The Romani (also spelled Romany /ˈroʊməni/, /ˈrɒ-/), or Roma, are
a traditionally itinerant ethnic group, living mostly in
the Americas and originating from the northern Indian
subcontinent, from the Rajasthan, Haryana,
Sindh regions of modern-day
India and Pakistan. A DNA study
conducted by Indian and Estonian research facilities shows that the
Sinti people originate from the Untouchable
Dalit community from India.
The Romani are widely known among English-speaking people by the
exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which some people consider pejorative due
to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. They are a
dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located
in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and
Southern Europe (including
Spain and Southern France). The Romani originated in Northern
India and arrived in Mid-West Asia, and
Europe around 1,000 years
ago. They have been associated with another Indo-Aryan group, the
Dom people: the two groups have been said to have separated from each
other or, at least, to share a similar history. Specifically, the
ancestors of both the Romani and the Dom left North
between the sixth and eleventh century.
Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the
Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United
States; and 800,000 in Brazil, most of whose ancestors emigrated in
the nineteenth century from eastern Europe.
Brazil also includes some
Romani descended from people deported by the government of Portugal
Inquisition in the colonial era. In migrations since
the late nineteenth century, Romani have also moved to other countries
in South America and to Canada.[page needed]
In February 2016, during the International Roma Conference, the Indian
Minister of External Affairs stated that the people of the Roma
community were children of India. The conference ended with a
recommendation to the Government of
India to recognize the Roma
community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian
Romani language is divided into several dialects, which add up to
an estimated number of speakers larger than two million. The total
Romani people is at least twice as large (several times as
large according to high estimates). Many Romani are native speakers of
the language current in their country of residence, or of mixed
languages combining the two; those varieties are sometimes called
1.3 Romani usage
1.4 English usage
1.5 Other designations
2 Population and subgroups
2.1 Romani population
2.2 Romani subgroups
3.2 Linguistic evidence
3.3 Genetic evidence
3.4 Possible migration route
4.1 Arrival in Europe
4.2 Early Modern history
4.3 Modern history
4.3.1 World War II
5 Society and traditional culture
5.1 Belonging and exclusion
5.2.2 Deities and saints
5.2.3 Ceremonies and practices
5.2.5 Other regions
6 Contemporary art and culture
8.1 Historical persecution
8.2 Forced assimilation
9 Contemporary issues
9.1 Forced repatriation
10 Organizations and projects
11 Artistic representations
12 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
Main article: Names of the Romani people
French bohème, bohémien, from the Kingdom of Bohemia, where they
were incorrectly believed to have come from, carrying writs of
protection from King Sigismund of Bohemia.
French gitan, English gypsy, Spanish gitano, Italian gitano, Turkish
kipti, all from Greek Αἰγύπτιος Aigýptios "Egyptian"
(corrupted form: Γύφτος Gýftos), and Hungarian fáreónépe
from Greek φαραώ pharaó "pharaoh" – referring to their
allegedly Egyptian provenance. Usage of "gypsy" and similarly
derived words differs between groups as some Roma groups use this word
as a self-identifier while others consider this word a racial slur.
English tzigane (for Hungarian gypsies), Spanish zíngaro, cíngaro,
French tzigane, Old High German zigeuner, German Zigeuner, Dutch
zigeuner, Danish sigøjner, Swedish zigenare, Norwegian sigøynere Old
Church Slavic ациганинъ atsyganin, Italian zingaro, Romanian
țigan, Hungarian cigány,
Serbo-Croatian cigan, ciganin, Polish
cygan, Czech cikán, Portuguese cigano, Turkish çingene, Slovak
cigán or cigáň, Venetian singano, Russian цыгане tsygane,
Ukrainian цигани tsyhany, Lithuanian čigonai, Georgian
ციგანი; from Greek ἀθίγγανος athínganos
(corrupted form: τσιγγάνος tsingános),
"untouchable". Due to the negative connotations of
referring to an ethnic group as "untouchable" words derived from this
source are usually considered derogatory and outdated by modern Roma
Arabic Nawar and Zott.
Rom means man or husband in the Romani language. It has the variants
dom and lom, related with the
Sanskrit words dam-pati (lord of the
house, husband), dama (to subdue), lom (hair), lomaka (hairy), loman,
roman (hairy), romaça (man with beard and long hair). Another
possible origin is from
Sanskrit डोम doma [member of a low caste
of travelling musicians and dancers].
Sanskrit सिनधु sindhu
is a river or stream of water in general. In particular, it denotes
Indus and the country around it (commonly called Sindh).
In the Romani language, Rom is a masculine noun, meaning 'man of the
Roma ethnic group' or 'man, husband', with the plural Roma. The
feminine of Rom in the
Romani language is Romni. However, in most
cases, in other languages Rom is now used for people of all
Romani is the feminine adjective, while Romano is the masculine
adjective. Some Romanies use Rom or Roma as an ethnic name, while
others (such as the Sinti, or the Romanichal) do not use this term as
a self-ascription for the entire ethnic group.
Sometimes, rom and romani are spelled with a double r, i.e., rrom and
rromani. In this case rr is used to represent the phoneme /ʀ/ (also
written as ř and rh), which in some Romani dialects has remained
different from the one written with a single r. The rr spelling is
common in certain institutions (such as the INALCO Institute in
Paris), or used in certain countries, e.g., Romania, to distinguish
from the endonym/homonym for
Romanians (sg. român, pl. români).
A Romani wagon pictured in 2009 in
Grandborough Fields (Grandborough
Fields Road is a popular spot for travelling people)
English language (according to the Oxford English Dictionary),
Rom is a noun (with the plural Roma or Roms) and an adjective, while
Romani (Romany) is also a noun (with the plural Romani, the Romani,
Romanies or Romanis) and an adjective. Both Rom and Romani have been
in use in English since the 19th century as an alternative for Gypsy.
Romani was initially spelled Rommany, then Romany, while today the
Romani spelling is the most popular spelling. Occasionally, the double
r spelling (e.g., Rroma, Rromani) mentioned above is also encountered
in English texts.
The term Roma is increasingly encountered, as a generic term
for the Romani people.
Because all Romanies use the word Romani as an adjective, the term
became a noun for the entire ethnic group. Today, the term Romani
is used by some organizations – including the United Nations
and the US Library of Congress. However, the
Council of Europe
Council of Europe and
other organizations consider that Roma is the correct term referring
to all related groups, regardless of their country of origin, and
recommend that Romani be restricted to the language and culture:
Romani language, Romani culture.
The standard assumption is that the demonyms of the Romani people, Lom
and Dom share the same origin.
