do such scams are not (proper) Gypsy but are Travellers, and the great majority of them are Irish Travellers. One could refer to them, as I have done before and will do so again, in the American term, namely as “trailer trash”. They are neither Gypsy nor are they even of the old Irish Travellers. The great majority of the so-called Irish Travellers, whether in Britain, the USA, and even as far as Australia and New Zealand, are not Gypsy nor even “old” Irish Travellers; they are but people who have decided to live this way to make an easy, often illegitimate, living.

Good Gypsies are not shown for being the clean, decent people that we are. People call us “dirty Gyppos” but I doubt that any of them have ever been in the home, whether trailer or house, of a true Romani-Gypsy family, whether in the UK or elsewhere. It is always the scummy Gypsies, often those that are not even Gypsies but of the other groups wrongly called Gypsy, that get seen for thieving, etc. The media picks up on the bad stuff.

Gypsies, the Romany, have traveled a tough road these past thousand years.

Let us fast-forward through lots of history to the 14th century. By then the Gypsy have become noticed in Europe and were wrongly thought to be from Egypt (hence the name "Gypsy"), when in fact our origins are between the Caucasus and the valley of the Indus River in India.

Gypsies were darker-skinned, to a degree, and fiercely protective of their cultural identity and were quickly persecuted.

Because, as all the land was already spoken for, our People had no other choice but to offer skills that we could practice on the go, such as mending, entertaining or working at fairs, making items such as clothespins, tent pegs, baskets, and also metal goods, including weapons and armor.

“No one wanted us, and everyone and every country chased us away. . . . With no means of survival, of course often the only recourse was to steal, but it was to feed ourselves, to feed our children; not in order to accumulate wealth. Theft of food, such as vegetables or even of water – how can anything that the gods have provided, so the Gypsy saw it – belong to someone and the taking of it, as long as it is not more than one's needs, be theft – became the downfall often for many Gypsy in that they were caught and hanged for such offences or sent as slaves to the colonies.

Unfortunately, Gypsies still shunned across the globe. Nothing has changed. The misconception by the people as to who and what we, the Gypsy, are and the misinterpretation by the media of what and who we are, is not helping one bit in combating this. Neither are the actions by the so-called Gypsyologists and so-called experts that try to make all Romani (Romany) into Roma. While the Sinti and the Cale, as I already said, are Romani they are not Roma and do not, in the main, wish to be addressed as such, e.g. the vehemently refuse to be called Roma, while some, in the Czech and Slovak lands, for instance, have no problem to refer to themselves and to be referred to as “Cygani”. In fact they rather will use the attribute “Gypsy” than the attribute “Roma”.

It is often claimed that the incredible amounts of discrimination and marginalization that we have gone through for centuries, is partially because of hostility of the host country and but partly because of our own inability or unwillingness to integrate. It is not integration that we have a problem with; it is the assimilation, the forced assimilation, under the guise of “integration” that we have a problem with and that we refuse to accept.

It certainly does not help that too many Gypsy families do not value education, and many many Roma youth saying that they do not see college as their most viable option. But is it education per se that is being rejected or the brainwashing institutions of the non-Romani society? Without education, and Gypsy families will have to come to understand that, whether in the West or in the East, there will never be a way that we, the Romani, of whatever group, will amount to much. Sports alone, such as footfall (soccer players – and we do have a fair number of them) or boxers, even of world class, are not going to liberate us as a People and bring the individual families out of poverty and dependency. While some of the crafts and skill are today again in demand, such as well-made baskets, and even the old clothespins can be sold again, it would seem, at the right location, at a very good price indeed, this is not going to lift the Romani out of their condition as a People. We, as a People, must understand that only by education, which ever way this may take, we can fight the stereotype and over come the obstacles placed in our paths.

