Gypsies in America

Topics: Romani people / Pages: 9 (2025 words) / Published: Dec 1st, 2008
The first and to date only reliable assertion of the origin of word Gypsy for the members of “specific” group, dates back to 1068. At that time the Georgian monah st. George Antonski, from the monastery of Iviron (Greece) reports to his people that on the mountain of Athos in the time between 1001 and 1026 a group of “Athiganos” arrived. The word Athigatos or Acinkan in Greek would be “untouchable”. Different synonyms of this word were used later as name for “that” nation around Europe. In literature we find: latin-Cingarus, Turkey-Cingeneler, France-Tsiganes, Germany-Zinger, Russia-Cjganji, Hungary-Ciganjiok, Italy-Zingari, Spain-Gitanos.

In Croatia the name is Cigani and in Dubrovnik Republic Jedupi or Egyptians. The name Egyptians was probably brought to Dubrovnik by Italians (Greece was at the time under Venetian rule) where together with the former name Jedupi for Gypsies the name Egyptians started to be used.

On 08. April 1791 the first World congress of Gypsies was held in London. Important decisions and accepting of Roma flag, official anthem and official languages were brought. It was decided that the flag consists of two basic colours that symbolises everlasting wandering of Roma. The green is a symbol of boundless natural space as freedom of movement. The blue is symbol of sky and in the middle of the flag is a wheel which marks the everlasting journey of Roma. The official anthem is famous Roma song “Gelem, Gelem” and as official language Lovari Roma language was accepted.

In the same time as unique world wide used name for Gypsies was term “Htom”, which in Gypsy-lovari language means a man. Sound ht does not exist in graphic system therefore for the sake of easy writing this sound is spelled as sound R. Therefore instead of word Htom because of impossibility to write ht word Rom appeared. That is how they are today called in Croatia. Nobody should feel humiliated or degraded also with the name Gypsy if it is said with proper intonation, which

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