Main article: Names of the Romani people
A Romani wagon in
Germany in 1935
The English term Gypsy (or Gipsy) originates from the Middle English
gypcian, short for Egipcien. The Spanish term Gitano and French Gitan
have similar etymologies. They are ultimately derived from the Greek
Αιγύπτιοι (Aigyptioi), meaning Egyptian, via Latin. This
designation owes its existence to the belief, common in the Middle
Ages, that the Romani, or some related group (such as the Middle
Eastern Dom people), were itinerant Egyptians. According to
one narrative they were exiled from
Egypt as punishment for allegedly
harbouring the infant Jesus. As described in Victor Hugo's novel
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the medieval French referred to the
Romanies as Egyptiens. The word Gypsy in English has become so
pervasive that many Romani organizations use it in their own
This exonym is sometimes written with capital letter, to show that it
designates an ethnic group. However, the word is sometimes
considered derogatory because of its negative and stereotypical
Council of Europe
Council of Europe consider that
'Gypsy' or equivalent terms, as well as administrative terms such as
'Gens du Voyage' (referring in fact to an ethnic group but not
acknowledging ethnic identification) are not in line with European
recommendations. In North America, the word Gypsy is most commonly
used as a reference to Romani ethnicity, though lifestyle and fashion
are at times also referenced by using this word.
Another common designation of the
Romani people is Cingane (alt.
Tsinganoi, Zigar, Zigeuner), which likely derives from Athinganoi, the
name of a Christian sect with whom the Romani (or some related group)
became associated in the Middle Ages.
Population and subgroups
Main article: Romani populations
For a variety of reasons, many Romanis choose not to register their
ethnic identity in official censuses. There are an estimated 3.8
Romani people in
Europe (as of 2002), although some high
estimates by Romani organizations give numbers as high as 14
Romani populations are found in the Balkans,
in some Central European states, in Spain, France,
Russia and Ukraine.
Several million more Romanies may live out of Europe, in particular in
the Middle East and in the Americas.
Like the Roma in general, many different ethnonyms are given to
subgroups of Roma. Sometimes a subgroup uses more than one endonym, is
commonly known by an exonym or erroneously by the endonym of another
subgroup. The only name approaching an all-encompassing
self-description is Rom. Even when subgroups don't use the name,
they all acknowledge a common origin and a dichotomy between
themselves and Gadjo (non-Roma). For instance, while the main
group of Roma in German-speaking countries refer to themselves as
Sinti, their name for their original language is Romanes.
Subgroups have been described as, in part, a result of the
system, which the founding population of Rom almost certainly
experienced in their South Asian urheimat.
Debret, Jean-Baptiste (c. 1820), Interior of a gipsy's house in
Volkers, Emil (c. 1905), Camping gypsies near Düsseldorf,
Gypsies camping. Welsh Romanies near Swansea, 1953
Many groups use names apparently derived from the Romani word kalo or
calo, meaning "black" or "absorbing all light". This closely
resembles words for "black" or "dark" in
Indo-Aryan languages (e.g.,
Sanskrit काल kāla: "black", "of a dark colour"). Likewise
the name of the Dom or
Domba people of North
India – to whom the
Roma have genetic, cultural and linguistic links – has come to
imply "dark-skinned", in some Indian languages. Hence names such
as kale and calé may have originated as an exonym or a euphemism for
Other endonyms for Romani include, for example:
Ashkali (or "Balkan Egyptians" [sic]) – Albanian-speaking Roma
communities in the Balkans
Bashaldé – Hungarian-
Slovak Roma diaspora in the US from the late
Calé is the endonym used by both the Spanish Roma (gitanos) and
Portuguese Roma ciganos; Caló is "the language spoken by the
Erlides (also Arlije, Yerlii or Arli) in Greece
Finland and Sweden.
Kale, Kalá, or Valshanange –
Welsh English endonym used by some
Roma clans in Wales. (
Romanichal also live in Wales.) Romani in
Spain are also attributed to the Kale.
Khorakhanè, Horahane or Xoraxai, also known as "Turkish Roma" or
Muslim Roma" – Greek Roma and Turkish Roma.
Lalleri, from Austria, Germany, and the western Czech Republic
(including the former Sudetenland).
Lovari, from Hungary, known in
Serbia as Machvaya, Machavaya,
Machwaya, or Macwaia. 
Lyuli, in Central Asian countries.
Rom in Italy.
Roma in Romania, commonly known by majority ethnic
Țigani, including many subgroups defined by occupation:
Boyash also known as Băieși, Lingurari, Ludar, Ludari, or Rudari,
who coalesced in the
Apuseni Mountains of Transylvania.
băieși is a Romanian word for "miners". Lingurari means "spoon
makers", Ludar,Ludari, andRudari may mean "woodworkers" or
"miners". (There is a semantic overlap due to the homophony or
merging of lemmas with different meanings from at least two different
languages: the Serbian rudar miner, and ruda stick, staff, rod, bar,
pole (in Hungarian rúd, and in Romanian rudă.
Churari, from Romanian Ciurari, "sieve makers", Zlătari "gold
Ursari (bear trainers, from Moldovan/Romanian urs "bear"),
Ungaritza blacksmiths and bladesmiths
Florari flower sellers.
Kalderash, from Romanian caldarar meaning tinsmith, tinker,
kettlemaker; also in
Bessarabia and Ukraine.
Roma or Romové, Czech Republic
Roma or Romská, Slovakia
Romanichal, in the United Kingdom, emigrated also to the
Canada and Australia
Norway and Sweden.
Manouche (from manush "people" in Romani) in France.
Romungro or Carpathian Romani from eastern
Hungary and neighbouring
parts of the Carpathians
Sinti or Zinti, predominantly in Germany, and Northern
Sinti do not refer to themselves as Roma, although their
language is called Romanes.
Main article: Romani diaspora
The Roma people have a number of distinct populations, the largest
being the Roma and the Iberian Calé or Caló, who reached Anatolia
Balkans about the early 12th century, from a migration out of
India beginning about 600 years earlier. They
settled in present-day Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Romania, Moldova,
Hungary and Slovakia, by order of volume, and
Spain. From the Balkans, they migrated throughout
Europe and, in the
nineteenth and later centuries, to the Americas. The Romani population
United States is estimated at more than one million.
Brazil has the second largest Romani population in the Americas,
estimated at approximately 800,000 by the 2011 census. The Romani
people are mainly called by non-Romani ethnic Brazilians as ciganos.
Most of them belong to the ethnic subgroup Calés (Kale), of the
Iberian peninsula. Juscelino Kubitschek, Brazilian president during
1956–1961 term, was 50% Czech Romani by his mother's bloodline; and
Washington Luís, last president of the First Brazilian Republic
(1926–1930 term), had Portuguese Kale ancestry.
There is no official or reliable count of the Romani populations
worldwide. Many Romani refuse to register their ethnic identity
in official censuses for fear of
discrimination.[better source needed] Others are
descendants of intermarriage with local populations and no longer
identify only as Romani, or not at all.
