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People of Gypsy Heritage

I would like to apply for the job of Information Co-ordinator for people of Gypsy heritage.

Gypsies are an oppressed group. For centuries we have been an important part of the working class, forming the seasonal and migrant labour force that enables capitalism to operate. Now that it suits capitalism to cast other groups in these roles, the nomadic Gypsy culture is under threat. In England and Wales, the government is making legislation that could enforce assimilation by making the travelling life-style, in any viable form, illegal. In their travelling way of life, Gypsies have retained many of the survival skills that others will need to relearn when capitalism collapses.

It is probable that most of the Gypsies currently in RC will be the children or grandchildren of Gypsies who 'settled' (i.e. chose to live in houses), so we will all have experienced some degree of assimilation. Because of this, we may not feel that being Gypsy is an important part of our identity.

This feeling will be reinforced by the profound invisibility, which is both physical -- we are white, and mostly live in "white" countries -- and cultural/institutional.

I have already made contact with some people of Gypsy heritage in the North of England. We plan to meet as a Wygelian group in January 1994.

Teresa Smith

West Yorkshire, England

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00