NAMES AND OLD STORIES (LEGENDS) ABOUT ROMA
Now let us see some names by which Roma were and are still called in different places, and we will compare them with some old stories which give us a better picture about Roma. I will do this because these stories must be considered, investigated and lightened, but let us firstly tell the stories and further in this writing we will focus on issues to be investigated.
I think that besides many names used by Roma, we must mainly look to following names: Nuri, Alep (Halep), Saraqani, Ham (Kham), Firavun, Gabel, Kyafir-Yertiperodutne, Cingene, Jipsi Atsingani…
The word Nuri comes from Arabic language ad means light, shining, and the opposite of it is tomina – tunyariko-darkness.
By this name were called Roma in Egypt and Greece. We don’t know why were they called by this name but it is believed that Roma were dealing with magic and were working with phosphoric materials, which produce light, and therefore were called by this name. Based on religion we see that the name Yafet was one of the Noah`s child name, whose meaning besides other is also light - shining and it is said that the Indo-Aryan countries were created by Noah`s son, which we will elaborate further below.
By the same name is called a province in Persia, known as Nuri`s Province whose capital is called NUR. There is also another place in Afghanistan called Nuristan, whose name until 1896 was Kaffiristan and before was called Afica.
The name Afica was changed as it was identical with the African continent and it is shown that the name Africa derives from Africa which was Yafet`s place.
The research does not give information why this place was called Africa but when we search for Kaffiristan or Nuristan then we may get some conclusions although still much remains to be investigated.
Now we will firstly clarify why this place was called Kaffiristan and above all what does the word Kaffir mean and then we will reflect on Egypt and Greece.
The word Kaffir is Arabic and it is used for people who do not believe to God as one and are disbelievers and do not belong to Muslim religion, that’s why the place was cold as such and the place where these people lived was called (the place of kafirs). Briefly we may explain this as following: the place inhabited by disbelievers is called the place of disbelievers.
Now let us focus in Nuristan and see what language did these people speak and where did their language derive from.
The Nuristan, when translated in Romani language, it means The Place of Light (enlighten place) or the Earth of Light (enlighten earth). It is believed that this was the first inhabited place in Afghanistan. It is also thought that this nation derived from Egypt and came together with Alexander the Great. They claim themselves to be from the Qyraysh tribe, which is a very important tribe in Arabia.
This nation has fifteen (15) groups and speaks 5 (five) languages. Languages are Waigali, Ashkun, Kamkata-viri, Tregami and Vasi-vari. This nation is called by different names such as: Kali-Posh Kafiris (kaffirs with black clothes), Loli-posh Kafiris (kaffirs with red clothes) and Parni- Posh Khafiris (white clothes kaffirs). However, scientists think that this nation should be called only as Kali- Posh (black clothes). Today in cities of Turkey such as Erzurum, Artvin, Sivas and Ardahan, Roma are called as Posha.
The Nuristanis` language belongs to one group of Indo-Iranian languages. The greatest part is bound to Indo-Aryan group.
It is said that the original is of Iranian language, but it is also said that it belongs to the group of Dardik language, which the same belongs to a branch of Indo Aryan languages and it is spoken by minority groups in Pakistan and India, but the language belongs to the family of Indo-European languages whose derivation we have explained above.
This was a short description in order to have a clear picture about what are we going to write below about Egypt and Greece.
As said before, Roma in Egypt and Greece were called Nuri as well as sinners, (people that travel from country to country in order to clean their sins) or people who are not believers as those of a country where they settled.
For people who do not believe in God or those that committed a sin towards God, or are cursed by God, are called Kaffirs and kaffirs are disbelievers. Here we see that as in Afghanistan the nation is called Kaffir in other two countries Roma are called disbelievers/kaffirs. It would be great if we would have a broader research concerning this nation in Afghanistan as the names Nur and Kaffir are used by this two countries and do not forget that Nuristan before was known as Afika. It may relate to Africa, a place where Roma live as well.
When talking about sinners and kaffirs, we can relate to mythology, religion and reality. Firstly we will mention the reality which is very close to us.
The reality is that Roma were not welcomed in any country, neither in Asia, Africa, America nor in Europe and Balkans.
All this hatred was related to religion. Firstly the Church, as it is known, on XII century has called Roma as disbelievers/kaffirs, vampires and a nation that cooperates with devil. For this reason many Roma were killed by being hanged on the tree. This took place in Europe as well as in other places.
In France (1419) Rashay wanted Roma to travel for 7 (seven) years in order to clean their sins as they broke the law of Isaac and were not allowed to return back to their places. Such attitudes were brought by other Rashays in other continents such as in Latin America /Brazil in 1527 etc. Whereas in Turkey and Albania Roma were blamed for killing the children and were feeding with the dead children but taking them out of the graves.
