So, you may have noticed my blog’s little name change.
What was once Gypsified is now… Peregrina.
The reason for this is twofold:
1. PERSONAL PROGRESS
Peregrina has been dancing around in my mind and heart for a couple of months now.
While doing the Camino Portugues in September last year, we soon found out that ‘peregrino’ is the Latin term used for all the pilgrims following the various Ways of St. James – through the ages and still today.
While ‘peregrino’ covers all genders, ‘peregrina’, would – strictly speaking – be the feminine form… and, somehow, that just really resonated with me.
I loved my time as a pilgrim and, upon returning to home, didn’t want to let go of it entirely. Apart from wearing the delicate silver and Mother of Pearl scallop shell (the symbol of the Camino de Santiago) necklace I bought in Santiago de Compostela as a memento, I also registered the domain peregrina.co.za. Even thought I didn’t quite know what I’d do with it at the time, I believed it should be mine.
So, after a lot of consideration, I’ve finally decided that – since it speaks more deeply to my identity at this point – Peregrina would be the name I prefer for my blog right now.
Also, apart from being the feminine form of ‘pilgrim’ in Latin, peregrina means ‘wanderer’. Which is really a big part of what this blog is about – wandering, travelling, exploring, discovering new places.
Hopefully this change will also kickstart a few of the vague plans I had dreamed up for peregrina.co.za when I first bought the domain.
Without revealing too much, I’m toying with the idea of a retail element, as well as a community of sorts.
So, let’s see where this takes us!
2. STAYING WOKE
For a while now, the name Gypsified hasn’t sat quite right with me.
I guess, on many levels, I’ve just outgrown it. It seemed like a fun, free-spirited name back in 2011 and for the longest time it served me really well.
But six years can bring a lot of personal change… and so can crossing over into an entire new decade of one’s life.
Added to this – and maybe rather serendipitously – I recently stumbled upon an article that explained just how offensive the frivolous overuse of the term ‘Gypsy’ is.
Turns out, it’s actually a derogatory racial slur used to describe a group of people called the Romani or Roma who face large scale discrimination and persecution right across Europe.
While I guess I really should have known better, I just didn’t.
Thing is, living in a country that bears the deep scars of institutionalised racism, the last thing I want to be is an unintentional bigot.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the perpetuation of racist language out of ignorance/habit is no less offensive than when it is blatantly spewed to cause pain.
So, in keeping with what the young people of today call ‘staying woke’, I suddenly knew with certainty that a change was long overdue.
So, dear readers, with this quick explanation, welcome to Peregrina! Here’s to the start of new a new journey together.