If you look at the socioeconomic conditions of the true Gypsy People, the Romani or Rom (not Roma), you see every major cause [for our plight]: poverty, overpopulation and lack of education. But in my view lack of education – this does not need to be formal education – is the major cause and obstacle, far aside from the fact that the Gohja, the non-Gypsy has the wrong perception of us.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Open Letter to Nick Rosen

March 18, 2008

Dear Mr. Rosen,

Reference is made to your recent article in the Ecologist entitled “Going off-grid” in which you made rather discriminatory remarks about Gypsies, and I quote: “
There's that other great class of off-gridders, too: mobile home and van dwellers. There are 130,000 camper vans in the UK, and many more parked overseas that are British-owned. I am not including foreign vans, but there are easily another 5,000 van dwellers in the UK. And that does not include the most feared and controversial of van dwellers, the gypsies (who may live close to the land, but – as sites littered with broken fridges, old sinks and nameless pieces of metal testify – don't always take care of it).
The old image of gypsies in wagons pulled by carthorses is no more; these days they are as likely to have a Mercedes Sprinter as their main vehicle and a Mitsubishi 4x4 as a runaround for the wife. But the carthorse-owning fraternity still exists. They refer to themselves as 'horsedrawn', and they are the least visible residents of the off-grid virtual city, hidden down green lanes and other ancient rights of way. A few are probably gypsies, but most are radical exsquatters and road protesters, or simply the rural poor.”

As the Director General of the Romani Institute and the General Secretary of the Gypsy Union, a world-wide membership organization for grassroots Romani-Gypsies, I wish to protest in the strongest manner against your racially discriminatory remarks, which could, probably, even be seen as “incitement to racial hatred” (something, maybe, for the officers of the law to decide) and demand herewith an open public apology forthwith.

When you use the word “Gypsy”, whether spelled, as it should be when referring to an ethnic group, with a capital initial letter – such as shame that the majority of supposedly trained journalists do not seem to know this – or with the small initial, the wrong way of writing it, as you have done, you refer to Romani, as per the Oxford Dictionary. A book that many a journalist in this country and abroad should read, methinks. Would you dare to write “Jew” or “Muslim” with a small initial? You most certainly, and rightly so, would not. Why then do you, and other journalists insult us, the Gypsy People, a recognized ethnic group, in the same way as the Jews, by again and again using the word with a small initial?

Again, on behalf of the Romani People, I demand, in my capacity of the above, that you publicly apologize for the derogatory statements that you have made in your article in the Ecologist about the Gypsy People and that you do so forthwith.

With that sweeping statement of yours in the article you have made every Gypsy who still travels in a trailer (and yes, the time of the horse-drawn wooden wagons is gone) out to be dirty, filthy, and more even. Have you ever visited a proper Gypsy family home, whether trailer or house? I should think not. We have a Cleanliness Law very akin to that of the Jewish People and we are not dirty, filthy layabouts.

Why do you not have the courage to call a spade a spade and refer to those that leave trash behind as to what they really are, namely in the main, either Irish Travellers or so-called New (Age) Travellers. Yes, I know, and I am the first to admit that there are also a number of the Romani that nowadays leave trash behind on stopping places, unfortunately, but to tar everyone then with the same brush would be the same as to claim that all Jews in New York are criminals simply because there are or used to be Jewish crime syndicates.

I shall leave it at that here, Sir, and look forward to reading your apology in the Ecologist and not only there, I should hope.


Michael Smith
Director General – Romani Institute
General Secretary – Gypsy Union

Tatchipen Media
International Romani Media Association
plus other relevant organizations and bodies


Nick Rosen's email, for anyone who may wish to also tell him what they think, is

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

California Court Rules That Homeschooling is – basically – illegal

A California appeals court has made the decision that only parents who hold teaching credentials can legally homeschool their children.

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," Justice Walter Croskey wrote. The ruling was unanimous.

Many parents in the State are most upset about this ruling, which means they could face potential prosecution if they do not comply with the law. It is estimated more than 160,000 students are homeschooled in California, but, unless the parents hold a teaching degree they break the law under Califirnia's penal code.

The ruling comes from a California child welfare case where two parents homeschooled their eight children without either holding a teaching certificate.

