Friday, September 5, 2014

Hungarian Gypsies

Hungarian Gypsies aka Roma! An ethnic group in Eastern and Southern Europe. Gypsies aka Roma are believed to have originated in the northern part of the Indian Subcontinent. They began their migration to Europe and North Africa via the Iranian plateau about 1,000 years ago.

Hungarian Gypsy violinist Balazs Nyari
Celebrating gypsies worldwide. I've got the gypsy in me; perhaps you do too! For the purpose of my article, Hungarian Gypsies are representative of the "Roma" people of Hungary and Romania. According to Wikipedia, the Roma are an ethnic group in Southern and Eastern Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East.

Traditionally most Roma spoke Romani, an Indo-Aryan language likely derived from Sanskrit. Today, however, most Roma speak the dominant language of their region of residence. An ethnic group in Eastern and Southern Europe: Gypsies aka Roma!

This handsome "gypsy" is Balazs Nyari. He entertained us at our dinner in Heviz, Hungary. Please see the playlist below from his CD.

Photo Credit: Gypsy violinist Balazs Nyari photographed in Heviz by JaguarJulie.

Cast your vote about Gypsies Music!
A favorite of mine as I love the music of Gypsies! How do you feel about Gypsy music?
  1. I love it!
  2. I can live without it. 

A History of the Romani People

Kyuchukov and Hancock, both Romanies, offer a brief, useful introduction to their people. Misnamed Gypsies since the 15th century because they were mistakenly thought to be Egyptians, the Romani, and their customs, have been deeply misunderstood. In clear language, the two-page chapters explain their way of life.

Marriage, childbirth, occupations (fortune-telling, woodworking, bear-training), traditional law, and death are touched upon. Historical hardships, from mistrust by local populaces to persecution by the Nazis, are also discussed. One statement, Even today....In some places we are forced to live with curfews in walled ghettos with no running water or electricity, lacks documentation. It would be helpful to know where and why these abuses occur. Endpapers show Romani population around the world. Plentiful, full-color photographs, both contemporary and archival, show these people as hardworking, celebratory, and family-oriented.

A boxed sample of the Romani language is included. Anne Wallace Sharp's The Gypsies (Gale, 2003) offers more in-depth information.

Gypsy Children Playing Violin in StreetGypsy Children Playing Violin in StreetGypsy Children Playing Violin in StreetGypsy Children Playing Violin in StreetGypsy Children Playing Violin in Street

Gypsy CD: Nyari Balazs - Nepi Zepekara

I bought this cute gypsy's CD for USD $20. It's actually a pretty good CD--I'm looking to see if it's available on the internet. Here is a listing of that playlist:
  • Suha B. Jozsef - Tuzes Csardas
  • Treger Andor - Romanc
  • Tosselli - Szerenad
  • Kalman Imre - Huzd Cigany
  • Cirkusz Polka
  • Hegedus A Hazleton (reszlet)
  • Romeo & Julia
  • Lehar Ferenc - Messzre A Nagy Erdo
  • Sirtaki - Zorba
  • Lehar Ferenc - Volga-Lied
  • Kalman Imre - Alom, Alom
  • Kalman Imre - Vilia Dal
  • Klarinet Polka
  • Kalman Imre - A Szerelem Furcsa Jatek
  • Kalman Imre - Jaj Mama
  • Dinicu - Pacsirta
  • Cigany Notak
Keszthely Gypsies

Keszthely Gypsies
During our stay at the Club Dobogomajor in Cserszegtomaj, we ventured into the town of Keszthely for dinner one night and found a wonderfully quaint restaurant with a group of gypsies who performed during our dinner.

This is the actual group that entertained us that evening.

Gypsies: An Illustrated History

In this lively and informative book, Jean-Pierre Liégeois traces the origins of the Gypsies in a sympathetic though not uncritical portrayal.

Ideal for anyone who wishes to learn more about this misunderstood people.

"This book deserves to find a wide readership." ~ The Bookseller

"A lively and informative book." ~ The Morning Star

"Provides information about this scattered and diverse ethnic group with few records of their own, filled out with a rich collection of photographs." ~ Soros

Budapest Gypsy Violinist.

Budapest Gypsy Violinist

We were serenaded near the Danube River! We stayed in Budapest at The Marriott on the River. Throughout our stay there, we’d sit at the open air cafe out back on the Danube River.