As of the early 2000s, an estimated 3.8[page needed] to 9
Romani people lived in
Europe and Asia
Minor.[page needed] although some Romani organizations
estimate numbers as high as 14 million. Significant Romani
populations are found in the Balkan peninsula, in some Central
European states, in Spain, France, Russia, and Ukraine. The total
number of Romani living outside
Europe are primarily in the Middle
East and North Africa and in the Americas, and are estimated in total
at more than two million. Some countries do not collect data by
Romani people identify as distinct ethnicities based in part on
territorial, cultural and dialectal differences, and
Main article: Origin of the Romani people
Findings suggest an Indian origin for Roma. Because
Romani groups did not keep chronicles of their history or have oral
accounts of it, most hypotheses about the Romani's migration early
history are based on linguistic theory. There is also no known
record of a migration from
Europe from medieval times that
can be connected indisputably to Roma.
According to a legend reported in the Persian epic poem, the
Iran and repeated by several modern authors, the
Sasanian king Bahrām V Gōr learned towards the end of his reign
(421–39) that the poor could not afford to enjoy music, and he asked
the king of
India to send him ten thousand luris, male and female
lute-playing experts. When the luris arrived, Bahrām gave each one an
ox and a donkey and a donkey-load of wheat so that they could live on
agriculture and play music for free for the poor. But the luris ate
the oxen and the wheat and came back a year later with their cheeks
hollowed with hunger. The king, angered with their having wasted what
he had given them, ordered them to pack up their bags and go wandering
around the world.
The linguistic evidence has indisputably shown that the roots of the
Romani language lie in India: the language has grammatical
characteristics of Indian languages and shares with them a large part
of the basic lexicon, for example, regarding body parts or daily
More exactly, Romani shares the basic lexicon with
Hindi and Punjabi.
It shares many phonetic features with Marwari, while its grammar is
closest to Bengali.
Romani and Domari share some similarities: agglutination of
postpositions of the second Layer (or case marking clitics) to the
nominal stem, concord markers for the past tense, the neutralisation
of gender marking in the plural, and the use of the oblique case as an
accusative. This has prompted much discussion about the
relationships between these two languages. Domari was once thought to
be a "sister language" of Romani, the two languages having split after
the departure from the Indian subcontinent – but later
research suggests that the differences between them are significant
enough to treat them as two separate languages within the Central zone
(Hindustani) group of languages. The Dom and the Rom therefore likely
descend from two different migration waves out of India, separated by
Romani language shares a number of isoglosses with the
Central branch of
Indo-Aryan languages especially in the realization
of some sounds of the Old Indo-Aryan. However, it also preserves a
number of dental clusters. In regards to verb morphology, Romani
follows the exact same pattern of northwestern languages such as
Kashmiri and Shina through the adoption of oblique enclitic pronouns
as person markers, lending credence to the theory of their Central
Indian origin and a subsequent migration to northwestern India. Though
the retention of dental clusters suggests a break from central
languages during the transition from Old to Middle Indo-Aryan, the
overall morphology suggests that the language participated in some of
the significant developments leading toward the emergence of New
Indo-Aryan languages. Numerals in the Romani, Domari and Lomavren
Hindi and Persian forms for comparison. Note that
Romani 7–9 are borrowed from Greek.
Two Gypsies in Spain, by Francisco Iturrino
Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern
India and migrated as a group. According to the study,
the ancestors of present scheduled tribes and scheduled caste
populations of northern India, traditionally referred to collectively
as the Ḍoma, are the likely ancestral populations of modern European
Roma. In December 2012, additional findings appeared to confirm
the "Roma came from a single group that left northwestern
1,500 years ago." They reached the
Balkans about 900 years
ago and then spread throughout Europe. The team found that,
despite some isolation, the Roma were "genetically similar to other
Genetic research published in
European Journal of Human Genetics "has
revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that
appears unique to the Roma."
Genetic evidence supports the medieval migration from India. The
Romani have been described as "a conglomerate of genetically isolated
founder populations," while a number of common Mendelian
disorders among Romanies from all over
Europe indicates "a common
origin and founder effect."
A study from 2001 by Gresham et al. suggests "a limited number of
related founders, compatible with a small group of migrants splitting
from a distinct caste or tribal group." The same study found that
"a single lineage… found across Romani populations, accounts for
almost one-third of Romani males." A 2004 study by Morar et al.
concluded that the Romani population "was founded approximately
32–40 generations ago, with secondary and tertiary founder events
occurring approximately 16–25 generations ago."
Haplogroup H-M82 is a major lineage cluster in the Balkan Romani
group, accounting for approximately 60% of the total. Haplogroup
H is uncommon in
Europe but present in the
Indian subcontinent and Sri
A study of 444 people representing three different ethnic groups in
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia found mtDNA haplogroups M5a1 and H7a1a were
dominant in Romanies (13.7% and 10.3%, respectively).
Y-DNA composition of Romani in the Republic of Macedonia, based on 57
Haplogroup H – 59.6%
Haplogroup E – 29.8%
Haplogroup I – 5.3%
Haplogroup R – 3.%, of which the half are
R1b and many are R1a
Haplogroup G – 1.8%
A Roma makes a complaint to a local magistrate in Hungary, by Sándor
Y-DNA Haplogroup H1a occurs in Romani at frequencies 7–70%. Unlike
ethnic Hungarians, among Hungarian and Slovakian Romani
subpopulations, Haplogroup E-M78 and I1 usually occur above 10% and
sometimes over 20%. While among Slovakian and
Tiszavasvari Romani the
dominant haplogroup is H1a, among
Tokaj Romani is Haplogroup J2a
(23%), while among
Taktaharkány Romani is Haplogroup I2a (21%).
Five, rather consistent founder lineages throughout the
subpopulations, were found among Romani – J-M67 and J-M92 (J2),
H-M52 (H1a1), and I-P259 (I1?). Haplogroup I-P259 as H is not found at
frequencies of over 3 percent among host populations, while
haplogroups E and I are absent in South Asia. The lineages E-V13,
I-P37 (I2a) and R-M17 (R1a) may represent gene flow from the host
populations, excluding the Z93 branch of R1a, which is most frequent
Romani people in Turkey. Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek Romani
are dominated by Haplogroup H-M82 (H1a1), while among Spanish Romani
J2 is prevalent. Among
Belgrade Romani Haplogroup H
prevails, while among
Vojvodina Romani, H drops to 7% and E-V13 rises
to a prevailing level.
Among non-Roma Europeans Haplogroup H is extremely rare, peaking at 7%
Albanians from Tirana and 11% among Bulgarian Turks. It
occurs at 5% among Hungarians, although the carriers might be of
Romani origin. Among non Roma-speaking Europeans at 2% among
Slovaks, 2% among Croats, 1% among Macedonians from Skopje,
3% among Macedonian Albanians, 1% among
Serbs from Belgrade,
3% among Bulgarians from Sofia, 1% among Austrians and
Swiss, 3% among
Romanians from Ploiesti, 1% among Turks.
