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Romanipen (also romanypen, romanipe, romanype, romanimos, romaimos, romaniya) is a complicated term of Romani philosophy that means totality of the Romani spirit, Romani culture, Romani Law, being a Romani, a set of Romani strains.

An ethnic Romani is considered to be a Gadjo (non-Romani) in the Romani society if he has no Romanipen. Sometimes a non-Romani may be considered to be a Romani if he has Romanipen, (usually that is an adopted child). As a concept, Romanipen has been the subject of interest to numerous academic observers. It has been hypothesized that it owes more to a framework of culture rather than simply an adherence to historically received rules.[1]

Significant changes in Romani culture following the Second World War have been attributed to the suspension of these social norms as strict rules relating to food and to contact with certain classes of people broke down. This period also coincided with a perceived loss of authority invested in traditional leaders, the primary maintainers of Romanipen.[2] Furthermore, the Roma who found themselves under Soviet control during the war, while deported to the east of the Urals and often persecuted, were generally left alone to follow their orthodox practices and thus preserved strict interpretations of Romanipen. However, the Roma who lived in other countries of eastern Europe, in the face of widespread discrimination and society's attempt of forced assimilation, often had to compromise their strict interpretation of the customs just in order to survive. As a result, the whole concept of Romanipen became interpreted differently among various Roma groups.

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  1. ^ Saul, Nicholas; Susan Tebbut (2005). Nicholas Saul, Susan Tebbutt, ed. The role of the Romanies: images and counter-images of 'Gypsies'/Romanies in European cultures. Liverpool University Press. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-85323-689-4. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  2. ^ Guy, Will (2001). Will Guy, ed. Between past and future: the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe. Univ of Hertfordshire Press. p. 254. ISBN 978-1-902806-07-5. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 

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