The children were also enrolled in a private school, which considered them a part of their school, although in independent study. The school reported that they visit the children several times a year.

Legitimate Schools, Unqualified Teachers?

The appeals court said the state law on education has been clear since 1953, when another appellate court rejected a separate challenge by parents.

Education officials theorize that some homeschooling parents avoid that law by registering as a private education institution with the state, then only enroll their children.

But to become a teacher in the state, a person must have a bachelor's degree and pass a battery of certification tests.

California's Teachers Union said they were pleased with the court's ruling. One board director said that they believe "students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."

I do not think that there is any surprise here that the California's Teachers Union and state brainwashers are pleased with this ruling. It would hardly be otherwise.

Homeschooling Effectively Banned

The president of the Home School Legal Defense Association says the ruling would effectively ban homeschooling in the state.

"California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home," he said in a statement.

One parent told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "if homeschooling becomes illegal, then it's just going to become underground."

Well, the other option would be, and that would soon teach – pun intended – the State's lawmakers, and that is for those who wish to homeschool their children legally to leave California. A mass exodus of thousands of people would soon, I am sure, carry the message even to the lawmakers and judges with the thickest of skulls.

One legal expert on children's law says the court did not change the law, they only upheld it. She said that "if they want to send them to a private Christian school, they can, but they have to actually go to the school and be taught by teachers."

I do not think that the question here is about a “private Christian school” but about parents exercising their God-given right to teach their own children, and I am saying that without even believing in the God of Abraham. I do, however, believe that the God or the gods, have given parents or guardians the right to teach their own children in the way that they see right and not having to send them to official state brainwash institutions.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Funding for Gypsy and Traveller sites in London

Communities Minister Iain Wright today announced successful bids for funding from the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant to help councils improve living conditions on authorised Gypsy and Traveller sites, and provide new pitches to reduce unauthorised camping.

In London Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant totalling £1.3 million has been approved to provide a new site, extend two sites, and support the refurbishment of five sites.

This announcement follows a second round of bidding for the Grant in 2007/8. Across England, since 2006/7, the Government has approved £54.6 million of investment that will provide over 400 additional pitches for Gypsies and Travellers, and refurbish 120 sites.

Schemes have been evaluated by both independent consultants and the Greater London Authority.

One can but wonder whether this new site is in an equally well chosen location as the one that is shown in the picture by this author. The photo shows the Earlsfield Gypsy Site, which is a council owned site, near Wimbledon, in London.

A further £97 million of funding is available between 2008 -11, and bids are now being invited.

Iain Wright said: "This funding is vital in delivering both new and better sites to ensure that Gypsies and Travellers have authorised, decent places to live and to help reduce the £18 million annual enforcement bill.

"It is important that councils ensure there are enough authorised sites for the Gypsy and Traveller communities. A good supply of legal sites can break the vicious cycle of evictions that is costly in terms of both local tensions and taxpayers' cash.

"We are providing a further £97 million of funding for councils and housing associations over the next three years to help meet the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers.

"I am pleased that the report of the independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement has endorsed our approach to these important issues."

A good idea would be to test out the minister by getting a few Gypsy owned and run housing associations off the ground applying to get land for own sites. We should very soon find that the government is NOT interested in housing assassinations, other than those that are former local council, to run sites. Why not, someone asks? The answer is simple: private sites would not be provided by the local authorities and they have to fulfill a quota under the new legislation to provide x-amount of pitches. That is also the very reason that it is so hard to get planning for small Gypsy-owned sites.

