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My Romani Roots Essay

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Recently, my father told me that his mother’s parents were Romani people living in Germany who escaped to the United States during their prosecution in World War II. With this new information, I find it interesting that I do not have any Romani traditions within my family. There are small traces of Romani in my father: he has dark hair, loves music and is not affiliated with any organized religion, which are all typical traits of the Romani people. My grandmother was born in America, and I believe that she was more familiarized with Western culture and that is where we lost our roots. The loss of my Romani origins prompted me to wonder how the Romani had to adjust culturally when they immigrated to the United States. Deep down, starting this research, I was worried that conditions did not get better for my people, whether it be Germany or the United States, the Romani would still have to put up with being misunderstood and discriminated against. Unfortunately, my assumption was proven precise.
Since the beginning of Romani recorded history, they have been a community on the run. Due to their dark complexion and mysterious culture, the Romani have been driven out of essentially all of the settlement they made. The term ‘Gypsies,’ which many see now as derogatory, was given to them, as they were often mistaken for Egyptians; when in reality the Roma originated in India. Another reason the Romani population was driven out of all of the European was because they did not fit well with theirs. The household is set up vastly differently than what the norm is in Western culture. A household goes beyond the nuclear family, it complies of multiple generation with a matriarch and patriarch who are looked to for advice and wisdom. The older s...


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...ead nomadic lives and to have a separate law and family system. Many, like my own family, lost the struggle and succumbed and completely embraced the Western culture to survive and fit in.


Works Cited

Berry, Lynn. "Gypsies Trying To Change Stereotyped Image -- Some Practice Their Ancient Culture Secretly." (Feb 19, 1995), p. A.20: Web. 9 Apr. 2014.
Crowe, David, John Kolsti, and Ian Hancock. The Gypsies of Eastern Europe. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991. Print.
Gropper, Rena C. Gypsies in the City: Culture Patterns and Survival. Princeton, NJ: Darwin, 1975. Print.
Kiger, Patrick J. "Romani Culture and Traditions | National Geographic Channel." National Geographic Channel. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
"Persecution of Roma (Gypsies) in Prewar Germany, 1933–1939." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 10 June 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014



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