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Records from the 13th century show that when the Rromani people first arrived in European countries, they were generally very well received. Because of the horses and the dogs they brought with them, and because of the clothes they wore, they were often seen as nobles. In a conversation with a collaborator of the Musée de l'Homme who is preparing an exhibition on the history of racist prejudices, Marcel Courthiade relates the European history of the Rromani people from its very beginning, detailing when, where and why discrimination and the stereotypes of the nomadic gypsies appeared. Contrary to the history of the Jewish people, there was no clear religious argument: Rromani people displayed a remarkably high capacity to adapt to very different cultural and religious surroundings, as Courthiade shows: they celebrated religious festivities and rituals with Christians, Jews, and Muslims without distinction. But that didn't prevent them from being labelled until today as the people that are different and unable to adapt.

expert

  • Marcel Courthiade

date

21/11/2015

location

Musée de l’Homme, Paris

is head of the section Rromani language and culture at the National institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (l'Inalco). He works on reconstituting the European dimension of the Rromani language and culture.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

is head of the section Rromani language and culture at the National institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (l'Inalco). He works on reconstituting the European dimension of the Rromani language and culture.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

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