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Gypsies



     "Gitano" (gypsy) in Spanish can be derogatory or favorable, meaning vivacious, attractive. Gypsies actually came from India, but the word reflects the belief that they came from Egypt. The French "Bohémiens" indicates the belief that they came from Bohemia, which is significant in that Bohemia has recently been the scene of anti-gypsy protests. The gypsies were told to go back to Spain, which is where Bohemians apparently think they came from.
     As a previous posting mentioned, a group of them came to Spain, on their best behavior. They were well received officially, and at a meeting were told to go back to their countries and be good citizens. Spain obviously did not want them. This is understandable, as gypsies have in Spain a well-earned ill reputation. Many European countries are now cracking down on gypsies trying to gain admission.
     Anti-gypsy feeling had obviously grown in Spain. Three gypsy children turned up at a school in the Basque provinces run by Salesians. The priests admitted them, but the families of other children protested that the gypsies would teach their children bad habits, and the children boycotted the school, Only the three gypsy children attended.

Ronald Hilton - 5/11/00


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