And I Never Knew It....

I am half/half which is what? Half Rom or half Gadje? I live in a house, although I have moved 21 times so far (im about to make my 22nd move next week), I just can't keep still. When i'm not moving im moving furniture around, trying to reign in my itchy feet.

I didn't even know we were Rom until later in life, it was all hushed up. My dad with his dark skin, and brooding dark looks, I see why now. My particular Teulu settled down well before I was born, even before my dad was born. Life made it difficult for the Rom to keep travelling. I have childhood memories of walking for miles with my grandad, walking the railway lines with bowls in hands collecting blackberries. he would talk a strange language, a mixture of welsh and now I know Romany.

I really think if you have the blood, its in you. From an early age I was an 'outdoor' person, wandering for miles (which was ok in those days as a kid), my grandad even teaching us how to build little mini bender tents. He would talk of his Mum, her jet black hair and black eyes, but really we knew nothing of his family. My grandparents were very private people, never had the open doors that some do, i'm the same too, I seem to have a deep mistrust thats only broken when I get close to someone. I would even go so far as to say i felt different. I was always 'something' in my teens, a gothic, a metalhead, a hippy, always a bit eccentric and alternative. I guess I was trying to fit in somewhere. By the times I was in my late teens i was giving mediumship readings to people, consulting the tarot and anything new age.  Now I know the truth of my family it makes my life fit in somewhere, the way I am. So, from growing up not knowing I was Romany, and actually having the traits of being roma, then finding out I am tells me that there is truth in the blood.

One day I will educate my own children, and hope they will never let the Romany culture die. My daughter is a blondie like her dad, but my son has the dark brooding looks and olive skin passed down through me from my dad, the Rom blood carries on.

Eldorai Eldorai
36-40, F
4 Responses Feb 25, 2010

hey, sar shan? <br />
<br />
A half Romni half Gadji is a Didikai, which literally means "double blood". I am Didikai too but very much identify with my Romano side. Nobody in my family ever spoke Romani to me or around me but I have taught myself the language in various different dialects and am currently trying to combine my knowledge of Romani grammar with the Romani words that are used (or were used) in England. In England nobody uses the Romani grammar, only the vocab and even that is dying. I work for the Irish Travellers Movement in Britain which works with Roma too and i'm hoping to start teaching English Romani with grammar once I'm fully conversant in it. I hope you are able to find all the info you need to help you explore your Romani heritage just as I am.<br />
<br />
Kushti tiro divvus (have a good day)

Thanks for all this info and insight...actually it sorta seems a shame that it's would make a wonderful story...I really knew so little. :)

Hi Frito, <br />
<br />
The word gypsy comes from the word 'egyptian' is was used to descibe travellers when they first migrated into europe. The 'gypsies' actually came from India, hence their dark skin and eyes. The 'gypsies' do not call themselves gypsies, they call themselves Romany, Rom or Roma. They are beleived to have left india for religous reasons, refusing to bow down to the organised religon in the 1600's. Their beleifs were alike to paganism and so they fled. The Romany language has alot of sankrit in it. Once they reached europe they spread out and lived in clans (or in my case Teulu's) they would set up camp, called an atchen tan and travel picking up work along the way. Their beleifs (similar to paganism and wicca) meant they would use nature to cure, charm and heal. hence the wisewoman gypsy (called a puradai) that you see with the scarfs and gold! In reality this was showmanship to make money (the dressing up), but all clans had a wisewoman they would call upon to ask advice. Supersticians were listened to and taken onboard seriously. Romany is not to be confused with the Irish Tinker, the traveller or the pikey. Roms adopted local sirnames that usually pointed to their skills and professions, for example the smith's were smithy's, the woods (my family) were woodturners, the coopers were coopers. Its thought their original sirname was Akbar (indian), but when they came to europe and split up they adopted the more local names.

Eldorai this is a really interesting story...I've never heard of Rom...gypsy yes but not Rom...can you share more about the Romany culture? Thanks. :)