Possible migration route
They may have emerged from the modern Indian state of Rajasthan,
migrating to the northwest (the
Sindh and Baluchistan
of the Indian subcontinent) around 250 BC. Their subsequent westward
migration, possibly in waves, is now believed to have occurred
beginning in about AD 500. It has also been suggested that
India may have taken place in the context of the raids
by Mahmud of Ghazni. As these soldiers were defeated, they were moved
west with their families into the Byzantine Empire. The author
Ralph Lilley Turner
Ralph Lilley Turner theorised a central Indian origin of Romani
followed by a migration to Northwest
India as it shares a number of
ancient isoglosses with Central
Indo-Aryan languages in relation to
realization of some sounds of Old Indo-Aryan. This is lent further
credence by its sharing the exact same pattern of northwestern
languages such as Kashmiri and Shina through the adoption of oblique
enclitic pronouns as person markers. The overall morphology suggests
that Romani participated in some of the significant developments
leading toward the emergence of New Indo-Aryan languages, thus
indicating that the proto-Romani did not leave the Indian subcontinent
until late in the second half of the first millennium.
The migration of the Romanies through the Middle East and Northern
Africa to Europe
Main article: History of the Romani people
Arrival in Europe
Though according to a 2012 genomic study, the Romani reached the
Balkans as early as the 12th century, the first historical
records of the Romani reaching south-eastern
Europe are from the 14th
century: in 1322 after leaving Ireland on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem,
Symon Semeonis encountered a migrant group of
Romani outside the town of
Heraklion (Candia), in Crete, calling them
"the descendants of Cain"; his account is the earliest surviving
description by a Western chronicler of the Romani in Europe. In 1350
Sudheim mentioned a similar people with a unique language
whom he called Mandapolos, a word some think derives from the Greek
word mantes (meaning prophet or fortune teller). Around 1360, a
fiefdom, called the
Feudum Acinganorum was established in Corfu, which
mainly used Romani serfs and to which the Romani on the island were
subservient. By the 1440s, they were recorded in Germany;
and by the 16th century, Scotland and Sweden. Some Romani
Persia through North Africa, reaching the Iberian
Peninsula in the 15th century. The two currents met in France.
First arrival of the Romanies outside
Bern in the 15th century,
described by the chronicler as getoufte heiden ("baptized heathens")
and drawn with dark skin and wearing Saracen-style clothing and
weapons (Spiezer Schilling, p. 749)
Early Modern history
An 1852 Wallachian poster advertising an auction of Romani slaves in
Their early history shows a mixed reception. Although 1385 marks the
first recorded transaction for a Romani slave in Wallachia, they were
issued safe conduct by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund in
1417.[page needed] Romanies were ordered expelled from the
Meissen region of
Germany in 1416,
Lucerne in 1471,
Milan in 1493,
France in 1504,
Catalonia in 1512,
Sweden in 1525, England in 1530
(see Egyptians Act 1530), and
Denmark in 1536.[page needed]
In 1510, any Romani found in Switzerland were ordered put to death,
with similar rules established in England in 1554, and
Portugal began deportations of Romanies to its colonies
in 1538.[page needed]
A 1596 English statute gave Romanies special privileges that other
France passed a similar law in 1683. Catherine the
Russia declared the Romanies "crown slaves" (a status
superior to serfs), but also kept them out of certain parts of the
capital. In 1595,
Ștefan Răzvan overcame his birth into
slavery, and became the
Voivode (Prince) of
Since a royal edict by Charles II in 1695, Spanish gypsies had been
restricted to certain towns. An official edict in 1717 restricted
them to only 75 towns and districts, so that they would not be
concentrated in any one region. In the Great Gypsy Round-up, Romani
were arrested and imprisoned by the
Spanish Monarchy in 1749.
During the latter part of the 17th century around the time of the
Franco-Dutch War both
France and Holland needed thousands of men to
fight. Some recruitment took the form of rounding up vagrants and the
poor to work the galleys and provide labour force for the armies. With
this background, Gypsies were targets by both the French and the
After the wars, and into the first decade of the 18th century, Gypsies
were slaughtered with impunity throughout Holland. Gypsies, called
‘heiden’ by the Dutch, wandered throughout the rural areas of
Europe and became the societal pariahs of the age. Gypsy-hunt or
heidenjachten, translated as “heathen hunt” happened throughout
Holland in an attempt to eradicate them.
Although some Romani could be kept as slaves in
Wallachia and Moldavia
until abolition in 1856, the majority traveled as free nomads with
their wagons, as alluded to in the spoked wheel symbol in the Romanies
flag. Elsewhere in Europe, they were subject to ethnic cleansing,
abduction of their children, and forced labor. In England, Romani were
sometimes expelled from small communities or hanged; in France, they
were branded and their heads were shaved; in
Moravia and Bohemia, the
women were marked by their ears being severed. As a result, large
groups of the Romani moved to the East, toward Poland, which was more
tolerant, and Russia, where the Romani were treated more fairly as
long as they paid the annual taxes.
Romani began emigrating to North America in colonial times, with small
groups recorded in
Virginia and French Louisiana. Larger-scale Roma
emigration to the
United States began in the 1860s, with groups of
Romanichal from Great Britain. The largest number immigrated in the
early 1900s, mainly from the Vlax group of Kalderash. Many Romani also
settled in South America.
Sinti and other Romani about to be deported from Germany, May 22,
World War II
Main article: Porajmos
During World War II, the
Nazis embarked on a systematic genocide of
the Romani, a process known in Romani as the Porajmos. Romanies
were marked for extermination and sentenced to forced labor and
imprisonment in concentration camps.
They were often killed on sight, especially by the Einsatzgruppen
(paramilitary death squads) on the Eastern Front. The total
number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 and
1,500,000; even the lower figure would make the
Porajmos one of the
largest mass killings in history.
The treatment of Romani in Nazi partner states differed markedly. In
the Independent State of Croatia, the separatist
killed around 25,000 Roma, almost the entire Roma population. The
concentration camp system of Jasenovac, run by the
Ustasa militia and
the Croat political police, were responsible for the deaths of between
15,000 and 20,000 Roma.
In Czechoslovakia, they were labeled a "socially degraded stratum,"
and Romani women were sterilized as part of a state policy to reduce
their population. This policy was implemented with large financial
incentives, threats of denying future welfare payments, with
misinformation, or after administering drugs.
An official inquiry from the Czech Republic, resulting in a report
(December 2005), concluded that the Communist authorities had
practised an assimilation policy towards Romanis, which "included
efforts by social services to control the birth rate in the Romani
community. .. The problem of sexual sterilisation carried out in the
Czech Republic, either with improper motivation or illegally, exists,"
said the Czech Public Defender of Rights, recommending state
compensation for women affected between 1973 and 1991. New cases
were revealed up until 2004, in both the
Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Sweden and Switzerland "all have histories of
coercive sterilization of minorities and other groups."
