A response by Dr. Rahul Chavan to:
Gypsies: from India/from the Indus to the Mediterranean
by Donald Kenrick

RESPONSE:
"I had gret pleasure in reading your article on the KURI website, though there are some things that I am a little sceptical about [particularly] the part of the publication where it says 'My own belief is that the Indian immigrants from various tribes intermarried and intermixed in Persia forming into a people there, with the name Dom or Rom and that a large number of them then moved into Europe and their descendants are the Romany Gypsies of today.' I personally don't think there would be much of a intermixing as you put it. I know I am not an authority but I am a Gypsy from India, and I know a little about the rituals and culture of the Gypsies or Lambanis or Gormatis as we call ourselves. Including new people from other tribes or religion is not new to us, in fact there is a process where all the heads/important men of the tribe (Tanda in my language) sit for lunch together with the person who is to be initiated into the tribe and feast with him/her, and that is it. And I would also like to say that the tribal instinct or the cultural instinct is so strong that no one would give it up willingly and loose their cultural identity. That is why I don't think there would be much of an intermixing, but rather an assimilation of others into the tribe, while maintaining a strong cultural identity of its own. Though, I accept that there would be some influx of other cultures into the mainstream. I hope I am making sense, because I am not an expert and I am just saying what I feel would be the case."

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