Romani people

Romani people
Romani people
Rromane dźene
Roma flag.svg
Romani flag created in 1933 and accepted by the 1971 World Romani Congress
Total population
Up to 5 million in the world[1]
6-11 million in the world[2]
10-12 million in Europe[3]
See Romani people by country for the entire list of countries and other estimations.

The following list uses official data, the unofficial estmation might differ substantially.

Regions with significant populations
Spain 650,000
Romania 535,140
Turkey 500,000
France 500,000
Bulgaria 370,908
Hungary 205,720
Greece 200,000
Russia 182,766
Italy 130,000
Serbia 108,193
United Kingdom 90,000
Slovakia 89,920
Germany 70,000
Rep. of Macedonia 53,879

Romani, languages of native region


(Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism),

Related ethnic groups

Dom people, Lom people, other Indo-Aryans

The Romani, who are known collectively in the Romani language as Romane or Rromane (depending on the dialect concerned) and also as Romany, Romanies, Romanis, Roma or Roms, are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe, who trace their origins to the Indian Subcontinent. Romani are also widely known in the English-speaking world by the exonym Gypsies.

Romani are widely dispersed, with their largest concentrated populations in Europe, especially the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe and Anatolia, followed by the Kale of Iberia and Southern France.

The Americas are also home to large numbers of Romani. This is especially true of Brazil, to which Kale were deported by the government of Portugal during the colonial era.[18] and via more recent migrations, some people have gone to [19] Romani have also migrated to other parts of the New World.

The Romani language is divided into several dialects, which add up to an estimated number of speakers larger than two million.[20] The total number of 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.



Rom, Romani

Romani usage

In the Romani language, rom is a masculine noun, meaning "man, husband", with the plural roma. 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.[21]

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 particularly in Romania, in order to distinguish from the endonym for Romanians (sg. român, pl. români).[22]

English usage

In the 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 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.

Distribution of the Romanies in Europe based on self-designation.

Although Roma is used as a designation for the branch of the Romani people with historic concentrations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, it is increasingly encountered during recent decades[23][24] as a generic term for the Romani people as a whole.[25]

Because all Romanies use the word Romani as an adjective, the term began to be used as a noun for the entire ethnic group.[26]

Today, the term Romani is used by most organizations—including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the US Library of Congress.[22]

The standard assumption is that the demonyms of the Romani people, Lom and Dom share the same origin.[27][28]


The English term Gypsy (or Gipsy) originates from the Greek word for "Egyptian", Αιγύπτιοι (Aigyptioi, whence modern Greek γύφτοι gifti), in the belief that the Romanies, or some other Gypsy groups (such as the Balkan Egyptians), originated in Egypt, and in one narrative were exiled as punishment for allegedly harbouring the infant Jesus.[29] This exonym is sometimes written with capital letter, to show that it designates an ethnic group.[30] The term 'gypsy' appears when international research programmes, documents and policies on the community are referred to. However, as a term 'gypsy' is considered derogatory by many members of the Roma community because of negative and stereotypical associations with the term.[31]

As described in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the medieval French referred to the Romanies as egyptiens. The term has come to bear pejorative connotations. The word Gypsy in English has become so pervasive that many Romani organizations use it in their own organizational names.

In North America, the word gypsy is commonly used as a reference to lifestyle[32] or fashion, and not to the Romani ethnicity. The Spanish term gitano and the French term gitan may have the same origin as a reference to Egypt.[33]

Population and subgroups

Distribution of the Romani people in Europe (2007 Council of Europe "average estimates", totalling 9.8 million)[34][dead link]
* The size of the wheel symbols reflects absolute population size
* The gradient reflects the percent in the country's population: 0%                              10%.

For a variety of reasons, many Romanies choose not to register their ethnic identity in official censuses. There are an estimated four million Romani people in Europe (as of 2002),[35] although some high estimates by Romani organizations give numbers as high as 14 million.[36] Significant Romani populations are found in the Balkan peninsula, in some Central European states, in Spain, France, Russia and Ukraine. Several more million Romanies may live out of Europe, in particular in the Middle East and in the Americas.

The Romani people recognize divisions among themselves based in part on territorial, cultural and dialectal differences and self-designation. The main branches are:[37][38][39][40]

  1. Roma, concentrated in central and eastern Europe and central Italy, emigrated also (mostly from the 19th century onwards) to the rest of Europe, but also on the other continents;
  2. Iberian Kale, mostly in Spain (see Romani people in Spain), but also in Portugal (see Romani people in Portugal), Southern France and Latin America;
  3. Finnish Kale, in Finland, emigrated also to Sweden;
  4. Welsh Kale, in Wales;
  5. Romanichal, in the United Kingdom, emigrated also to the United States and Australia;
  6. Sinti, in German-speaking areas of Europe and some neighboring countries;
  7. Manush, in French-speaking areas of Western Europe;
  8. Romanisæl, in Sweden and Norway.

