The Gypsies and their Music

Semi Lite stuff.

Music of the Gypsies/Baul of India.  Any comments on their music/culture and influence in the world.

and the Bauls

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I am 3/4ths Sri Lankan (Jaffna) Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese and 1/8th Irish; a proper mutt. Maternal: Grandfather a Govt Surveyor married my grandmother of Sinhalese/Irish descent from the deep south, in the early 1900’s. They lived in the deep South, are generally considered Sinhalese and look Eurasian (common among upper class Sinhalese). They were Anglicans (Church of England), became Evangelical Christians (AOG) in 1940's, and built the first Evangelical church in the South. Paternal: Sri Lanka (Jaffna Tamil). Paternal ancestors converted to Catholicism during Portuguese rule (1500's), went back to being Hindu and then became Methodists (and Anglicans) around 1850 (ggfather). They were Administrators and translators to the British, poets and writers in Tamil and English. Grandfathers sister was the first female Tamil novelist of modern times I was brought up as an Evangelical even attending Bible study till about the age of 13. Agnostic and later atheist. I studied in Sinhala, did a Bachelor in Chemistry and Physics in Sri Lanka. Then did Oceanography graduate stuff and research in the US. I am about 60 years old, no kids, widower. Sri Lankan citizen (no dual) and been back in SL since 2012. Live in small village near a National Park, run a very small budget guest house and try to do some agriculture that can survive the Elephants, monkeys and wild boar incursions. I am not really anonymous, a little digging and you can find my identity.

7 thoughts on “The Gypsies and their Music”

  1. I take it that the first video where the Lambadi (Rajastani gypsy, banjara) dance was portrayed is from a movie or some kind of a documentary. Please disabuse me. Thanks.

    1. Latcho Drom (“safe journey”) 1993 French documentary film directed and written by Tony Gatlif.

      The film begins in the Thar Desert in Northern India and ends in Spain, passing through Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, France, and Spain. All of the Romani portrayed are actual members of the Romani community.

      1. They are plenty of them in south India with the women having the same look. Banjara Hills area in Hyderabad deccan is named for them.

        1. Plenty of the same features in all Sri Lanka. Much darker though.

          There are the gypsies wandering around SL too. If they changed their dress sense they would be indistinguishable from the locals. More on that later.

  2. As a avid reader of Roma/Gypsy history and culture, that was an amazing video for me (the first one from Rajasthan). I’ve met some Romas/Gypsies at Harvard University with Cornell West very recently as well! I want to share with you something that I think is very similar – yet different – to this video. It’s some Punjabi Mirasi singers from Pakistan, and there is definitely a “Gypsy look” to them with their long hair, loud singing, and it’s quite soulful for a lack of a better term in that it’s not so contrived and formalized.

    Check it out!

  3. Ahh, a fellow traveler re interest in the Gypsy/Roma.

    re: Punjabi Mirasi singers from Pakistan, they sound and look like the Bauls from Bengal.

    Have a look at the Tony Gatlif, Latcho Drom clips on you tube.

    If Possible get hold of the Embryo : Vagabunden Karawane: A musical trip through Iran, Afghanistan and India in 1979.
    One Clip

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