We mention only these examples which were kept confidential as document and these examples prove the fact that Roma were not welcomed in such places. Now let’s relate the issue with religion because these examples show that Roma were unwanted as they broke the law of Isaac and therefore were cursed by God to travel the World.
As relating to their name Yertiperodutne- (seekers of absolution) now let us tackle this question and see how real is the case and the story itself.
As known Roma were and are blacksmiths as in early ages as well as nowadays secure their living from a occupation which is not that easy as others may think. As told by older and religious people, Roma used to live in Jerusalem /Kudus (Israel-Palestine) and When Jesus was caught by Romans as the one who cheats on people telling he is the son of God / Messenger and was sentenced to death by being hanged in a cross so people may see that he is not a person of God. In order to hang him they asked Roma, who were the best smiths in those places to make 4 nails which will be used to hang Jesus in a tree of the cross form. When Roma heard that the nails will be used for hanging Jesus, they brought only 3 nails instead of 4 in order to soften the pain on Jesus and told that one was stolen by a son of a smith. Jesus seeing all this laughed and entitled Roma as thieves. Therefore it is said that Jesus feet were punched with one nail.
This story has different versions, only God knows the truth but we took this example to show that during the time of Jesus Roma were outside India and that was 2013 years ago and therefore Roma were called as sin makers/kaffirs and by other names as shown above.
This example is in total contrary with the statement that in our era Roma derive from India. Many people may say that this story is not true, but how can a nation be mentioned in a place and to be judged by the leaders when it wasn’t there and was not known in that time. Such examples we will tell in our future articles and works.
As we started to tell the happenings that happened in our era step by step we will come to tell happenings that happened before our era. As we stopped in Israel, let us tell this that Roma who are blacksmiths still celebrate the day of blacksmiths known as PIR it was from the time of David, who was the King and Messenger in Israel and lived, as it is believed 1000 years BC. Today this tradition is still kept by Roma blacksmiths from Kosova, Macedonia, Serbia etc. who celebrate the birthday of David every June the 29th. Roma in Serbia celebrate this day every July 9th and this is because the old and new calendar (Julian-Gregorian that have 13 days in between). It is known that David was a blacksmith was forging the metal by hands.
As Roma in Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia maybe in other places as well celebrate the blacksmith’s day and their Pir/leader was St. David, this shows that Roma were living in Israel or around Israel even 1000 years before our era. Roma from Prizren-Kosova say that their messenger was St. David and therefore celebrate their birthplace. About St. David we will tell more when tackling the issue of Romani traditions-crafts.
Now let us consider the time before St. David and mention one of St. David's grandparent known as St. Abraham, who was a messenger himself and has to do a lot with the stories where Roma were mentioned.
As told St. Abraham was imprisoned by king Nemrut, who was executing all the people who did not claim that he was God. One of those people not claiming him to be the God was St. Abraham and therefore was imprisoned to be killed but this execution was to be realized differently.
He ordered his servants to collect woods and start a big fire where he will put St. Abraham. These woods were loaded to animals, and the interesting part is that only mules were used to bring the required woods (la. Equus mullus - A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse), and when they put St Abraham on fire, the fire did not burn him and became all flowers.
Seeing that the fire did not burn St. Abraham, Nemrut has released and did not kill him. The same place was inhabited by Roma, and a Romani couple Qen and Gan were making love (sexual relations) in the place where the flowers have grown and as it is being told, God has cursed on them and made them walk through the World as they were making love in a holly place and told them to distribute flowers to people as the symbol of love. Since that day Roma are called as Qingene ( Qen + Gan) from Turkish people and always sell red flowers. As told by older people, God cursed the mules as well and made that their work to be replaced by horses and donkeys. Today we may see that mules are infertile and do not reproduce as well as are replaced by horses and donkeys.
As told by older people, this was done 2000 years ago BC. In the place called Harran /Shanliurfa in Turkey, a place close to Syria which nowadays is still known and visited by many tourists.
Through this story we told why are Roma called Qingene in Turkey. As the city Harran is close to Syria, and it is known that the city of Halep in Syria is an old city (known 2000 years BC), and as Roma were living in Halep, they were also called as Haleps.
Another name by which were called Roma is bound to this period, it is about Saraqanya a name by which Roma were called.
The word Saraqan derives from the place Saraka which is situated between Egypt and Palestine. It is said that Saraqanya lived in Arabia although were not surrounded by Arabs. Saraqanya lived a nomadic life and were good fighters. Therefore in religion this word is associated to those opposing Sara, who was the wife of St. Abraham. It is known that Sara`s son was St Isaac, but St. Abraham had another son called Hagar known as Ismail and the Saraqanya were called also as Hagars or Ismailees. This is also connected with another name by which were called Roma in Egypt and that is Kipti/Kopti, who are old dwellers (natives) of Egypt (We will explain more about this below).