Among Romanies there are further internal differentiations, like Bashaldé; Churari; Luri; Ungaritza; Lovari (Lovara) from Hungary; Machvaya (Machavaya, Machwaya, or Macwaia) from Serbia; Romungro (Modyar or Modgar) from Hungary and neighbouring Carpathian countries; Erlides (also Yerlii or Arli); Xoraxai (Horahane) from Greece/Turkey; Boyash (Lingurari, Ludar, Ludari, Rudari, or Zlătari) from Romanian words for various crafts: Lingurari (spoon makers) Rudari (wood crafters or miners,[41] i.e. "băieşi" (miners); the semantic overlapping occurring due to the homophony of two different notions: in Serbian, ruda "ore", hence rudar "miner," and ruda "stick, staff, rod, bar, pole" (in Hungarian rúd, and in Romanian rudă, lemma no. 2); Zlătari/Aurari (goldsmiths); Ursari (bear-trainers; in Romanian urs "bear"); Argintari (silversmiths); Florari (florists); Ciurari (sieve makers, hence the Churari above), and Lăutari (musicians).

Some groups which are commonly thought of as Romani, either by surrounding populations or by Romani groups, do not consider themselves to be Romani. This applies to the Balkan Egyptians and the Ashkali.[42]

Another people who may or may not identify themselves as Roma(ni) are the Quinqui or Quinquins of northern Spain and southern France. The Quinquins are of mysterious origins, although the namesake Mercheros hint of their possible Moorish Spanish ethnoancestral origins, therefore some may contend they are Moors in origin. Much of Spain was under Islamic Rule by the Moors until the Spanish Inquisition eradicated the Moors and Islam in the Iberian peninsula by the late 14th and 15th centuries.

But that's never the case for the Irish Travellers who do not claim to be Romany. The Irish Travellers are of local Irish origins known to lived in a semi-nomadic existence in the rural peripheries of Ireland where they are a notable culturally distinct community. They are known to speak Shelta - their own language. The Irish Travellers also lived in Great Britain (i.e. Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales) and reportedly, some emigrated into the USA in the turn of the century (late 19th-early 20th centuries).



Linguistic and genetic evidence indicates the Romanies originated from the Indian subcontinent, emigrating from India towards the northwest no earlier than the 11th century. The Romani are generally believed to have originated in central India, possibly in the modern Indian state of Rajasthan, migrating to the northwest (the Punjab region, Sindh and Baluchistan of modern-day Pakistan and India) around 250 BC. In the centuries spent here, there may have been close interaction with such established groups as the Rajputs and the Jats. Their subsequent westward migration, possibly in waves, is believed to have occurred between AD 500 and AD 1000. Contemporary populations sometimes suggested as sharing a close relationship to the Romani are the Dom people of Western Asia and North Africa and the Banjara of India.[43]

The emigration from India likely took place in the context of the raids by Mahmud of Ghazni[44] As these soldiers were defeated, they were moved west with their families into the Byzantine Empire. The 11th century terminus post quem is due to the Romani language showing unambiguous features of the Modern Indo-Aryan languages,[45] precluding an emigration during the Middle Indic period.

Genetic evidence supports the mediaeval migration from India. The Romanies have been described as "a conglomerate of genetically isolated founder populations",[46] while a number of common Mendelian disorders among Romanies from all over Europe indicates "a common origin and founder effect".[46][47] 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".[48] The same study found that "a single lineage ... found across Romani populations, accounts for almost one-third of Romani males."[48] 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".[49]

Possible connection with the Jat people

While the South Asian origin of the Romani people has been long considered a certitude, the exact South Asian group from whom the Romanies have descended has been a matter of debate. The discovery in 2009 of the "Jat mutation" that causes a type of glaucoma in Romani populations suggests that the Romani people are the descendants of the Jat people found in Northern India and Pakistan.[50][51] This relation to Jats had earlier been suggested by Michael Jan de Goeje in 1883.[52] The 2009 glaucoma study however contradicts an earlier study that compared the most common haplotypes found in Romani groups with those found in Jatt Sikhs and Jats from Haryana and found no matches.[53]

Arrival in Europe

The migration of the Romanies through the Middle East and Northern Africa to Europe.
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).

In 1322, an Irish Franciscan monk, Symon Semeonis encountered a migrant group, "the descendants of Cain", outside the town of Heraklion (Candia), in Crete. Symon's account is probably the earliest surviving description by a Western chronicler of the Romani people in Europe.