Society and traditional culture
Main article: Romani society and culture
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Münster, Sebastian (1552), "A Gipsy Family", The Cosmographia
(facsimile of a woodcut), Basle.
Nomadic Roma family traveling in Moldavia, 1837
The traditional Romanies place a high value on the extended family.
Virginity is essential in unmarried women. Both men and women often
marry young; there has been controversy in several countries over the
Romani practice of child marriage. Romani law establishes that the
man's family must pay a bride price to the bride's parents, but only
traditional families still follow this rule.
Once married, the woman joins the husband's family, where her main job
is to tend to her husband's and her children's needs, as well as to
take care of her in-laws. The power structure in the traditional
Romani household has at its top the oldest man or grandfather, and men
in general have more authority than women. Women gain respect and
authority as they get older. Young wives begin gaining authority once
they have children.
Romani social behavior is strictly regulated by
Hindu purity laws
("marime" or "marhime"), still respected by most Roma (and by most
older generations of Sinti). This regulation affects many aspects of
life, and is applied to actions, people and things: parts of the human
body are considered impure: the genital organs (because they produce
emissions), as well as the rest of the lower body. Clothes for the
lower body, as well as the clothes of menstruating women, are washed
separately. Items used for eating are also washed in a different
place. Childbirth is considered impure, and must occur outside the
dwelling place. The mother is considered impure for forty days after
Death is considered impure, and affects the whole family of the dead,
who remain impure for a period of time. In contrast to the practice of
cremating the dead, Romani dead must be buried.
burial are both known from the time of the Rigveda, and both are
widely practiced in
Hinduism today (although the tendency is for
Hindus to practice cremation, while some communities in South India
tend to bury their dead). Some animals are also considered
impure, for instance cats because they lick their hindquarters.
Horses, in contrast, are not considered impure because they cannot do
Belonging and exclusion
Romanipen and Gadjo (non-Romani)
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 a
Gadjo (non-Romani) in the Romani
society if he has no Romanipen. Sometimes a non-Romani may be
considered a Romani if he has Romanipen. Usually this 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.
Christian Romanies during the pilgrimage at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
in France, 1980s
Romani people are Christian, others Muslim, some retained their
ancient faith of
Hinduism from their original homeland of India,
others have their own religion and political organization.
The ancestors of modern-day
Romani people were previously Hindu, but
Islam depending on their respective regions
through which they had migrated.
Muslim Roma are found in Turkey,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Egypt, Kosovo, Macedonia, and
Bulgaria, forming a very significant proportion of the Romani people.
In neighboring countries such as
Greece most of the Romani inhabitants
follow the practice of Orthodoxy. It is likely that the adherence to
differing religions prevented families from engaging in
Deities and saints
Ceferino Giménez Malla
Ceferino Giménez Malla is considered a patron saint of the
Romani people in Roman Catholicism. Saint Sarah, or Sara e Kali,
has also been venerated as a patron saint in the same manner as the
Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla. Since the turn of the 21st century,
Sara e Kali
Sara e Kali is understood to have been Kali, an Indian deity brought
India by the refugee ancestors of the Roma people; as the Roma
became Christianized, she was absorbed in a syncretic way and
worshipped as a saint.
Gypsy fortune-teller in Poland, by Antoni Kozakiewicz, 1884
Mother Goddess figurines have been found in the excavations of the
Indus Valley Civilisation in Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, in the Sindh
Haryana area [Some Romani claim
Punjab is their
original habitat], and Mata
Kali [Mother Kali] is still worshipped in
Saint Sarah is now increasingly being considered as
"a Romani Goddess, the Protectress of the Roma" and an "indisputable
link with Mother India".
Ceremonies and practices
Romanies often adopt the dominant religion of their host country in
the event that a ceremony associated with a formal religious
institution is necessary, such as a baptism or funeral (their
particular belief systems and indigenous religion and worship remain
preserved regardless of such adoption processes). The Roma continue to
practice "Shaktism", a practice with origins in India, whereby a
female consort is required for the worship of a god. Adherence to this
practice means that for the Roma who worship the Christian God, prayer
is conducted through the Virgin Mary, or her mother, Saint
Shaktism continues over one thousand years after the
people's separation from India.
Besides the Roma elders (who serve as spiritual leaders), priests,
churches, or bibles do not exist among the Romanies – the only
exception is the Pentecostal Roma.
Costume of a Romani woman
For the Roma communities that have resided in the
Balkans for numerous
centuries, often referred to as "Turkish Gypsies", the following
histories apply for religious beliefs:
Albania – The majority of Albania's Roma people are Muslims.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Islam is the dominant
religion among the Roma.
Bulgaria – In northwestern Bulgaria, in addition to
Christianity is the dominant faith among
Romani people (a
major conversion to Eastern Orthodox
Christianity among Romani people
has occurred). In southeastern Bulgaria,
Islam is the dominant
religion among Romani people, with a smaller section of the Romani
population, declaring themselves as "Turks", continuing to mix
ethnicity with Islam.
Croatia – Following the Second World War, a large number of Muslim
Roma relocated to
Croatia (the majority moving from Kosovo).
Greece – The descendants of groups, such as Sepečides or Sevljara,
Kalpazaja, Filipidži and others, living in Athens, Thessaloniki,
Greece and Greek Macedonia are mostly Orthodox Christians,
with Islamic beliefs held by a minority of the population. Following
the Peace Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, many
Muslim Roma moved to Turkey
in the subsequent population exchange between
Turkey and Greece.
Muslim Romanies in
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (around 1900)
Kosovo – The vast majority of the Roma population in
Macedonia – The majority of Roma people are followers of Islam.
Romania – According to the 2002 census, the majority of Romani
minority living in
Romania are Orthodox Christians, while 6.4% are
Pentecostals, 3.8% Roman Catholics, 3% Reformed, 1.1% Greek Catholics,
0.9% Baptists, 0.8% Seventh-Day Adventists. In Dobruja, there is
a small community that are
Muslim and also speak Turkish.
Serbia – Most Roma people in
Serbia are Orthodox Christian, but
there are some
Muslim Roma in Southern Serbia, who are mainly refugees
Russia the Roma populations are also
Muslim as the
families of Balkan migrants continue to live in these locations. Their
ancestors settled on the Crimean peninsula during the 17th and 18th
centuries, but then migrated to Ukraine, southern
Russia and the
Povolzhie (along the Volga River). Formally,
Islam is the religion
that these communities align themselves with and the people are
recognized for their staunch preservation of the
Romani language and
Most Eastern European Romanies are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox,
or Muslim. Those in Western
Europe and the
United States are
mostly Roman Catholic or Protestant – in southern Spain, many
Romanies are Pentecostal, but this is a small minority that has
emerged in contemporary times. In Egypt, the Romanies are split
into Christian and
Main article: Romani music
27 June 2009:
Fanfare Ciocârlia live in Athens, Greece.