As usual, obviously, the minister is full of himself and the measures by his party's government. Nice talk is all that has so far been provided. Maybe we could get some action and for starters it would be nice if the Gypsy People themselves would have a say as to where the sites go and also would have the right to set up their own sites, with or without financial grants from the government. Our People know where they want to live, and that is NOT next to sewerage works, cement works, tarmac works, under flyovers of motorways, nor on old landfill sites. What is wrong with a Gypsy family buying an on residential caravan park and turning it into a private Gypsy site? It is not a “change of use” because, in my book at least, and in the book of most people, I am sure, a caravan park is a caravan park is a caravan park, regardless who lives there.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Roma in Europe: MEPs vote on anti-discrimination measures

With 10 million Roma people in the European Union and levels of employment and poverty disproportionately high among them, MEPs on Thursday voted on a European strategy to try and improve the lives of the Roma community. Often discrimination in jobs and schooling are just some of the problems that Roma people face in Europe. Ahead of the vote we spoke to Hungarian MEP's of Roma origin Lívia Járóka and Viktória Mohácsi about the strategy and the situation of the Roma in Europe today.

It is estimated that there are 10 million Roma in the EU. This makes them more numerous than the population of 14 of the Union's 27 members. Roma communities are mainly based in Romania, Bulgaria or in Hungary. In the last four years all these states have joined the EU pushing the issue up the political agenda. Roma often suffer from racial discrimination, poverty and social exclusion.

Ahead of the vote we put some questions to the two MEPs:

The draft resolution recognizes "that the social inclusion of Romani communities is still a goal to be achieved". Why hasn’t this been the case yet?

Viktória Mohácsi (Liberal ALDE) told us that "while Member States recognize the need of integration of Roma, most of them are not taking responsibility for creating steps to solve the problems".

She went on to say that "the lack of minority policy of the EU could also be a possible reason: some countries recognise the Roma as a minority, some of them declare that all people have the same rights according to the constitutions".

LíviaJáróka (EPP-ED): "The successful integration of Europe's youngest and most rapidly thriving minority shouldn't fall victim of narrow-minded party politics, since it would be a national, moreover an all-European interest. Unfortunately parties are afraid of losing their voters by bringing up the Roma issue and also the civil movements are too weak, so there is no real Roma representation".

In many States Roma live in slums and are can be even expelled from the country. What can be done to provide better living conditions?

LíviaJáróka: "The appearance of large migrant groups in Western Europe is the complete failure of the states that they have left. Roma and also non-Roma migrants leave their countries, because of the terrible situation they have to face, namely segregated living conditions and segregated education-systems as well as poverty and social exclusion. Roma people see the country they live in as their motherland and they want to contribute to their societies as well".

"The European Parliament has sent a clear answer when it adopted the resolution on free movement, on November 14, 2007", says Viktória Mohácsi. (This resolution "reaffirm" the value of the free movement of persons as a fundamental principle of the European Union” and advocate the establishment of a network of organisations dealing with the social inclusion of Roma as well as the promotion of awareness-raising instruments regarding the rights and duties of the Roma community).

Ms Mohácsi told us that "in some Member States ignoring the fact that free movement is basic principle for the Roma also. That's why this resolution on European Roma Strategy reflecting on the case of housing is important".

One of the concrete solutions proposed would be micro-credit: can you explain why it can be a solution?

LíviaJáróka: "I believe that a properly elaborated micro-credit scheme might be an important instrument for the empowerment of excluded communities, as the example of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank (which won the 2006 Nobel peace prize) shows. Micro-credit might be the only tool that can replace usury which is one of the greatest problems within Roma communities".

"In most countries, the unemployment rates amongst Romani communities are still higher than 80%, because of exclusion from the education system. Micro-credit scheme could be one of the adequate possibilities to promote self-employment" says Mohácsi.

Do we need a more collective, pan-European effort to tackle Roma issues?

"Only 5 Member States (out of 27) created an action plan for the integration of Roma but we still do not have a result. Life long learning, anti-discrimination, right to education has to be established on the level of most excluded group of people, too, says Mohácsi.

LíviaJáróka: "This plan should identify and effectively address the practical barriers that Roma face by accessing their unalienable fundamental rights in the fields of housing, employment, health care and education".

Thursday's vote on draft Resolution follows up plenary debate of 16 January 2008 on steps planned to improve the situation of the Roma.

Editorial Comment:

Before anything else we need for the European Union and the European Parliament and its MEPs and officers to understand the very fact that not all of the Romani People are Roma, despite the fact what the idiots with a hidden agenda pedal.

