Stop stealing our culture, Romany Gypsy community says

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 4.27.46 PMBob Lovell Kamulo is interviewed by Nina Hindmarsh, journalist with New Zealand’s Nelson Mail Newspaper.

Read the entire article and watch the video here at Nelson Mail article.

Speaking of cultural appropriation by The Original Gypsy Fair, he’s said

being a Gypsy is not a lifestyle, nor an ethos or image to be used for commercial gain.”

Bob Lovell has been attempting to raise awareness over the issue for years, including lobbying the Government to stop businesses from exploiting Gypsy culture for profit.

Government of New Zealand Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi was asked to conduct a legal review to remove the term gypsy from all registered business names. Lovell says he has not responded.

Massey University professor Paul Spoonley, who specialises in race relations, says the New Zealand use of a label such as “gypsy” is troubling.

“Partly because some people use it to denigrate others, while some claim it when they have no right to. Gypsy is the colloquial term for Romany – and it is often used in unthinking ways by many New Zealanders.”

Academic and researcher, Cliff Harvey says

There is no other race for which the “caricaturising, appropriation of cultural icons, or the blatant use of racist terms” is still so widely accepted.

Says, Massey University professor Paul Spoonley:

“They certainly faced explicit racism and discrimination. In New Zealand, with a smaller Romany population, there tends to be a lot more ignorance. I can understand why local Romany get annoyed.”

“To misuse the term Gypsy by non-Roma and make claims based on a lifestyle is a gross misrepresentation of who we are as a race of people, and very misleading to the general public,” Lovell says.




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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