Gypsy-Roma – Facts and Fiction

Gypsies are known as a vagabond race, traveling from one place to another. Most fiction portrays them as having loose morals – thieves, lustful, and dishonest. But that is a generalization that truly only applies to a few, not the entire race. Gypsy women are actually very faithful to one man at a time. Of course some gypsies are thieves and tricksters, but you can find those in any culture.

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Origin

The technical term for a gypsy is Roma. Originally the Roma came from India, which can be traced back through their language and culture. They were likely called “gypsy” first by Europeans that thought they came from Egypt. Now Romani can be found all over the world, but the majority in central and eastern Europe.

Culture

Their culture, trades, and language are passed down from one person to the next. Most do not read or write. Caravans are formed of related families. Each band is led by a kris, a tribunal leader who passes judgment based of their religious beliefs and customs. Rom com anime

A common feature of gypsies in fiction is their magic: fortune-telling, curses, and the like. The specific beliefs and cultures vary from group to group, as they have spread far and wide without a collective location. Most modern Roma have absorbed local religion and culture, so a modern gypsy curse would be unlikely. The traditional beliefs were centered on their Goddess Kali. Her symbol was a triangle. They believed in the power of curses, healing rituals, good luck charms, reincarnation, and purity taboos.

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