Based on religion it is also known that Hagari`s were Kipti/Kopti which were given by Pharaoh to Sara while she was with St. Abraham in Egypt (after the fire episode) in order to spread the belief in God.
Only God knows how true are the religious stories, but important for us is that in such stories Roma are being mentioned and if Roma were not living in those days in such places, then why would they be mentioned in the stories, it is a question we should investigate further?!
HAM- CHAM –KAAM - KHAM (meaning something that can heat, blacken, burn)
Now let us see why were Roma called Ham. In order to know this we must see who Ham was and where did he live.
Ham was one of three children of St. Noah.
Based on religion, St. Noah cursed his son Ham, as he saw him naked while he was drunk, or even there are another versions when Ham saw his dad to be drunk he made him sleep with his sister in order to bring to life more children and multiply the family …, therefore when St. Noah woke up and saw what has gone around he knew that this was done by Ham and cursed him by making him the servant of his nephew Kannan.
By Ham and his children were further developed all the black nations as in Africa or India and were called Hamitya (People from and around India were also multiplied by another St. Noah’s son Yafet). Believing in religion other nations underestimated the Kale nation taking them only as servants saying that they were cursed.
Ham is also related to Egypt as Roma in this place were called Ham. They believed Ham to be of bad luck and cursed as they were cursed by their father.
The word ”Pa ta en kem” , is a given word or Egypt and it means the land of Egypt but the old Egyptian nation called Koptya, refer to Egypt as Kame, Keme, Kimi and Kheme. Whereas old Egyptians called themselves as Kmtjw (Kemetu) and (Kmemu) of the black nation, although they were not black. If taking into consideration the meaning of Ham’s name in old Egyptian languages then we may see that Ham was also known as Cham or Kham. The meaning of this word is something that can heat, blacken or burn. Based in Roman language we may say that the original of this word may be Kham/Sun, because Kham is the one that brings heating, that may blacken something or even burn. As the word Kham in Romani means Sun, in Egypt they have always believed in Sun and the name was changed to Ra and Amon Ra but let’s not forget that also the name of Syria means Sun in the Sanskrit language. This indicates that the messenger Noah has named his son Sun which is a Romani name, and therefore the question arises in what language the people of Noah spoke, and this indicates that Romani language is a very old language and may be considered as one of the first languages.
From the above written we may conclude that the name kalo/black was taken as of black fortune and therefore Roma were called “Ham” as a nation of black fortune. In Turkey Roma are called as Esmerkadesh (black brothers) because based on religion all people are brothers.
Even in today’s days Roma are called Kale in other countries for example in Finland are called Kale Roma/Black Roma. This Roma speak Romani in kale dialect. In Spain as well Roma/Gitanies speak the Kale dialect and we may see that Roma were old Egyptian nation/tribe who was living in Egypt some thousand years BC.
In Prizren – Kosova there are Roma whose family name is Kalo or Kala.
Here we may mention also the Sumeries who called themselves “Sag-Giga”-Black Heads who lived in Mesopotamia and today are Roma who as a nation are called Black Heads btu translated in different languages. For example (Kryezi - Albanian, Karabash-Turkish, Crnoglav-Serbian). When talking about Sumeries we may say that the place where Sumeries and Akads lived was called “Ki en gri”, meaning, the place of God (belonging to God) but this word is also used by Roma to indicate the Church (Khangeri). It is good to know that Akads called Sumeys purchasers which may be found in Romani speaking.
While Hams are being mentioned in Bible, there are also being mentioned other nations belonging to Hams or to Hams` child Kannan, the word is about Hittites. Hittites who created their kingdom in Anatoly were also part of St. David’s army as high members of it in two kingdoms, this indicates that Hittites were present among Jewish – Israelis. In their language the plural of the word Hitit is Hitit-ya and this corresponds with the rules of Romani grammar for plural, for example: Hitit-ya, German-ya, Turk-ya, Italiyan-ya, Arap-ya etc.
FIRAVUN (Turkya)/ PHARAOH (Turkey)
They took the name pharaoh because they thought Roma derived from Egypt and they also call them as disbelievers, as Pharaoh did not believe to St Moses beliefs/religion.
