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For the Thracian people of antiquity, see Sintians.

Sinti or Sinta or Sinte (sing. masc. Sinto; sing. fem. Sintisa) is the name of a Romani or "gypsy" population in Europe.[1] Traditionally nomadic, today only a small percentage of the group remains unsettled. In earlier times, they frequently lived on the outskirts of communities, generally in squalor.

The Sinti speak a dialect of the Romani language called "Romanes, Sintenghero Tschib(en)", which has a primarily Romani vocabulary but some grammatical differences, and exhibits strong German influence.

The origin of the name "Sinti/Sinte" is uncertain. It can be shown to have been adopted in the 18th century, possibly from a German-based secret language. It is often compared to the name of the Sindhi of southwestern Pakistan, a notion popular among the Sinti themselves, but there is no basis for this comparison.[2]

Contents

History

Deportation of Sinti and Roma in Asperg, May 22, 1940
Memorial for murdered Sinti in Düsseldorf-Lierenfeld
Ravensburg, Memorial for Sinti murdered in Auschwitz

The Sinti arrived in Germany and Austria in the Middle Ages, eventually splitting into two groups: Eftavagarja ("the Seven Caravans") and Estraxarja ("from Austria"). These two groups then expanded, the Eftavagarja into France, where they are called "Manouches", and the Estraxarja into Italy and Eastern Europe, mainly what are now Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, eventually adopting various regional names.

In Italy they are present mainly in Piedmont region, with some communities in Veneto as well.

Other theories

Another theory holds that the Roma differ from the Sinti in that the former converted to Islam in the Seljuq Empire, thus acquiring citizenship and escaping slavery. The Sinti, on the other hand, allegedly refused to convert to Islam and thus remained in slavery. [3]

The Holocaust

Gypsies (Sinti and Roma) were singled out by the Nazis since they were considered foreign blood. Sinti and Roma had migrated to Germany in the late 15th century via India and converted to Christianity. Nonetheless, they were still accused of being beggars and thieves, and by 1899, the police kept a central register on Gypsies. Considered to be non-Aryan, Sinti and Roma were persecuted throughout Germany during the Nazi period. Adolf Eichmann recommended that the Gypsy Question be solved simultaneously with the Jewish Question, resulting in the deportation of the Sinti to clear room to build homes for ethnic Germans.[4] Some were sent to Poland, or elsewhere (including some deported to Yugoslavia by the Hamburg police in 1939[5]), others were confined to designated areas, and many were eventually gassed.

In concentration camps, the Sinti were forced to wear a black triangle.

Notable Sinti

Perhaps the most famous (and influential) Sinti musician is the guitar virtuoso Django Reinhardt, who fused traditional dance hall musettes with American jazz of the day (1930s and 40s) and, along with Stéphane Grappelli and the other members of the Quintette of the Hot Club of France, founded the style of music known as “Gypsy Jazz”. Other notable Sinti musicians include Drafi Deutscher and the jazz guitarists Jimmy Rosenberg and Paulus Schäfer. The Sinto Häns'che Weiss produced a record in Germany in the 1970s in which he sang about the Poraimos (Romani Holocaust) in his own language. Many younger Germans first learned about this part of Holocaust history as a result of this recording. Titi Winterstein and several members of Reinhardt's clan still play traditional and modern Gypsy jazz all over Europe. The jazz keyboardist Joe Zawinul was also of Sinte (Sintenghero) descent.

One of the most outstanding Sinti is Johann Trollmann, the boxer-champion of Germany, 1933, who was killed by the Nazis.

Oto Pestner is an outstanding Slovenian Sinti singer. He is most famous for his involvement with the New Swing Quartet, which sang mostly jazz and swing classics. Pestner also sings gospel and Slovenian folk music.

Andrea Pirlo, a soccer player who plays for A.C. Milan and the Italian national team, is also of Sinti origin.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Martha Verdorfer: Sinti & Roma (German)
  2. ^ Yaron Matras, 'The Role of Language in Mystifying and Demystifying Gypsy Identity' in: Nicholas Saul, Susan Tebbutt, The Role of the Romanies: Images and Counter-images of "Gypsies"/Romanies in European Cultures, Liverpool University Press (2004), ISBN 9780853236795, p. 70.
  3. ^ Marco D. Knudsen. "Roma Frühgeschichte (1000–1400). Freedom by joining the Islam". RomaHistory.com. http://www.romahistory.com/en/1-8.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-14.  
  4. ^ Burleigh, The Racial State, p122.
  5. ^ Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wipperman, The Racial State: Germany 1933–1945 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 117.

Further reading

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Noun

Singular
Sinti

Plural

Sinti

  1. The name used to designate themselves by a group of the Romani people found in Germany and surrounding areas, who were referred to by the local population as Zigeuner in German or as gypsies in English.

Anagrams


Simple English

Sinti or Sinta (Singular masc.=Sinto; sing. fem.=Sintisa) is the name of some communities of the nomadic people usually called "Gypsies" in English. This includes communities known in German and Dutch as Zigeuner and in Italian as Zingari. They are closely related to, and are usually considered to be a subgroup of, the Roma people.[1]

While the Sinti were, until quite recently, chiefly nomadic, today only a small percentage of the group remains unsettled. In earlier times, they frequently lived on the outskirts of communities, generally in squalor.

The Sinti arrived in Germany and Austria in the Middle Ages, eventually splitting into two groups: Eftavagarja ("the Seven Caravans") and Estraxarja ("from Austria"). These two groups then expanded, the Eftavagarja into France, where they assimilated into the local Romani groups (Manouches), and the Estraxarja into Italy and Eastern Europe, mainly what are now Croatia, Hungary, Transylvania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, eventually adopting various regional names.

In Italy they are present mainly in Piedmont region.

The Sinti have produced a great number of renowned musicians, such as jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

References

  1. The origin of the name "Sinti/Sinte" is unclear, although it bears a similarity to the toponym Sindh (and inhabitants' name, the Sindhis), the area which linguistic and cultural evidence indicates was the likely geographic origin of the Roma, in the Southeast of what is today Pakistan.

Further reading









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