This particular gypsy violinist was there every evening playing his violin. I feel this picture truly captures the Hungarian feeling.

British civil servant Fraser offers a thorough, scholarly survey of the origins and history of the Gypsies, the wandering pilgrims who arrived in the Balkans during the Middle Ages and gradually spread over Europe and beyond. In an academic but readable style, he writes of the Gypsies' linguistic and anthropological background, their migrations through Persia and Europe, the 15th-century persecution of them and their attempts to survive repressive legislation.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, attitudes toward the Gypsies became somewhat more benign, though the Gypsies continued to resist assimilation. Fraser mentions that Gypsies joined the waves of immigrants to the United States but does not elaborate on their experiences here.

After discussing Nazi repression and extermination of Gypsies, he addresses current conditions: migrations are spurred primarily by economic concerns, pentecostal Christianity is becoming popular and Gypsies are forming political organizations.

The Gypsies

Since their unexplained appearance in Europe over nine centuries ago, the Gypsies have refused to fall in with conventional settled life. They remain a people whose culture and customs are beset with misunderstanding, and who cling to their distinct identity in the teeth of persistent rejection and pressure to conform. This book describes their history.

British civil servant Fraser offers a thorough, scholarly survey of the origins and history of the Gypsies, the wandering pilgrims who arrived in the Balkans during the Middle Ages and gradually spread over Europe and beyond. In an academic but readable style, he writes of the Gypsies' linguistic and anthropological background, their migrations through Persia and Europe, the 15th-century persecution of them and their attempts to survive repressive legislation.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, attitudes toward the Gypsies became somewhat more benign, though the Gypsies continued to resist assimilation. Fraser mentions that Gypsies joined the waves of immigrants to the United States but does not elaborate on their experiences here.

After discussing Nazi repression and extermination of Gypsies, he addresses current conditions: migrations are spurred primarily by economic concerns, pentecostal Christianity is becoming popular and Gypsies are forming political organizations.

Budapest Gypsy Schmoozing

Budapest Gypsy Schmoozing

About the time that we saw the gypsy violinist, we spotted this gypsy obviously schmoozing.

He was sitting on the fence in front of the train stop outside The Marriott on the Danube River.

I couldn’t help but wonder what he was making of us as he sat there twirling his beaded necklace. He probably thought we were schoomzing!

A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia

Crowe, a historian and scholar who has previously edited a collection of conference papers on this topic, places the Gypsy experience within the context of the development of six nations-Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Yugoslavia. Crowe has extensively documented his study, relying upon standard histories, documents, and recently identified sources from the region in many languages.

He seeks to present both the contribution of the Gypsies to each nation examined as well as the prejudice they experienced there. He makes the point that until Gypsies are treated more fairly, mistrust between them and other citizens will continue to block their integration into national life.

Budapest Gypsy Snoozing

Budapest Gypsy Snoozing

We had walked a few blocks from The Marriott hotel. I believe it was a Sunday and there was a Festival in Budapest.

We spotted this young man snoozing on a park bench. It was difficult to tell if he had been partying the night before or if he may have been homeless.

We Are the Romani People

Written by a Romani (gypsy), this introduction to Roma life, health, food, culture, and society provides an insightful look at this despised by mysterious minority originating in India. Extensively illustrated, it looks at the people, their history since leaving India 1,000 years ago, and their rejection and exclusion from society in the countries where they settled. It offers candid advice on rejecting prejudices and stereotypes and getting to know the Roma as individuals, with short biographies of Roma in many different walks of life.

Ian Hancock received his Ph.D. from London University and teaches Romani studies at the University of Texas, Austin, where he is the director of the Romani Archives and Documentation Center. He was born in Britain but descends on his father's side from the Benczi Imre family, which left Hungary in the second half of the 19th century. In 1998 President Clinton appointed him to represent Romanies on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. he is the author of over 300 books and articles, mostly on the Roma.

The Gypsies

At the age of twelve, Jan Yoors ran away from his privileged, cultured Belgian family and home to join a wandering band, a kumpania, of Gypsies. For ten years, he lived as one of them, traveled with them from country to country, shared both their pleasures and their hardships--and came to know them as no one, no outsider, ever has. Here, in this firsthand and highly personal account of an extraordinary people, Yoors tells the real story of the Gypsies' fascinating customs and their never ending struggle to survive as free nomads in a hostile world.

