Monday, February 14, 2011

Roma, Romany, Romani, Romanian, Gypsy? Keeping it all Straight

We, along with our colleagues, have worked hard to educate others on the correct term for the people group most know as Gypsy  - it is Roma or Romany.  Now the Romanian government is trying to change that.  It stems from the confusion of "Romanian", people who are from Romania, with "Roma", the word derived from the Romani language to describe the Gypsies, a distinct ethnic group.  (Then you add the confusion of the city of Rome, Italy which Italians call "Roma" and matters are more muddied.) We have been told that many consider Gypsy to be a derogatory term.  For now we will continue to use the term Roma or Romany until our friends in this ethnic group tell us differently.

From the blog:

The Romanian Senate wants to dub the Roma “gypsies”

by George Lacatus

Romanian senators from the two parliamentary committees decided on 2 February 2011 to dub Romanian Roma “gypsies” in all official papers. To be more precise, they have approved a law project which changes the name of the Roma minority into gypsy. Paradoxically enough, the senators who decided this are members of the Commission for the Protection of Human Rights, Religions and Minorities and the Commission for Equal Opportunities. Last year, this law project had been approved by the Romanian Government as well. Once it is approved by Deputies Chamber, it becomes law.

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