History and Present of Romani People
Courtesy of- Chronicles of India
Courtesy of- Free Movies
It is worth noting there is a difference between Roma in the sense of what is textbook Romani and Travelers. Romani are descended from the Warrior Class of the Rajput of Northern India, the ancestors having relocated from there. Travelers on the other hand are of European descent. Some may attempt to argue that fact but that is the reality and truth of it. We are not the same, we do not have the same genes or dna running through our veins as if appearances alone couldn’t be the deciding factor. Even the groups are vastly different in numerous respects. That was one of the controversies of that reality show “Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.” Numerous were not actual Roma they were Traveler. Roma, Sinti, Lom, Dom, etc etc are essentially of Southeast Asian descent as where Travelers are Caucasian. They are a nomadic group in their own respects but they do not have ancestors stemming from India. It is obvious even appearance wise as well as Roma wouldn’t put themselves out there like that in that light. The groups keep to ourselves in some sense especially the more east beyond the United States borders you are to go geographically speaking. If you walk into a Roma camp or area as with any nomadic camp they are going to highly question why you are there rightfully so as there are Children, Women, and communities to protect. They don’t know you or what an outsiders purpose for being in their area is. This is based on the historical need for self preservation due to what the people have undergone. America has been the most free and well receiving land for Roma and Nomadic groups compared to the rest of the world where they are treated quite poorly even policy wise. This is why the groups overall we don’t typically like outsiders in our lives, business, or having complete unrestricted the insight into our cultural practices etc like that let alone portraying harmful stereotypes. Which is fine because we deserve our space and respect for it same with Indigenous peoples. Nomadic people as a whole we are like that to some extent. Amazigh are like that, Tuareg, I would even say Indigenous to a degree because of the inequalities and or atrocities our peoples have encountered.
There was one visibly obvious Roma Father who spoke on the difference between the 2 groups a bit.
Courtesy of- TLC UK
There have been countless expose’s on the American version of the show even from members of the communities themselves. Some of it being it was reality tv, it was fake. A great deal of American Roma and or Travelers had issue with the show because groups deemed it wasn’t a just or positive presentation of Gypsy people nor life. This couple quite put it well. It was embarrassing and disrespectful for the most part, not everyone of course. It was exploitation of cultures as there are numerous groups of Romani, Nomadic Peoples, and Travelers just as much as there are of Indigenous peoples. We are all different more or less just as people are different in general.
Courtesy of- Gypsy Wife Life
The reason cousins marry fairly frequently it is because it can be based on tribalism, there also can be a divisiveness between Roma groups again based on tribalism. It all depends on the group, family, etc.