Today I’m continuing to share the fascinating culture of the Romany (Gypsies). If you missed Part One, check out last week’s post on July 24th.
It is no secret that the Rom have suffered persecution, prejudice, exclusion, and discrimination for centuries. The “Gypsy” stereotype includes a criminal, fortune-teller, blacksmith, thief, and musician, a dark-complexioned, shadowy figure. But why do so many of us harbor this unfair prejudice? Perhaps because of the Rom’s nomadic existence, lack of a solid religious belief, and exotic clothes and lifestyle. Their dialect is distinct and related to Sanskrit. Their tradition is oral, for they didn’t have the luxury of building libraries.
I explore many of their beliefs in my novels, including Seeking Patience.
One belief shared by all Rom is cleanliness. Mahrime means unclean or polluted. To avoid mahrime, clothes covering the top half of their body are washed separately from clothes on the bottom. Certain parts of the female body are considered unclean, and doctors are sometimes avoided because they deal with illness. And, a Rom can become polluted by being too close to a gadje. A gadje is considered a stranger to a Rom, “not one of us.”
Hope you enjoyed this two-part blog and the fascinating culture of the Romany. (Gypsies)
Do you have a favorite story about meeting a Romany (Gypsy), or are you familiar with any of the Rom terms I’ve shared the past couple of weeks?
Please share your comments below, along with your email address, and one lucky winner will receive a free ebook copy of one of my sweet romance novellas. The winner can select their choice of either I Love You More, or A Snowy White Christmas Winner will be announced the week of August 1st.
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Seeking Patience, second edition, a Regency, Sweet, Inspirational full-length novel featuring a Romany (Gypsy) hero and a widowed countess.
Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband of 40 years. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.
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