The Sinti and the Cale are separate Romani Nations; separate from the Roma. While we may have a related Culture we do not have an entirely common Culture as there are cultural practices of the Roma that are foreign to the Sinti and the Cale, such as child marriage and bride price. While this is basically the same for all Roma groups the Sinti and the Cale know no bride price, no child marriage and also, basically, no haggled arranged marriage. But that is all that I am prepared to say about the differences, as much does not belong into the world of the Gadje. Suffice to say that there are profound cultural differences twixt Sinti and Cale one the one side and Roma on the other. So we cannot, therefore, that is the Sinti and the Cale, be a tribe of the Roma. Dosta penauas!

Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

MEPs highlight "ghettoisation" of Roma and call for EU anti-discrimination measures

The European Parliament adopted a report warning of the risks of anti-Gypsyism promoted by extremists and calling for fresh efforts to integrate Roma through positive measures in housing, health, education and employment. Of the 12 to 15 million Roma living in Europe, about 10 million live in EU countries. The majority became EU citizens after the 2004 and 2007 enlargements. Yet MEPs believe Roma communities still suffer clear discrimination.

"Anti-Gypsyism or Romaphobia is still widespread in Europe and is promoted and used by extremists, which can culminate in racist attacks, hate speech, physical attacks, unlawful evictions and police harassment", warn MEPs in an own-initiative report adopted by 510 votes to 36, with 67 abstentions. The situation of European Roma communities is distinct from other national minorities, they say, arguing that this justifies specific measures at European level. Highlighting the "lack of progress made in combating racial discrimination against the Roma" in Europe, the resolution points out that, in the negotiation and accession process, all candidate countries committed to improving the inclusion of this community. It asks "the European Commission to make an assessment of the implementation of those commitments and of the current situation of the Roma in all EU Member States".

Parliament also maintains that "the Romani holocaust (Porajmos) deserves full recognition commensurate with the gravity of Nazi crimes" and, among many other measures, calls on the relevant authorities "to abolish the pig fattening industry on the former concentration camp in Lety (Czech Republic) and to create a memorial to honour the victims of persecution".


MEPs believe that "evidence of ghettoisation exist on a wide scale", with Roma regularly being either victims of forced evictions or prevented from moving out of such neighbourhoods. The Commission should therefore support active programmes to end Romani slums and provide housing for Roma citizens. Parliament also urged Member States to solve the problem of camps, "where there are no hygienic and safety standards at all and where a large number of Romani children die in domestic accidents, particularly fires".


Member States need to improve the health situation of Roma communities, say MEPs, and "remedy without delay the systemic exclusion" of certain Roma communities from health care. In addition, "extreme human rights abuses (...) including racial segregation in health facilities and coercive sterilisation of Romani women" must be ended.


Deploring the fact that segregation in education is still tolerated in the Member States, MEPs call on the Commission to look for new ways of tightening up anti-discrimination legislation in this field and to report back to the EP within one year. They believe positive action is needed in most areas of education and vocational training.


The Roma community also suffers "unacceptably high levels of unemployment", according to the resolution. The Commission is urged to support the integration of the Roma into the labour market through training, retraining and other measures, and also to consider granting micro-credits to Roma to help them start up small businesses.

Go local

While the EU and the Member States have crucial roles to play in key policy areas, MEPs also stress the need to involve local authorities in all active measures to integrate the Roma.

Measures within the European Commission

Lastly, MEPs urge the Commission to "shape a Community Action Plan on Roma Inclusion", to give one Commissioner "responsibility for coordinating a Roma policy" and "to promote Roma staff within its structure".

Editorial Comment:

As the MEPs keep mentioning the Roma Community this can lead the reader of the document released by the European Parliament to believe that it is ONLY the Roma that are thus affected and not the like of Sinti and Cale who, and the EU will never understand that as long as those with a hidden agenda keep telling them that Sinti and Cale are but tribes of the Roma, are NOT Roma but Romani. While all Roma are Romani not all Romani are Roma.

