Letter to the Editor, New Zealand Herald
Here is my letter to the Editor of the New Zealand Herald protesting the season opener of The Original Gypsy Fair on November 17th, 2018 in Orewa, New Zealand.
I am Bob Lovell Kamulo, New Zealand born Romany/Gypsy, responding to the article, “No lawns or power bills for travellers at Original Gypsy Fair” by Laurel Stowell published in January 2018. As the “Gypsy Fair” gears up for its season opener in Orewa on November 17th, 2018, I am protesting in the strongest terms the appropriation of Romany/Gypsy culture by New Age hippies.
This “Gypsy Fair” is a great insult to the Roma/Romany Gypsy people worldwide. Our history is one of suffering great hardship and so much discrimination just for being born a Gypsy. For example, 500,000 Sinti Roma Gypsies were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz in WWII. Over hundreds of years our race has suffered discrimination and racist attacks with state sponsored separation of families, forcible emigration and worse. This continues today in many countries where our people are citizens.
Yet we have these New Age Hippies here in New Zealand travelling around trading as the “Original Gypsy Fair”, earning a living by pretending to be Gypsies. These hippies are making a living by romanticizing our culture. This must stop.
The “Original Gypsy Fair” is trading as a registered New Zealand business, trademarked and owned by Mr Jim Banks. This Fair was started some 20 years ago by an English couple who set it up on arrival in New Zealand. The couple in question are not Gypsies nor have they ever lived as Gypsy people. To date no true Gypsy has ever joined the Fair. Rather, the Fair has invited other like-minded people who want a free-wheeling lifestyle with “No lawns or power bills.”
If your readers know of our history and sufferings, perhaps this year, they will support us and stop this Romany Cultural Appropriation. And this newspaper will remove the “Original Gypsy Fair” ad from its event listings page.
Bob Lovell Kamulo