Street performance during the
Khamoro World Roma Festival in Prague,
Romani music plays an important role in Central and Eastern European
countries such as Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro,
Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Hungary, Slovakia,
Slovenia and Romania, and the style and performance practices of
Romani musicians have influenced European classical composers such as
Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. The lăutari who perform at
traditional Romanian weddings are virtually all Romani.
Probably the most internationally prominent contemporary performers in
the lăutari tradition are Taraful Haiducilor. Bulgaria's popular
"wedding music", too, is almost exclusively performed by Romani
musicians such as Ivo Papasov, a virtuoso clarinetist closely
associated with this genre and Bulgarian pop-folk singer Azis.
Many famous classical musicians, such as the Hungarian pianist Georges
Cziffra, are Romani, as are many prominent performers of manele. Zdob
și Zdub, one of the most prominent rock bands in Moldova, although
not Romanies themselves, draw heavily on Romani music, as do Spitalul
de Urgență in Romania,
Shantel in Germany,
Goran Bregović in
Darko Rundek in Croatia, Beirut and
Gogol Bordello in the
Another tradition of
Romani music is the genre of the Romani brass
band, with such notable practitioners as
Boban Marković of Serbia,
and the brass lăutari groups
Fanfare Ciocărlia and Fanfare din
Cozmesti of Romania.
Many musical instruments like violins and guitars are said[by whom?]
to have originated from the Romani. Many dances such as the flamenco
Spain and Oriental dances of
Egypt are also said to have originated
The distinctive sound of
Romani music has also strongly influenced
bolero, jazz, and flamenco (especially cante jondo) in Spain.
European-style gypsy jazz ("jazz Manouche" or "
Sinti jazz") is still
widely practiced among the original creators (the Romanie People); one
who acknowledged this artistic debt was guitarist Django Reinhardt.
Contemporary artists in this tradition known internationally include
Stochelo Rosenberg, Biréli Lagrène, Jimmy Rosenberg, Paulus Schäfer
and Tchavolo Schmitt.
The Romanies of
Turkey have achieved musical acclaim from national and
local audiences. Local performers usually perform for special
holidays. Their music is usually performed on instruments such as the
darbuka, gırnata and cümbüş.
Contemporary art and culture
Main article: Romani contemporary art
Romani contemporary art is art created by Romani people. It emerged at
the climax of the process that began in Central and
Eastern Europe in
the late-1980s, when the interpretation of the cultural practice of
minorities was enabled by a paradigm shift, commonly referred to in
specialist literature as the Cultural turn. The idea of the "cultural
turn" was introduced; and this was also the time when the notion of
cultural democracy became crystallized in the debates carried on at
various public forums.
Civil society gained strength, and civil
politics appeared, which is a prerequisite for cultural democracy.
This shift of attitude in scholarly circles derived from concerns
specific not only to ethnicity, but also to society, gender and
Main article: Romani language
Most Romani speak one of several dialects of the Romani language,
an Indo-Aryan language, with roots in Sanskrit. They also often speak
the languages of the countries they live in. Typically, they also
incorporate loanwords and calques into Romani from the languages of
those countries and especially words for terms that the Romani
language does not have. Most of the Ciganos of Portugal, the Gitanos
of Spain, the
Romanichal of the UK, and Scandinavian Travellers have
lost their knowledge of pure Romani, and respectively speak the mixed
languages Caló, Angloromany, and Scandoromani. Most of the
speaker communities in these regions consist of later immigrants from
eastern or central Europe.
There are no concrete statistics for the number of Romani speakers,
Europe and globally. However, a conservative estimation has
been made at 3.5 million speakers in
Europe and a further 500,000
elsewhere, although the actual number may be considerably higher.
This makes Romani the second largest minority language in Europe,
In relation to dialect diversity, Romani works in the same way as most
other European languages. Cross-dialect communication is
dominated by the following features:
All Romani speakers are bilingual, and are accustomed to borrowing
words or phrases from a second language; this makes it difficult when
trying to communicate with Romanis from different countries
Romani was traditionally a language shared between extended family and
a close-knit community. This has resulted in the inability to
comprehend dialects from other countries. This is the reason Romani is
sometimes associated as being number of different languages.
There is no tradition or example of a literary standard for Romani
speakers to use as a guideline for their language use.
Main article: Anti-Romanyism
One of the most enduring persecutions against the
Romani people was
their enslavement. Slavery was widely practiced in medieval Europe,
including the territory of present-day
Romania from before the
founding of the principalities of
Wallachia in the
13th–14th century.[page needed] Legislation decreed that
all the Romani living in these states, as well as any others who
immigrated there, were classified as slaves. Slavery was
gradually abolished during the 1840s and 1850s.[page needed]
The exact origins of slavery in the
Danubian Principalities are not
known. There is some debate over whether the
Romani people came to
Moldavia as free men or were brought as slaves.
Nicolae Iorga associated the Roma people's arrival with the
1241 Mongol invasion of
Europe and considered their slavery as a
vestige of that era, in which the
Romanians took the Roma as slaves
Mongols and preserved their status to use their labor. Other
historians believe that the Romani were enslaved, while captured
during the battles, with the Tatars. The practice of enslaving war
prisoners may also have been adopted from the
Some Romani may have been slaves or auxiliary troops of the
Tatars, but most of them migrated from south of the
Danube at the end
of the 14th century, some time after the foundation of Wallachia. By
then, the institution of slavery was already established in Moldavia
and possibly in both principalities. After the Roma migrated into the
area, slavery became a widespread practice by the majority population.
The Tatar slaves, smaller in numbers, were eventually merged into the
Some branches of the
Romani people reached Western
Europe in the 15th
century, fleeing as refugees from the Ottoman conquest of the
Balkans. Although the Romani were refugees from the conflicts in
southeastern Europe, they were often suspected by certain populations
in the West of being associated with the Ottoman invasion because of
their physical features seemed related to the Turks. (The Imperial
Diet at Landau and Freiburg in 1496–1498 declared that the Romani
were spies of the Turks). In Western Europe, such suspicions and
discrimination against a people who were a visible minority resulted
in persecution, often violent, with efforts to achieve ethnic
cleansing until the modern era. In times of social tension, the Romani
suffered as scapegoats; for instance, they were accused of bringing
the plague during times of epidemics.
On July 30, 1749,
Spain conducted The Great Roundup of Romani
(Gitanos) in its territory. The Spanish Crown ordered a nationwide
raid that led to the break-up of families as all able-bodied men were
interned into forced labor camps in an attempt at ethnic cleansing.