I guess this is difficult to understand, and then again, we, the People, don't know what we are talking about as the Romani Institute and the Gypsy Union we told by officers of the EU and the Parliament. They know better than us that all Sinti and Cale are part of the Roma.

We must also remember that they know everything so well that they have included the Irish Travellers I amongst the tribes of the Roma.

Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Romanichal boy after Beijing Olympic gold

Billy Joe Saunders' great grandfather was a bare-knuckle champion of the Gypsy fairground booths and Billy Joe is being tipped for boxing stardom of a more conventional kind - by winning an Olympic welterweight medal with a pair of gloves on his fists.

Billy Joe, who is 18, and lives with his family on a Gypsy caravan site on the outskirts of Hatfield in Hertfordshire, boxes out of the Hoddesdon Club, is already being compared with Amir Khan since he has moved from the junior to the senior ranks six months ago.

Since that time he has won 26 bouts out of 26, culminating in the gold medal at one of Europe's most prestigious tournaments in Bulgaria, where his four scalps in the space of four days included that of the highly rated Cuban No 1, Carlos Bantuer. His performance earned him the boxer of the tournament award.

Billy Joe was originally selected for Britain's Olympic development squad for the 2012 London Olympics, but he has now been fast-tracked into the 2008 "podium group".

A top-three finish will guarantee him a place in Beijing alongside the four British boxers who have already qualified via the World Championships in Chicago last October.

Let us cross our fingers for this young champ from the British Romani-Gypsy Community and hopefully he will not only make it to Beijing but bring home gold for the country and for our People.

Go – Billy Joe – Go!

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

The Word “Gadje”

It is claimed by the supposed experts in Romani Studies that the word “Gadje” originates with the name of Mahmud Of Ghazni (who lived from 971 A.D. - 1030 A.D), the Muslim raider – a raider after gold who, according to reports, never seem to actually have taken slaves – who harassed India in the early 11th century. His son later settled in India and became a Sufi saint.

Those raids into India by Mahmud Of Ghazni are well after the time that the Rom must have left for, according to the International Romani Union the year 2001 was the Millennium of Rom in Europe. Apparently the Rom entered Europe from Asian Constantinople at the year 1001. This, in fact, were the Roma and not those that already were in Europe, such as the Sinti groups. It is high time for a rethink, methinks, for those that think they know and for the truth being told to the world.

How, pray, would anyone, even allowing for pronunciation shifts and the like, arrive from the place name of Ghanzi at the word “Gadjo/Gadji/Gadje” for non-Romani or outsiders from the People? Gadje does simply mean farmer or peasant and originates, in the same was as the word Chalo or Xalo or Xulaj with the lanfuages of the area from whence our People come, meaning, the same as the Romani-Calo word “payo”, basically “peasant”. All the clap-trap of the linguists and experts in Romani studies just does not add up to me, and I also believe it does not to many others that have an open mind amongst the People.

Sure I do not have proof for this, before anyone asks. All I am doing is to get you, dearest readers, to think as to whether things are as clearcut as the experts would want us to believe and it certainly is not. Somewhere along the line there seems to be a hidden agenda amongst the so-called experts on the Romani for all try their hardest to make everyone believe that – one – we are all Roma and that – two – we all left India together at the same time, at the time of Mahmud Of Ghazni's raids into India, and that it then took us just a few weeks or months to arrive at the Bosporus. And bawle fly, certainly.

Just think on it...

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

The Rom and Metalworking

Some supposed learned experts on the Romani People claim that the Rom were/are low caste, or untouchables – Pariah – even because of the fact that many were/are workers in metals, such as iron, copper, brass, gold, to mention but a few.

What I fail to understand is how they could ever have arrived at such a conclusion seeing that the metalworkers in India of old were held in the highest esteem. Do we really believe that a high caste warrior would have ever put on an armor that was smithed by a low caste or even untouchable? This is entirely unthinkable.

