The problem with ‘The Original Gypsy Fair’ and Mr Jim Banks

In the recent NZ Herald article on businesses appropriating Romani culture, Jim Banks of The Original Gypsy Fair (a company that appropriate Romani culture) was quoted as saying that his parents were ‘full-blooded gypsies’.

However, he then goes on to say:
“they [Romani] are not a group or a race like New Zealanders or Filipinos, they might as well be a motorcycle gang” (Excuse me while I lol)

Firstly, Jim, you know you can google it right? If you’re having trouble with that, here’s a good link:

Secondly, he then goes on to say; “Gypsy is a lifestyle, not a breed… if I want to say gypsy, call my business gypsy, I have every right to.”

So, which is it, Jim?

Are you, in fact, ‘full-blooded Gypsy’ (implying ethnicity) or is being Gypsy/Romani simply a lifestyle choice?

I’ll answer for you as you seem to be confused.

1. Ethnicity is not a lifestyle choice.
2. Fetishism and appropriating a culture and its symbols, words, dress and modes, is racism. Period.

Author: pushapencil

Frances Roberts Reilly is a Romani poet, harpist and filmmaker born into a Welsh Romany/English family and now living in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

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