The measure was eventually reversed and the Gypsies were freed as
protests began to arise in different communities, sedentary gypsies
being highly esteemed and protected in rural Spain.
Later in the 19th century, Romani immigration was forbidden on a
racial basis in areas outside Europe, mostly in the English-speaking
Argentina in 1880 prohibited immigration by Roma, as did the
United States in 1885.)
Deportation of Roma from Asperg, Germany, 1940 (photograph by the
Habsburg Monarchy under Maria Theresa (1740–1780), a series
of decrees tried to force the Romanies to permanently settle, removed
rights to horse and wagon ownership (1754), renamed them as "New
Citizens" and forced Romani boys into military service if they had no
trade (1761), forced them to register with the local authorities
(1767), and prohibited marriage between Romanies (1773). Her successor
Josef II prohibited the wearing of traditional Romani clothing and the
use of the Romani language, punishable by flogging.
In Spain, attempts to assimilate the
Gitanos were under way as early
as 1619, when
Gitanos were forcibly settled, the use of the Romani
language was prohibited, Gitano men and women were sent to separate
workhouses and their children sent to orphanages. King Charles III
took on a more progressive attitude to Gitano assimilation,
proclaiming their equal rights as Spanish citizens and ending official
denigration based on their race. While he prohibited the nomadic
lifestyle, the use of the Calo language, Romani clothing, their trade
in horses and other itinerant trades, he also forbade any form of
discrimination against them or barring them from the guilds. The use
of the word gitano was also forbidden to further assimilation,
substituted for "New Castilian", which was also applied to former Jews
Most historians agree that Charles III pragmática failed due to three
main reasons, ultimately derived from its implementation outside major
cities and in marginal areas: The difficulty the Gitano community
faced in changing its nomadic lifestyle, the marginal lifestyle in
which the community had been driven by society and the serious
difficulties of applying the pragmática in the fields of education
and work. One author ascribes its failure to the overall rejection by
the wider population of the integration of the Gitanos.
Other examples of forced assimilation include Norway, where a law was
passed in 1896 permitting the state to remove children from their
parents and place them in state institutions. This resulted in
some 1,500 Romani children being taken from their parents in the 20th
Main article: Porajmos
The persecution of the Romanies reached a peak during
World War II
World War II in
the Porajmos, the genocide perpetrated by the
Nazis during the
Holocaust. In 1935, the
Nuremberg laws stripped the Romani people
living in Nazi
Germany of their citizenship, after which they were
subjected to violence, imprisonment in concentration camps and later
genocide in extermination camps. The policy was extended in areas
occupied by the
Nazis during the war, and it was also applied by their
allies, notably the Independent State of Croatia,
Romania and Hungary.
Because no accurate pre-war census figures exist for the Romanis, it
is impossible to accurately assess the actual number of victims. Ian
Hancock, director of the Program of Romani Studies at the University
Texas at Austin, proposes a figure of up to a million and a half,
while an estimate of between 220,000 and 500,000 was made by Sybil
Milton, formerly senior historian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum.[a] In Central Europe, the extermination in the Protectorate of
Moravia was so thorough that the
Bohemian Romani language
Distribution of the
Romani people in
Europe (2007 Council of Europe
"average estimates", totalling 9.8 million)
Antiziganist protests in Sofia, 2011
Anti-Romanyism § Contemporary_anti-Romanyism
Romani people are associated with poverty, are accused of
high rates of crime and behaviours that are perceived by the rest of
the population as being antisocial or inappropriate. Partly for
this reason, discrimination against the
Romani people has continued to
the present day, although efforts are being made to address
Amnesty International reports continued instances of
Antizigan discrimination during the 20th Century, particularly in
Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and
European Union has recognized that discrimination
against Romani must be addressed, and with the national Roma
integration strategy they encourage member states to work towards
greater Romani inclusion and upholding the rights of the Romani in the
Serbia also include up to 97.000 Roma
Roma estimate percentage of population in European countries
The Romanis of
Kosovo have been severely persecuted by ethnic
Albanians since the end of the
Kosovo War, and the region's Romani
community is, for the most part, annihilated.
Czechoslovakia carried out a policy of sterilization of Romani women,
starting in 1973. The dissidents of the
Charter 77 denounced it
in 1977–78 as a genocide, but the practice continued through the
Velvet Revolution of 1989. A 2005 report by the Czech Republic's
independent ombudsman, Otakar Motejl, identified dozens of cases of
coercive sterilization between 1979 and 2001, and called for criminal
investigations and possible prosecution against several health care
workers and administrators.
In 2008, following the brutal rape and subsequent murder of an Italian
Rome at the hands of a young man from a local Romani
encampment, the Italian government declared that Italy's Romani
population represented a national security risk and that swift action
was required to address the emergenza nomadi (nomad emergency).
Specifically, officials in the Italian government accused the Romanies
of being responsible for rising crime rates in urban areas.
The 2008 deaths of Cristina and Violetta Djeordsevic, two Roma
children who drowned while Italian beach-goers remained unperturbed,
brought international attention to the relationship between Italians
and the Roma people. Reviewing the state of play in 2012, one Belgian
On International Roma Day, which falls on 8 April, the significant
proportion of Europe's 12 million Roma who live in deplorable
conditions will not have much to celebrate. And poverty is not the
only worry for the community. Ethnic tensions are on the rise. In
2008, Roma camps came under attack in Italy, intimidation by racist
parliamentarians is the norm in Hungary. Speaking in 1993, Václav
Havel prophetically remarked that "the treatment of the Roma is a
litmus test for democracy": and democracy has been found wanting. The
consequences of the transition to capitalism have been disastrous for
the Roma. Under communism they had jobs, free housing and schooling.
Now many are unemployed, many are losing their homes and racism is
increasingly rewarded with impunity.
