I’ve seen discussion this morning of appropriation, racism (regarding dressing up and using racist slurs), and ‘white hipsters’.
However, it’s not just white people who use the word gypsy, dress up in costume, or even wear headdresses.
For example, here is an Asian girl dressed as a “gypsy” and calling herself such:
I’ve seen just yesterday, several photographs of Black girls dressed as “Esmeralda” and tagged as ‘gypsy’ on the Tumblr tag.
This is why I tend to use the word Gadže and try and refrain from specifying further within that label. Anyone who is not Rroma … is Gadže, no matter their ethnicity.
I have also, unfortunately, seen many of these Gadže who claim to be descended from a ‘gypsy king’ or ‘the gypsy queen’, or who claim to have ‘gypsy heritage on their great aunts grandmothers side’ and therefore claim knowledge and right to the word.
This particularly upsets me and makes me realize why I feel so strongly that you SHOULDN’T claim ancestry less than 1/4 because there is a very strong possibility that you simply DON’T have a clue about anything to do with that ancestry. All these girls claiming 1/256th heritage are a good point. They claim the heritage because they identify it with the stereotype, not the reality.
Of the Rroma and Walking People I’ve met on the internet, so far I am one of the only ones who was raised in the tradition—and even then, it was a far different tradition than the one even my father was raised in.
However, all of that being said, if you follow the ‘gypsy’ or ‘gypsies’ tag here on Tumblr, you know that 99% of the crappy, stereotyped and racist imagery there is posted by white hipster girls who identify as “boho” “hippie” “hipster” and “gypsy”.. even though only one of these is an ethnicity, they fail to listen to anything we say.
So, we write and write posts like this… over and over, repetitive bullshit about why it’s wrong, who we are, over and over and god it’s fucking tiring!
If you are not a Walking Person, you have no right to use the word gypsy, PERIOD. This is not something that’s negotiable.