May 10, 2011
...The Other Gypsies.
Here at Alder's Ledge we focus primarily on the most at risk societies around the world. As for the "Gypsies", we almost always talk about the Roma community in Europe. However today we will be focusing on the Yeniche people and their lives in Western Europe.
The Yeniche have lived in Europe for as long as anyone can remember. Huddled around the Rhineland area of Germany their population has been targeted for extermination time and time again. Switzerland, up to the 1970's, used a system of separating parents from their children to attempt to destroy the nomadic culture.
Today it seems that the ever shrinking world, and the deterioration of European culture, is helping to achieve the Swiss goal.
According to current estimates the Yeniche people population is spread out as follows:
Note that Switzerland does not have a number to report or remains unwilling to record the Yeniche population currently residing within its borders.
Historically the Yeniche have claimed to be of Celtic origins. Their is no real proof of this claim nor is their proof that it isn't true. After all, nobody alive today knows what happened to the vast Celtic society or its peoples during its decline. Even our best Historians can't prove this claim to be false.
Nowadays the Yeniche rightfully claim to be citizens of the nations in which they have lived for centuries. They are mostly Roman Catholic and other forms of Christianity. And, like most Europeans, they speak both the Yeniche language and the languages of those societies around them.
By no means however can they be called Romani. They are ethnically, culturally, and linguistically unique. Despite the fact that many Yeniche side with the Roma and Sinti when it comes to politics, they don't claim to be part of those two different cultures.
Most important of all, and the reason I write about them today, the countries in which they live are all ramping up their far-right. These countries are moving to expel or destroy the Yeniche culture. And the reason simply is that the Yeniche culture resembles that of the Roma. And for that reason the Yeniche culture seems foreign to the sedimentary cultures of Western Europe.