The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164815 Message #3948963
Posted By: KarenH
08-Sep-18 - 06:24 AM
Thread Name: The 'Gypsy' Controversy
Subject: RE: The 'Gypsy' Controversy
I have only knowingly met people from travelling communities a few times. In one case, the people themselves disliked being called 'gypsies' and wanted to be referred to as 'travellers', though they did not move around and were agitating for a decent static site. The washing rituals of this group was felt (not by me, no expert) to link them to Indian origins. This community also emphatically saw themselves as 'English', pointing out that some of them had fought in WW II for the British. The context was they felt they had contributed to society and merited somewhere decent to put their caravans as a result.
In a second case, use was made of the term 'gypsies', at least when talking to people from outside the community. The person I knew best was a Boswell and said their grandfather was 'king of the gypsies'.
I would guess as a courtesy, it's a good idea to ask people how they would like to be referred to and to go with that.