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The term "Gypsy"?

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  • Really interesting discussion, I had no idea of any of this.... most of my friends aren't overly PC, so describing the music as 'Gypsy Jazz' hasn't been a problem (and let's face it, as a 'brand name' it is very convenient) ... but I've been waiting for some idiot to tell me it should be called something else ... G-word jazz, anyone? ... or should Gadje really be the G-word?

    And a great article from Dennis Chang! I've often wondered if 'Django' really meant what they said, but it makes much more sense for it to be some sort of nickname derived from Jean.

    I'd also love to know is there is any real historical reason - other than just the usual tribalism - for Sintis to dislike Roma?

    ... and Django is often described as a Roma ... so does the German name definitely mean he was Sinti?
  • Ian StenlundIan Stenlund Minnesota, USA Gallato Django
    dennis wrote: »
    I wrote a lot about this topic here, so I don't have much to add.

    http://denischang.com/index.php/2015/08/09/sinti-culture-language-and-the-origin-of-the-name-django/

    I will say that this very past week, I hosted Dorado Schmitt's family in my home (minus Dorado himself), and this week, I have Sinti from Germany here. We actually talked about this. They have no problems with the word Gypsy. They don't find it offensive at all. However, I will, of course, never lump everyone into the same category. I will happily call anyone by how they want to be called. But I would definitely be annoyed if a non-Gypsy tells me not to use that word because it's offensive. A friend of mine in SF used the term Gypsy Jazz and was corrected and told he should call it Roma Jazz. I guarantee you that it would royally piss off a Sinto if that were to happen.

    So, it seems like many clans or tribes don't mind the generic term "gypsy", but do mind if you confuse the clans.

    Either way, the question remains, would it be more appropriate for us (in the USA and others abroad) to simply call it Jazz Manouche? Since that is what it is called in France, and since manouche is interchangeable with Sinti?
    MHC
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Just say Gypsy Jazz , it's the term that stuck (although it's fairly recent). Only the French say Jazz Manouche. In Germany or Holland, they either say Django style or Gypsy Jazz or even Sinti Jazz.

    First of all, most people don't even know that Gypsies exist as an ethnicity/culture. It's already a very confusing word to many people. If you start saying stuff like Jazz Manouche or Sinti Jazz, people will be even more confused.

    Again, this week I have been hosting Sinti from Germany. When I converse with them at the restaurant in Romanes, the waittresses are always asking what language we are speaking. When we say it's the Gypsy language, they have a look of confusion in their face, and don't know how to respond haha

    BTW that article that I shared was written a number of years ago. It needs a bit of an update, as I have more knowledge than I did before!

    As to why Sinti don't want to be lumped into the same group with Roma, it's a very complex issue, and part of it has to do with the opening of borders and influx of extremely poor Roma moving to countries like France and Germany. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case with people in poverty, there are instances of crime. The Sinti want to make it clear that they are not part of this group. The Sinti have been living in those countries for centuries; they have developed their own distinct culture, the same way the Americans have developed their own culture.

    Ian Stenlund
  • BonesBones Moderator
    dennis wrote: »

    First of all, most people don't even know that Gypsies exist as an ethnicity/culture. It's already a very confusing word to many people. If you start saying stuff like Jazz Manouche or Sinti Jazz, people will be even more confused.

    Yes, I can imagine how confusing it would be to most people. I'm confused and I'm paying attention. So GENERALLY speaking, Sinti (Manouche) are from the areas of western Europe, Roma are from eastern, and Gitan are from Spain, and Tzigane???
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Di Mauro x 3, Sonora, Favino (classical), Bucolo, Patenotte, Hoyer, Martino resonator and a few electrics.
    Tzigane is used particularly among German speaking people to just mean Gypsy, but some English dictionaries define it as referring to 'especially Hungarian' gypsies. So, clear as mud then?

  • Thanks again Dennis, look like that 'old immigrants looking down on the new immigrants' thing is a pretty consistent in all cultures!

    So, just for the avoidance of doubt, was Django definitely a Sinti and not Roma?
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Di Mauro x 3, Sonora, Favino (classical), Bucolo, Patenotte, Hoyer, Martino resonator and a few electrics.
    cjl wrote: »
    So, just for the avoidance of doubt, was Django definitely a Sinti and not Roma?

    Django was usually called Manouche, and he and his people from around northern France and Belgium seem to generally use that term. Even if his surname sounds Germanic, presumably the tribes had been moving around from previous generations, I never heard any of the Reinhardts being referred to as German. As far as I know the term Sinti is more often used by German and Dutch speaking people, but it seems acceptable to use Manouche or Sinti for the Reinhardts so in the end it seems they are one and the same, and as they freely crossed borders and married within tribes is there really any difference today? Roma, or Romani however is a general term for all gypsies, so while all Sinti are also Roma, not all Roma are Sinti.
    Ian Stenlund
  • ShemiShemi Cardiff✭✭✭
    edited September 24
    I've just put in a new bookcase so we could get our books out of storage after moving home and came across this book.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/dec/07/society


    I haven't read it but it looks at aspects of Romani culture, politics, language and even cuisine! The section on language seems to attempt to introduce some of the vocabulary, grammar and syntax of Romanes. There is a listing for Sinti in the appendix and even a picture of Django! My wife has helped many of the Romani community in Cardiff to settle as many of them speak Czech of Slovak so she often helped as an interpreter and by advocating on their behalf. She also started learning some Romanes phrases from the book it seems.

    It seems to have been written by a Romani who teaches Romani studies at the University of Texas. I thought I'd share it with you fine folks as it may be of interest.
    BucoIan Stenlund
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