3.9.2001 / From the
Spanish organization Union Romaní and picking up the
majority feeling from the gypsy organizations of all the world, we
want to manifest our absolute unconformity with the denomination
used to allude to the gypsy people in the documents that are being
elaborated in the diverse Commissions of the World Conference
against the Racism.
When someone speaks of us he would allude to
the gypsy people, romà, romanies, gitano,
sinti or nomads as if they were different people
linked by common problems.
From our organization, we
claim respect for the only name for which the gypsies from all the
world want to be known and identified which is the term “ROMÀ”
-with tonic accent in the “a” as an acute word. ROMÀ is the
plural of the nominative “ROM” and it means simply
“GYPSIES.” We are the “ROMÀ”, that is to say “THE
Starting from this substantive, and in
accordance with the declension which that term is subjected to in
the gypsy language, you can use the expression romaní as
the singular feminine genitive form that literally means “of the
gypsy”, or “what is characteristic of the gypsy community”.
The masculine genitive is romanò.
We accept the
complementary term “SINTI”, only and exclusively when it
refers to a group of German gypsies who recognize themselves with
this denomination, always complementary of the common and
universal noun that is ROMÀ. Thus ROMÀ/Sinti can be said to
identify this minority group, or ROMÀ/gitanos to refer to the
Spanish gypsies or ROMÀ/gypsy simply to fix in English which
populational group we are referring to.
We absolutely reject the denomination nomads
because of its generic as imprecise character. Incorporating the
translation of this expression for the universal denomination of
our people is not justified by the fact of the existence of a tiny
minority of persons who call themselves travellers.
from all over the world are making a great effort so that the
society contemplates and accepts us as a single town, integrated
for more than twelve million people who live fundamentally in
Europe (10 millions) and in America (2 millions and a half). We
are bearers of a common history in their origins and of an
identical culture in the fundamental thing. The stubbornness of
the documents editors in referring to us with multiple
denominations contributes to distort still more the image that the
majority society has about us, as well as to make more difficult
our desire to appear in the presence of the public powers as a
town that speaks with a single voice and remains united in the
formulation of its fair recoveries.
Finally, we want to make notice how the gypsy ONGs, present
in this World Conference against the Racism, use all the same
terminology to be identified. “European ROMA Rights Center”,
of Hungary; “Union ROMANI”, of Spain; “Proceso Organizativo
del Pueblo ROM”, of Colombia; “Pueblo ROM”, of Ecuador;
“ROM Star Organization”, “ROMA Students Association” and
“RROMA Center for Public Policies Aven amentza”, last three of
Rumania; and “Romano Lil, ROMA Community and Advocacy Center”,
as well as “Western Canadian ROMANI Alliance”, both of Canada.