In a rare publishing event, Jan Yoors' The Gypsies became an instant classic upon its original publication. Waveland Press is proud to make this extraordinary work available again. The reprint includes a stunning section of photographs taken by the author during his travels with European Gypsies.

The Roma Minority Today
  • The real number of the Roma people in Hungary is a very much disputed question.
  • In the 2001 census only 190,000 people called themselves Roma but sociological estimates give much higher numbers (about 5-10 percent of the total population).
  • Since the 2nd world war Roma people are increasing rapidly and their number septupled in the last century.
  • Romas suffer particular problems in Hungary.
  • Currently slightly more than 80% of Roma children complete primary education, but only one third continue studies into the intermediate (secondary) level.
  • A large proportion of young Roma are qualified in subjects that provide them only limited chances for employment.
  • Less than 1 % of Roma hold higher educational certificates.
  • Their low status on the job market and higher unemployment rates cause poverty, widespread social problems and crime.
Gypsies aka Romani


Roma People - From Wikipedia: The Roma people (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom), often referred to as Gypsies.
Romani Language - From Wikipedia: Romani (or Romany) is the language of the Roma and Sinti, peoples often referred to in English as "Gypsies".
Roma Rights - Attempt to move Roma sparks civil rights activity, anti-Roma backlash in Hungary.
Romani World - The International Representation of the Roma.
Roma in Hungary - Paper prepared by the Research Directorate of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
Republic of Hungary - Roma people comprise about 2.0% of the Hungarian population today.

Historical Info on Gypsies


The Gypsies in Hungary - The Gypsies are Europe's most deprived and fastest growing ethnic minority. They comprise several distinct tribes originating from Central and North-Western India between the 5th and 12th centuries.
Hungarian Gypsy Music: Whose Heritage? - The Hungarian instrumental dance music of the early 19th century--so-called "verbunkos" music--along with Hungarian popular songs ("magyar nóta" in Hungarian) and the csárdás, are referred to even by Hungarians themselves using one word, cigányzene (Gypsy music).
Golden Age of Gypsy Bands - In the second half of the nineteenth century, the word 'Gypsy' as used in Hungary and abroad most probably referred to Hungarian Gypsy musicians rather than to the Gypsy ethnic group in general.
Hungarian-Speaking Gypsies - Each tribe had its own occupation and spoke a separate language or dialect of Romany (the original Gypsy tongue). Hungarian-speaking Gypsies, or Romungros who were among the first to come to Hungary centuries ago, produced bricks and did other work with adobe. Romungros were also musicians from the eighteenth century onwards.
Gypsy Shool in Uzhorod - The modern city of Uzhorod had a unique feature - a school for Gipsies.

Celebrating the joy of being Hungarian and gypsy!

What the heck???? The Caravan is Coming? What does that mean exactly? Well, for me i.e. Jaguar Julie, I have found some real joy and pleasure in listening to Gogol Bordello and their rendition of Pala Tute. I’ve included that YouTube video for you herein [oh, sorry for the legal speak]! Well, this fabulously colorful and engaging video kicks off with the words, “Caravan is Coming!” I know what that means to me … as does my mom and my friends who MATTER! The past few months haven’t been FUN ones like we would have hoped for. But, thank you to a little GYPSY PUNK i.e. Gogol Bordello … I have found my JOY.

Let’s see if YOU can get into the groove of it … a little gypsy music which is different than YOU would expect. Trust me, it can become quite addictive. “Heck, this guy surely beats the living heck out of that Borat guy!” Who said THAT???? Why I did! Trust me … I AM Jaguar Julie and I am Hungarian. Oh, and I haven’t lost my mind just yet!!!

The Gypsies Fan Club - Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts on Gypsies aka Roma.

I hope you enjoyed my article and perhaps found it informative. I'd love to hear from you. It is with great affection that I write about Hungarian topics. I've got that gypsy in me, after all. And, so does my mom!!

History: Hungarian Gypsies aka Roma was originally created on Squidoo by JaguarJulie on April 4, 2006. Highest lensrank ever achieved: #451 overall. Lens #5 in the quest for Giant Squid 100 Club Charter Member 2007.

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