PENJO (Turkiya)/PENJO (Turkey)
The word Penjo is used for Roma in the village of Mamusha – Kosova, where I was born, but is also used by Turkish in Prizren - Kosova. This word is used as when we say to someone “you smart head” this may be used for a hidden knowledge or something you do so that it won’t be heard/known by others. It is also used for intelligence, praising. After I investigated about this word, I received the following response by Roma from Prizren:
“In old days Roma lived together with God on earth, and used to speak to him. When God wanted to live the earth he called a representative-messenger from each nation in order to give them blessing in this World. In the day when the meeting was held, Roma representative St. Penjo, who was God’s beloved woke up in the morning and was getting ready for the meeting to get the blessing for Roma. As the others did not arrive, St. Penjo set aside, and while waiting he fell asleep. When he woke up all received the blessing for their nation, except St. Penjo who remained without blessing. He was given what was remaining and that was the drum - music. St. Penjo was very angry why he fell asleep as he could get a better fortune, but God told him that he gave him the music in order to make the peoples life easier, s the other will work and will get tired. However, God told St. Penjo that he has left a place for himself in this World and Roma should travel and search for that place, and whenever they find it, they will live with God in the same place.
Since that day Roma are musicians and while traveling from place to place are looking for the place of God in order to live together with him as one nation.”
This story inspired me to write a poem, which may be found in the book” Sungaven i Phuv” and it goes like this:
O DEVEL PURMINYA PO THAN/ GOD HAS CHANGED HIS PLACE
O Devel purminya po than, / God has changed his place
O vurme e Devleske koslile! /God’s traces were lost!
Roden arakhen olen, /Search for them, find them,
E Devle ma nashalen! / Don’t lose the God!
Ooo Devleya Bareya, / O God Almighty,
Amende sar bistaryan?! / How could you forget us?!
Dikhlar tute kote siyan! / Show up where are you!
Amari baht kaske Denyan? / Whom did you give our fortune?
Ani sakoya rig e Sumnaleski, / In every part of the Word,
O Roma vestinen. / Roma are living.
E Devleske vurme roden,/ Searching for the God’s traces
Olesta baht te mangen. / To ask blessing from him.
72 THEMENDA AVRI ( Turkya) / OUT OF 72 NATIONS (Turkish)
The word out of 72 nations (72 mileten dishari), is connected to religion when St. Noah cursed his son Ham and it is thought that from 2 other children 72 nations were developed and all those who derive from Ham`s children do not belong to these 72 nations. It is said that there are 72.5 nations, alluding that the half nation are Roma. There is a saying of St. Mohammed: “My nation (Muslims) will be divided in 73 sects-groups and one out of them will enter the Paradise and the rest will burn to Hell”. Is this is true, than Roma will not burn to Hell, because as they are being called by Turkish they are out of those 72 nations.
This year there was a big problem in Turkey (Çamlica) when people wanted to build a mosque minaret of 72,5 meters, Turkish Roma stood up against this decision so such nazi thought was interrupted. The half meter was alluding to Roma which also must be considered in religion.
The word Qifut is used the same as for kale – black people of the ones of black fortune but Qifut are also called Roma who are thought to have some relations with Jewish.
KARABAHTLI / BLACK FORTUNES (Turkey)
Roma are called Karabahtli/black fortunes as they think Roma are of black fortune and are thought to be a cursed nation.
ESMERKARDESH / BLACK BROTHER (Turkey)
The word Esmerkaredesh is connected to the word Kale/black but now it appears as black brothers because based on religion all people are brothers.
Roma are also called as Gabeli and Qergarya because Roma live in tends, whereas we are still not sure about the word Gabel, although it is said that Jabel, based on religious beliefs – Bible, was the first man to live in tends and with his work he fed himself and his family therefore people that stay in tends are called gabelya because in other languages the name Jabel is spelled with the letter G (gabel) and still is pronounced as Jabel.
We all know that Roma are well known for producing music. This is known worldwide, and whenever mentioning Roma automatically is thought of good musicians, however this may be perceived even as negative issues as some think that Roma must satisfy the others as they are a cursed nation. This musical tradition refers to the first people who played any instruments.
Based on religion – Bible says that the first people who made music were the first Kayins children, the nephews of St. Adam, from the tribe of Yubal.
These were some of the name the non Roma gave to Roma although they have nothing to do with Roma, as in some places Roma were called according their profession, which is not that important, what is more important for us is the names they were given according the place they lived of the place they derived from.
As you saw, until now we have discussed the names which were given to Roma by non Roma, and now we will see what Roma had always by themselves and what was not forgotten since today.
The most important thing is that Roma succeeded to preserve the Romani language and the language is spoken among them in today’s days as well. Another important thing is that Roma always believed that someone brought them to this World, there is something that keeps them in this life and as they are keep looking for forgiveness and help.
He rules the World and the Cosmos. This King who based on beliefs may do anything He wants and is present everywhere, was and still is being mentioned by Roma.
No matter the fact that Roma live in different parts of the World and have different religions, they call this King Devel, Devla, Del, Dol, Bahtaleya, Bareya, Sunto Del, Sumnal Del (God)….and think he is the Only One and there is no one greater them Him. He is Everything.
Now let us see where do these words come from and if we could possibly find the motherland of Roma.
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