by Richard Kaldaras
It is said that
Gipsies, have lived in Egypt from the year 200 b.c. and that they
were Pharos' slaves. The Gipsies were and some still are very good
traditional craftmen and during the days of the Pharos the Gipsies
made shields, swords and knives for soldiers. As slaves the Gipsies
also had to row the big war ships. The Gipsies were nomads in those
days. They travelled by means of wagons drawn by oxen from place to
place across large areas in many parts of the world. They were housed
in tents like most of the people in those days. It is also said that
the Gipsies worked like today's circus people, they could shallow
swords and fire. They were also fortune-tellers for pharos women.
Although there were fears, these was also a curiousity about the powers
of fortune-telling. The Gipsies who were less talented were forced
to steal in order to take care of their families. The punishment for
stealing was severe, one of their hands was cut off.
Today there are
more then 35000 Gipsies living in Sweden today. Their forefathers
that is the parents of their grandparents migrated across Asia into
Europe under great hardship, and arrived in Sweden during 15th century.
It is said that in the 8th century a group of gipsies lived in the
town of Male in India. In the year 710 Gipsies were known to have
been seen in the town Pani before the migration continued though Asia.
Here is a list of places that the Gipsies visited during the migration
from the year 710.
- The Year 720
- The Year 730
in Panim Gua
- The Year 735
- The Year 780
- The Year 786
in Ahmada Bad
- The Year 800
- The Year 1000
- The year 1312
researchers say that the first Gipsies were found on the Island crete
(Greece). Many researchers believe that the Gipsies originate from India.
- The Year 1346
- The Year 1396
- The Year 1426
- The Year 1430
In the 14th century
the Gipsies call them selves " Dom " which means human being in the
Indian language. The Gipsies changed the letter D to a R " Rom " means
in Romani Gipsy man. The word human being is " Manosch " in Romani.
The year 1453 in France, the Gipsies were deported, tortyred
and called discriminating names.
The Year 1560
King Gustav Wasa was very cruel towards Gipsies who lived in Sweden.
Another King who treated the Gipsies cruelly was King Johan III. He
forced the Gipsies to work as slaves in the mines and many of them
were killed. Their children who also were forced to work in the mines
with their parents, many of them died in mine-explosions. Queen Kristina
ordered that all the Gipsy men in Sweden were to be sentenced to death
by hanging. The women and children were to be deported from Sweden,
and soon after they were then to be killed by Queen Kristina's soldiers.
Starting the year 1637 a new law was past in Sweden that all
Gipsies were to be executed without trial. This executions continued
until the 19th century.The year 1914 the Gipsies were not allowed
to enter Sweden. This law was abolished 1954.
Between the years
1939-1945 nearly 1 million Gipsies were executed in the concentration
camps by the nazis all around Europe during the second World war.
- The year 1970
Racial discrimination was forbidden by law, but I being a Gipsy still
find people who discriminate us in the year 2001.
- The year 1980.
The Gipsies made effort on their initiative to live in the Swedish society.
- The Swedes and
Gipsies met for the first time without any great problems. " A life
without racial discrimination ".
- The year 1990.
The Gipsies began to work in the Swedish society as school teachers,
music teachers and teachers of the native languages etc.
- The year 1999.
The Gipsies became a minority people in Sweden and were herewith be
called Rom instead of Gipsy. The Gipsy language was also also recognized
as a minority language in Sweden.
- The year 2000.
The Gipsies commence plans for developing schools, museums and libraries
for Gipsies in Sweden. Many people in Sweden still regard the Gipsies
as an uncivilized group of people. There are actually some Gipsies who
are educated and have a University degree, but in the Swedish society
there are many ignorant people that despise the Gipsies.
Facts About the Gipsies
- 1965 - The
Gipsies went to elementary school and the Gipsies were allowed to live
in flats for the first time in their life.
- 1991 - Gipsy
refugees from Bosnia and Serbia arrive in Sweden, many of whom settle
down in Sweden and many returned back to their home countries in 1996.
Recently I was informed that there is a national day which the Gipsies
celebrate the 8th of April.
- We have a Gipsy
flag that is very similar to the Indian flag which is more than 30 years
old, even this was news to me.
- 1999 - Gipsy
became a minority language called Romanes in Sweden. The language of
Romanes is divided into four different dialects as follows: Khelderasa,
Lovara, Sinti and Arlie.
Gipsies of today
ha the largest Gipsy population. There are about 10 million Gipsies
today. They are treated very badly by the native population. For example
they are not allowed to enter shops, they live in dirty conditions in
dilapidated houses with no water and electricity. Of course there are
exceptions where some have been able to get work and college education.
In a town in Czech Republic the people asked the government to build
a two metre high concrete wall around the part of the town where the
Gipsies lived in order to separate them from the other people in the
town. This wall was built. The Gipsies in the Czech Republic have great
difficulties, with the nazis (Skin heads), for example when they skin
heads burnt down a whole flat where Gipsy families lived, 3 children
died. The skin heads were released because there was a " lack " of evidence.
The wall was pull down the year 2000
well-known Romani musician
a guitarist from France who played jazz and invented a new music style
on the guitar. He was famous for because he played jazz swing quickly
with only the use of 3 fingers.
Gipsy Kings: Gipsies
from Spain who got famous because of their Flamenco music.
Here follows a list
of famous artists:
Ricardo from Germany,
Hans Caldaras, Taraf De Haidouks, Ando Drom, as well as the Gipsy Brothers.
Gypsy wedding is initiated by the boy´s parents visiting the girl´s
parents bringing food, drink and playing music in order to ask for the
permission to marry the girl. If the the girl and boy are fond of each
other and if the girl's parents accept the boy as her prospective husband,
they then become engaged and the boy's parents place a necklace round
the girl's neck and set a date for the wedding. This is called "Mangamos"
in the Romani language. The week prior to the wedding is very hectic.
All the shopping has to be arranged which includes food, drink, alcoholic
drink, flowers, cakes and the music has to be planned. The clothes have
to be purchased for the couple and all the invitations to the wedding
guests have to be made, either direct or by telephone. All together
the wedding ceremony and celebrations last the whole day. Many Gypsies
have two days of celebrations. Some families collect money donations
to the bridal couple, who also receive presents. This is called Daro
in the Romani language. There are also mixed-marriages. This was unheard
off by my parents but today it is quite usual.