It is therefore not possible that the Rom, our People, were at the bottom of the ladder, so to speak, and, as metalworkers could have been of the low caste or even untouchables.

According to an old venerable Hindu I knew many years back iron would not have been allowed to be worked, in those days, by low caste or untouchables because, so I was told, iron was/is regarded as a sacred metal, a metal from the gods.

During the times before Mohammed of Ghanzi India was the center of metalworking and fantastic works were cerated in iron and gold and other metals. Pillars of tens of meters in height were built using the forge-welding technique and those pillars and towers are absolutely awesome.

The Rom never left “India” in one single wave but, as all people tended to move about, in trickles and small waves. But I digressed.

The Rom were once some of the finest metalsmiths and were, in many places, armorers to the feudal houses and even to the courts of kings and emperors. The quality of the knives and swords was some of the finest in the world and, while I may go out here on a limb, lookin gat the names of many, I believe that many of the great knifemakers of Solingen, Klingenthal, and also Sheffield, were of the Romani-Gypsy People. Have I go proof for that? No, with the exception of the names of the knife making companies, especially the names of their founders and owners.

This is yet another thing, like with the arrival of the Romani-Gypsy in Germany, where the assumptions of the experts do not seem to bear out the factors of life.

Think about it...

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

Gypsy Arrival in Germany

The year 1407 is regarded by the experts as the day that Sinti, then still calling themselves “Zigeuner”, have arrived in Germany. However, that year only marks them turning up in the register as having attended the Eichamt, the local office of the approval of weights and measures, in the city of Hildesheim, where there is a bill in the archives that mentions a groups of Gypsies having had some measuring tools approved.

How does that make for the year of arrival? In my view this actually points to the fact that Zigeuner, Gypsies, have been in Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, well before that time, and arrived much earlier.

It is absolute stupidity and narrow mindedness to run with this date and year as the arrival year of Zigeuner, Gypsies, in Germany. It just does not compute. Does no one realize that? But then, it suits the experts in order to support their theories as to when the Romani People left the area between the Caucasus and the Indus Valley.

What language would those Zigeuner that went to the Eichamt in Hildesheim have spoken and understood? This certainly cannot be a group of people that have just arrived in medieval Germany speaking the Romani tongue, or, if lucky, some Turkish or Greek. Local government offices and Landjaeger, the military style police, or it may have even been Shire Reeves, like in Britain, from the name of which derives the word Sheriff in the English language, in that period would, I am sure, not have understood or spoken Romani nor Greek or even Latin in order to tell them that they have to have their measuring tools approved by the Eichamt. The Gypsies certainly would not have understood any of the ancient German dialects, akin, probably, to old Anglo-Saxon, either had they just arrived. So, what then? This points, in fact, to a group of Gypsy People who have been living in the German realm for some considerable time, generations probably if not even longer.

To take the date of 1407 when those Zigeuner, those Gypsy People, had to attend the Eichamt to have their measuring tools approved as the date of Gypsy arrival in Germany makes absolutely no sense and is nonsense. Think about it from the point of understanding of language, as I said in the previous paragraph.

Think about it...

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008

BOGO LIGHT - Advertisement

National gathering of Catholic Gypsy and Traveller support network

The 2008 national gathering of the Catholic Gypsy and Traveller support network takes place at the Focolare Centre for Unity in Welwyn Garden City from Wednesday 5 to Thursday 6 March.

The gathering will bring together priests, religious and lay people who provide services to or are involved in a ministry to Gypsies and Travellers and others who are sympathetic to their concerns. It will provide an opportunity for informal sharing and for exploring issues of common interest.

To find out more contact Liz Taite on 020 7901 4828.

I hate to be a cynical person but why all of a sudden the great interest of the Catholic Church in Gypsies (and Travellers). I can understand that they want to minister to the Irish Travellers as most if not all of them are Irish Catholics but why the interest, suddenly, in the Gypsy, the Romani?

Mind you, I rather have the Catholic Church than the Pentecostalists any day, but I am just asking...

Michael Smith (Veshengro), March 2008