Romas and Hindus

Madonna criticized for not doing enough for the Roma

Madonna can’t seem to catch a break over her support of the Roma community of Eastern Europe – Hindu leaders are convinced she should be doing more to help.

The pop superstar was booed at a concert in Bucharest, Romania in August when she called for tolerance towards the discriminated gypsies and has since donated a pair of Christian Dior shoes to an auction held to raise cash for a leading education charity aimed at raising funds for Roma children.

But, despite the gratitude of gypsy leaders, the singer has been attacked by Hindu groups for not doing more.

The religious leaders believe the Roma people migrated to mainland Europe from India in the 11th century; they are believed to have their roots in the Hindu culture.

Rajan Zed, the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says, “Hindus are urging Madonna to wholeheartedly undertake the Roma cause and do substantially more than just donating a used pair of shoes for the Roma charity.

“Madonna is the highest-earning musician of the world, making around $110 million in a 12-month period; she should do more for the Roma people, who are facing apartheid conditions.

“She has promoted humanitarian causes the world over and Roma would be the next worthwhile cause for her to undertake… Madonna should not stay an apathetic and silent spectator when our Roma brothers and sisters were reportedly facing blatant injustice and discrimination in Europe.”

The pop superstar, who recently laid the foundations for a new school she is funding, was a big hit at the Halloween night Ovidiu Rom charity auction – her designer shoes sold for a reported $16,000.

A gold chain donated by British actress Vanessa Redgrave went under the hammer at the auction for $8,000.

Proceeds from the event will be used to buy clothes and school books for Roma children.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Romas and Hindus

  1. Nam

    The Roma people were my subject of research for a long time. It is true their culture is rooted in Indian culture and their language Romani has its roots in Sanskrit. A very persecuted race discriminated against in every aspect in European society. I once saw a Roma woman on a train in Italy and she was literally crying, because when she sat down on a seat, everyone around her moved away to other seats… this kind of discrimination is rampant and they’ve been surviving in it for a thousand years.

    • sanjaychoudhry

      And these White people are the ones who shed crocodile tears about India’s “caste” system (which they themselves invented through church scholarship and census).

  2. Nam, you should publish your research/ thesis on the Roma people if possible so that it reaches more people.

  3. S

    Yes, the Romas are from India, and are referred to as “Gypsies” in Europe. They were burnt (as were other non-christian Europeans) for being witches by the early catholics, and were also on Hitler’s list along with the Jews.

  4. Nam

    Kannon, actually, it wasn’t a very serious research. I do have a stack of information I collected from various books and online sources, but the research was just out of personal curiosity than a more professional motivation. In those years I also frequently spoke to professors of anthropology and religion who knew about the subject at my university.

    Spain (where I now live) is probably the place where Gypsies are best integrated into mainstream European society. In fact most Gypsies I’ve conversed with are proud to call themselves Gypsies and often make the statement “we carry the same blood” when I say I’m Indian. Thing is, in Spain, like in most other European countries, they were persecuted. But the phenomenon that ended up happening here is that they were prohibited from living their nomadic lifestyle and speaking their language (approx from the 1470’s onwards) which resulted in their becoming “Spanish” much quicker than in other places. Their language is called Caló, which is a hybrid between Romaní and Spanish. And the really interesting thing is, modern day-to-day Spanish contains infinite words and references that the Gypsy language has contributed to Spanish. In fact, in the days of my research I used to take great interest in reading the dictionary of Caló (found on several Romani websites online) and comparing words in Caló to Hindi – and the similarities are baffling. Words like ¨chav¨for boy, pani for water and daant for teeth… a robber is called ¨chorizo¨which comes from the word ¨chor¨and several several more examples. This is only the comparison to Hindi… but I’m sure somebody that speaks Punjabi, Sindhi, Kashmiri will find even more similarities with the Romani language as the region the Gypsies migrated out of 1000 years ago is what is modern day Punjab, Sindh, HP, maybe even Kashmir.

    Maybe in time, I will dig out some of the information I’ve collected on this subject and post it to my blog.

    Hari Om.

  5. VoP

    Unrelated but I did not about this barbaric practice of White Christians in Denmark

    http://www.eface.in/denmark-is-a-big-shame-to-whole-world/

  6. S

    Nam, if you go through Latin, you will find many Sanskrit words (either pure, or slightly changed) in it. Also, while studying English (British), one is struck by the presence of Sanskrit/Hindi words. A long time back a Slav with whom I used to chat told me that Serbian has descended from Sanskrit as well, and English developed from other Proto-European languages so English is not a direct descendant of Sanskrit, but of other European languages that descended directly from Sanskrit/Hindi (the word Hindi means classical Hindi, and not the heavily urduized language of Bollywood).

  7. Bhakti

    Romas fled India because of invading Muslims:

    Roma is a variation of “ramante,” a Punjabi word meaning moving, wandering. This etymology is cogently discussed in W.R. Rishi’s book “ROMA: The Panjabi Emigrants in Europe, second edition” published in 1996 by Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India. Rishi traces the origin of the Roma to the 500, 000 prisoners of war taken by Muhamad Ghaznvi in 1001 from the Punjab to Afghanistan and subjected to Islamic conversion by the sword. Many of them resisted by escaping westward to the Christian lands of Armenia and Greece. To this day, the Roma use the word Gajo, derived from Ghazi– the Koranic title of infidel-killing Muslims– as a disparaging term. The Roma are from the warrior castes of the Punjab.

    The Roma appeared in Europe first in 1300 A.D., fleeing from forcible Islamic conversions by the Turks.

    http://www.indiastar.com/wallia2.htm

  8. Krishnamoorthy Iyer

    Hello

    I am Krishnamoorthy V. Iyer, from Mumbai (Bombay), India, a Ph.D student in Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay. I am happy to see that we (Hindus/Indians) have begun to form bridges with our long-lost brethren the Roma. My sincerest hopes that these rediscovered ties will prove of mutual benefit, and that we can be of assistance and support to the Roma people.

    Sincerely
    Krishnamoorthy.

  9. World Hindu Forum should be formed to highlight plight of Hindus like Romas in Europe, Abhorgines in Australia , Minority Hindus in Pakistan , Afghanistan , Bangladesh , Malaysia , Indonesia.
    This will help Hinduism flourish and reach its supreme position in the world

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