The 2016 Pew Research poll found that Italians, in particular, hold
strong anti-Roma views, with 82% of Italians expressing negative
opinions about Roma. In
Greece 67%, in
Hungary 64%, in
France 61%, in
Spain 49%, in
Poland 47%, in the UK 45%, in
Sweden 42%, in Germany
40%, and in the
Netherlands 37% have an unfavourable view of
Main article: Expulsion of
Romani people from France
In the summer of 2010 French authorities demolished at least 51
illegal Roma camps and began the process of repatriating their
residents to their countries of origin. This followed tensions
between the French state and Roma communities, which had been
heightened after French police opened fire and killed a traveller who
drove through a police checkpoint, hitting an officer, and attempted
to hit two more officers at another checkpoint. In retaliation a group
of Roma, armed with hatchets and iron bars, attacked the police
station of Saint-Aignan, toppled traffic lights and road signs and
burned three cars. The French government has been accused of
perpetrating these actions to pursue its political agenda. EU
Viviane Reding stated that the European
Commission should take legal action against
France over the issue,
calling the deportations "a disgrace". Purportedly, a leaked file
dated 5 August, sent from the Interior Ministry to regional police
chiefs included the instruction: "Three hundred camps or illegal
settlements must be cleared within three months, Roma camps are a
Organizations and projects
World Romani Congress
European Roma Rights Centre
Gypsy Lore Society
International Romani Union
Decade of Roma Inclusion, multinational project
International Romani Day
International Romani Day April 8
Paris Bordone, c. 1530, Elizabeth, at right, is shown as a gypsy
Romani people in fiction
Many depictions of
Romani people in literature and art present
romanticized narratives of their supposed mystical powers of fortune
telling or their supposed irascible or passionate temper paired with
an indomitable love of freedom and a habit of criminality. Romani were
a popular subject in Venetian painting from the time of
the start of the 16th century; the inclusion of such a figure adds an
exotic oriental flavour to scenes. A Venetian Renaissance painting by
Paris Bordone (ca. 1530, Strasbourg) of the
Holy Family in
Elizabeth, a gypsy fortune-teller; the scene is otherwise located in a
distinctly European landscape.
Particularly notable are classics like the story
Carmen by Prosper
Mérimée and the opera based on it by Georges Bizet, Victor Hugo's
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Herge's
The Castafiore Emerald
The Castafiore Emerald and Miguel
de Cervantes' La Gitanilla. The Romani were also depicted in A
Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It,
Othello and The Tempest, all
by William Shakespeare.
The Romani were also heavily romanticized in the Soviet Union, a
classic example being the 1975 Tabor ukhodit v Nebo. A more realistic
depiction of contemporary Romani in the Balkans, featuring Romani lay
actors speaking in their native dialects, although still playing with
established clichés of a Romani penchant for both magic and crime,
was presented by
Emir Kusturica in his
Time of the Gypsies
Time of the Gypsies (1988) and
Black Cat, White Cat
Black Cat, White Cat (1998). The films of Tony Gatlif, a French
director of Romani ethnicity, like Les Princes (1983), Latcho Drom
(1993) and Gadjo Dilo (1997) also portray gypsy life.
August von Pettenkofen: Gipsy Children (1885), Hermitage Museum
Vincent van Gogh: The Caravans – Gypsy Camp near Arles (1888, oil on
Romani people portal
Environmental racism in Europe
King of the Gypsies
R v Krymowski
Timeline of Romani history
Itinerant groups in Europe
Nomadic tribes in India
List of Romani people
List of Romani settlements
^ Most estimates for numbers of Romani victims of the Holocaust fall
between 200,000 and 500,000, although figures ranging between 90,000
and 4 million have been proposed. Lower estimates do not include those
killed in all Axis-controlled countries. A detailed study by Sybil
Milton, formerly senior historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum gave a figure of at least a minimum of 220,000, possibly closer
to 500,000. Ian Hancock, Director of the Program of Romani
Studies and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the
Texas at Austin, argues in favour of a higher figure of
between 500,000 and 1,500,000.
^ Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World"
(online) (16th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL. Retrieved 15 September 2010. Ian
Hancock's 1987 estimate for 'all Gypsies in the world' was 6 to 11
^ "EU demands action to tackle Roma poverty". BBC News. 5 April
^ "The Roma". Nationalia. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
^ "Rom". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 15 September 2010. ...
estimates of the total world Roma population range from two million to
^ "The Marginalization of Shadow Minorities (Roma) and Its Impact on
Opportunities". Books.google.com. p. 117. Retrieved 27 July
^ a b Kayla Webley (13 October 2010). "Hounded in Europe, Roma in the
U.S. Keep a Low Profile". Time. Retrieved 3 October 2015. Today,
estimates put the number of Roma in the U.S. at about one
^ "Falta de políticas públicas para ciganos é desafio para o
governo" [Lack of public policy for Romani is a challenge for the
administration] (in Portuguese). R7. 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality estimates
the number of "ciganos" (Romanis) in
Brazil at 800,000 (2011). The
2010 IBGE Brazilian National Census encountered gypsy camps in 291 of
Brazil's 5,565 municipalities.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Recent Migration of Roma in Europe,
A study by Mr. Claude Cahn and Professor Elspeth Guild" (PDF) (2nd,
October 2010 ed.).
Council of Europe
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. October 2010 [First
published 10 December 2008]. pp. 87–88. Retrieved 15 September
2017: Appendix 1 - Romani Population in
Council of Europe
Council of Europe Member
States - Source:
Council of Europe
Council of Europe Roma and Travellers Division,
^ "Türkiye'deki Kürtlerin sayısı!" [The number of Kurds in
Turkey!] (in Turkish). 6 June 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
^ "Türkiye'deki Çingene nüfusu tam bilinmiyor. 2, hatta 5 milyon
gibi rakamlar dolaşıyor Çingenelerin arasında". Hurriyet (in
Turkish). TR. 8 May 2005. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
^ Estimated by the
Society for Threatened Peoples
Society for Threatened Peoples 
^ "The Situation of Roma in Spain" (PDF). Open Society Institute.
2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2007. Retrieved
15 September 2010. The Spanish government estimates the number of
Gitanos at a maximum of 650,000.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Romani people.
European countries Roma links
History the Roma and
Sinti in Germany .
"General introduction", History of the Roma in Austria, AT: Uni
"History of the Roma in Czech Republic". CZ: Rommuz. [dead link].
Deportation, EU: Romas Inti . History of some Roma Europeans
Gypsies in France, 1566–2011, FYI France
The concentration, labor, ghetto camps that the Roma were persecuted
in during World War II
"Hodonin", History: Camps, CZ: Holocaus .
History, CZ: Lety memorial .
"The situation of the Roma in the European Union" (resolution).
European Parliament. 28 April 2005. [permanent dead link].
"Final report on the human rights situation of the Roma,
travellers in Europe". The European Commissioner for Human Rights
(Council of Europe). 15 February 2006. .
Shot in remote areas of the Thar desert in Northwest India, Jaisalmer
Ayo: Gateway of the Gypsies on
YouTube captures the lives of vanishing
nomadic communities who are believed to share common ancestors with
the Roma people – released 2004
European Roma Rights Centre .
The Gypsy Lore Scociety .
Roma Rights Network .
Museums and libraries
Museum of Romani Culture (in Czech), Brno, CZ .
Studii romani (specialized library with archive), Sofia, BG .
Documentation and Cultural Centre of German
Sinti and Roma,
Heidelberg, DE .
Ethnographic Museum (in Polish), Tarnów, PL .
"Who we Were, Who we Are:
Kosovo Roma Oral History Collection". March
2004. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. . The most
comprehensive collection of information on Kosovo's Roma in existence.
Scandinavian Travellers (Tavinger, Romanisæl)
Bosnia and Herzegovina