If you search up g*psy in any social media platform you are likely to find ‘aesthetic shots of girls dressed up in g*psy inspired clothing. The majority of people seem to be unaware of how harmful it is to appropriate the g*psy culture. To start with, the term g*psy shouldn’t be used — it is a racial slur — thus why it is censored in the body of this article. People need to be educated about the harm they are causing whenever they caption their Instagram photos with ‘g*psy vibes’ or ‘g*psy soul’, please stop. People who seem so in love with the g*psy culture tend to compare it with the hippie culture, which is a rather ignorant thing to do. G*psies and hippies are not the same term and shouldn’t be compared as one.
If you call yourself g*psy simply because you like to travel, call yourself a traveler rather than a racial slur used against the Romani people.
The term g*psy is used to described Romani people; it originated in Europe as a degrading term to refer to them. As it is known, Romani people took into the traveling lifestyle to make money; it was when they settled in Eastern Europe that Europeans began calling them G*psies as they mistakenly assumed they were from Egypt.
G*psies were stereotyped to be thieves, criminals and low-class citizen –if they were even seen as citizens at all.
The Roma, or Romani people, spread through Spain where g*psy was translated to gitano. During the Muslim ruling, the Romani people lived freely; however, after the Christian conquest, between 1499 and 1783, rules were made against the Romani people. The g*tano clothing, customs, and language were banned. In 1539, France issued a nationwide expulsion order against the ‘g*psies’. This is just a glimpse of what Romani people have gone through in history, but the oppression against the Romani people does not stop there.
The Romani people continue to be oppressed today. A report in the UK shows that 9 out of 10 ‘g*psy’ children has suffered racial abuse. This and the bullying they have experienced has made them scared to attend school.
The stereotypes for the Romani people have not vanished over the years, they continue to be called dirty, thieves, and are treated like low-class citizens.
However, there is an upcoming holiday where people tend to forget how ‘dirty’ g*psies are and are quick to dress up with their signature style.
Halloween is coming up in a couple of weeks, a holiday that can be celebrated by people of all ages. Children dress up with costumes variating from cute to scary to walk the streets showing off their Halloween spirit and receiving candy for their efforts. Some adults enjoy dressing up to hand out candy, while other rather go out to spooky parties and celebrate the night where they can dress as whatever they like. However, this night made to wear costumes is not an invitation for people to appropriate culture. Avoid wearing costumes that can be viewed as an insult to another culture. Sexy G*psy costumes are insulting to the Romani people just as Native American and blackface costumes are inappropriate and harmful.
Check out this article for more information on why you must avoid cultural appropriation costumes this Halloween.