In our work we have chosen to use the term ‘Gypsy’ primarily because those groups we refer to and spoke to in our research choose to define themselves as such. Many of the people we spoke to did not choose to define themselves as ‘Travellers’ as, they argued, they no longer travelled. They also suggested they would always be seen as Gypsies by society at large and would always remain Gypsies regardless of their economic circumstances. Despite a recognition of the pejorative associations linked to the use of the term ‘Gypsy’ by non-Gypsies, the people we spoke to understood the term as having positive associations with their communities and culture. Our use of this term may be seen as ‘giving voice’ to and legitimising the viewpoint of those people who informed our research. Here we agree with Okely (1983), who has argued that self-identification is the means by which ethnic identity is achieved and maintained. In order to legitimise the experiences of the group we have studied we have chosen to use their own self-ascription, rather than defining them ourselves.
The Rom in Romania were held as slaves for 400 years, and during that time many, like the Rudari, lost the Romanes language and now speak only Romanian. I met a lot of them in Bulgaria, where they worked as dancing bear leaders, and in Hungary and Croatia, where they are called Baias - known in the US as Boyash Gypsies.
the remarks pointing out its offensiveness have been moved here, where they are far less visible
Cortex, what possible damage would occur if the post were deleted until flapjax agreed to edits?
Whether or not all cultural historians agree with the premise that Gypsies (or Roma, as you prefer) came to Europe originally from India
I suggest that you find out what terms they wish others to call them, and use those terms. It is usually not a very great burden.
Not even remotely. I think that finding out what the right term to use to describe someone -- or, if you don't know, to say that you do not know -- is the best course of action. You don't need to do more than that to be civil.
You also seem to think that letting a post stand grants it implicit approval. It does not do this! But under your proposed system, every post the mods don't edit or delete would in fact have implicit approval. So not only do people get mad at having their post messed with, now the mods are directly responsible for the wording and nuance of every single post and comment on the site. That's simply untenable.
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