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Romani Religion

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The Romani Religion

There are many so-called and often self-proclaimed experts in Romani Studies that will vehemently deny that we Romani People do have a Religion of our very own. They will claim that we just use the religions of the peoples that we come across. Isn't it rather amazing that those Gypsy-ologists would easily admit that this or that group of peoples or tribe has a religion of their own, originally, and often still keep it but when it comes to the Romani People they claim that we did not and do not. I find this rather strange if not indeed bizarre for them to claim this but claim they do it. 

The Rom would never have remained as removed and aloof from the non-Romani society had it not have had something to do with a Religion that is part and parcel of the Romani Race. That is the only explanation that makes sense as regards to the separateness that has been kept and to all the various behavior codes. 

Basically one could say that the true and ancient Religion of the Romani People is a kind of proto-Hinduism and indeed the very base and foundation to the Hindu-Religion in fact. However, it predates the Hinduism that we know today with the little gods here and there and the caste system. In addition to the basic Gods that are worshipped in the Religion of the Rom, my People, the are practices of animism, which I know are also be found in India but also in the Siberian tundra, and the veneration of the Powers of Nature, that run deep within the true Romani Faith.

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Much like a great majority, if not indeed all, of the Native Americans, who believe that the Earth is a Living Being and that everything on Earth, every tree, every animal and bird, every plant and even blade of grass, as well as rivers, lakes, and even stones have souls and spirits, the true Romani who still have knowledge of the Puro Romano Drom believe virtually exactly the same. The probability therefore would not be that far removed that our two groups of People may, originally, come from a common rootstock of peoples in Siberia. The original swastika can also be found in many designs of a large number of tribes of the North American First Nations. I am full aware that the swastika is but the symbol of the sun, in fact the broken sun-wheel in the same way as the triskele, the three-legged version is, and the latter was once in common use with the Romanichals and some other Romani groups. 

 

Having just said all this here I can now here some people ask, "But if we have a Religion of our own why are we then Christians or Muslims in the main? Why indeed?" The answer here is that we thought it expedient - and it probably was a lifesaver at times - to, on the face of it, convert to these Gadje religions or profess belonging to them. This was done in an attempt to escape even greater persecution than the ones we endured for just being of a slightly different color of skin and having a different style of life.

 

And it must be remembered that we even gave a "Saint" to the Catholic Church - though mainly revered only by the Romani - that of the Black Sara, Sara-la-Kali and the place of pilgrimage of Sainte Marie-de-la-Mere. But Sara-la-Kali (Sara the Black) is nothing but the Goddess Kali in a different cloak.

However, taking on those religious cloaks did not do us any good at all in more than just one way. The persecutions continued despite the fact and many of us have lost much of our Culture, our Traditions and Rites by doing this - by trying to assimilate and integrate. And so we can - to some degree - come back to our Roots and rediscover some aspects of the ancient path, the Puro Romano Drom, that are still known, this website and its corresponding email list exist.

Veshengro

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In the articles that shall follow some aspects of the Romani Religion will be made available to the general public. Those will, however, not probe the depths of the Religion and Practices of my People in any way, because those are permitted to be discussed only amongst Romani and to mention them to outsiders is rather taboo.