In 1350, Ludolphus of Sudheim mentioned a similar people with a unique language whom he called Mandapolos, a word which some theorize was possibly derived from the Greek word mantes (meaning prophet or fortune teller).[54]

Around 1360, the a fiefdom, called the Feudum Acinganorum was established in Corfu, which mainly used Romani serfs and to which the Romanies on the island were subservient.[55][56]

By the 14th century, the Romanies had reached the Balkans; by 1424, Germany; and by the 16th century, Scotland and Sweden. Some Romanies migrated from Persia through North Africa, reaching the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century. The two currents met in France.

Romanies began immigrating to North America in colonial times, with small groups recorded in Virginia and French Louisiana. Larger-scale immigration to the United States began in the 1860s, with groups of Romnaichal from Britain. The largest number immigrated in the early 1900s, mainly from the Vlax group of Kalderash. Many Romanies also settled in South America.

When the Romani people arrived in Europe, the initial curiosity of its residents soon changed to hostility against the newcomers. The Romani were enslaved for five centuries in Wallachia and Moldavia, until abolition in 1856.[57]

Elsewhere in Europe, they were subject to ethnic cleansing, abduction of their children, and forced labor. In England, Romani were sometimes hanged or expelled from small communities; 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.[58]

World War II

During World War II, the Nazis and the Ustaša embarked on a systematic genocide of the Romani, a process known in Romani as the Porajmos.[59] 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 (mobile killing units) on the Eastern Front.[citation needed] The total number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 to 1,500,000; even the lowest number would make the Porajmos one of the largest mass murders in history.[citation needed]


In Communist Eastern Europe, Romanies experienced assimilation schemes and restrictions on cultural freedom.[citation needed] The Romani language and Romani music were banned from public performance in Bulgaria.[dubious ] 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 (Silverman 1995; Helsinki Watch 1991).

An official inquiry from the Czech Republic, resulting in a report (December 2005), concluded that the Communist authorities had practiced an assimilation policy towards Romanies, which "included efforts by social services to control the birth rate in the Romani community" and that "the problem of sexual sterilization carried out in the Czech Republic, either with improper motivation or illegally, exists"[60] with new revealed cases up until 2004, in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[61]

Society and traditional culture

A Gipsy Family - Facsimile of a woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, Basle, 1552.

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 giving birth.

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.[62] Cremation and burial are both known from the time of the Rigveda, and both are widely practiced in Hinduism today (although the tendency for higher caste groups is to burn, while lower caste groups in South India tend to bury their dead).[63] Some animals are also considered impure, for instance cats because they lick themselves.[64]

Belonging and exclusion

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.[65]


Muslim Romanies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (around 1900)

Migrant Romani populations have adopted the dominant religion of their country of residence, while often preserving aspects of older belief systems and forms of worship. Most Eastern European Romanies are Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, or Muslim.

Those in Western Europe and the United States are mostly Roman Catholic or Protestant (particularly in southern Spain many are Pentecostal). In Turkey, Egypt, and the Balkans, the Romanies are split into Christian and Muslim populations.


Young Hungarian Romani performing a traditional dance.

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, 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 şi Zdub, one of the most prominent rock bands in Moldova, although not Romanies themselves, draw heavily on Romani music, as do Spitalul de Urgenţă in Romania, Shantel in Germany, Goran Bregović in Serbia, Darko Rundek in Croatia, Beirut and Gogol Bordello in the United States.

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.

The distinctive sound of Romani music has also strongly influenced bolero, jazz, and flamenco (especially cante jondo) in Europe. 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, 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 and gırnata. A number of nationwide best seller performers are said to be of Romani origin.[citation needed]

Contemporary art and culture


Most Romanies speak one of several dialects of Romani,[66][not in citation given] an Indo-Aryan language. They also will 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, 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,[67] Angloromany, and Scandoromani.

There are independent groups currently working toward standardizing the language, including groups in Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, the USA, and Sweden. Romani is not currently spoken in India.[citation needed]


Historical persecution

One of the most enduring persecutions against the Romani people was the enslaving of the Romanies. In the Byzantine Empire, they were slaves of the state and it seems the situation was the same in Bulgaria and Serbia until their social organization was destroyed by the Ottoman conquest. Slavery existed on the territory of present-day Romania from before the founding of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia in 13th–14th century, until it was abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s.[68] Legislation decreed that all the Romanies living in these states, as well as any others who would immigrate there, were slaves.[69] Most of the slaves were of Roma (Gypsy) ethnicity.

The exact origins of slavery in the Danubian Principalities are not known. There is some debate over whether the Romani people came to Wallachia and Moldavia as free men or as slaves. Historian 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, the Romanians taking the Roma from the Mongols as slaves and preserving their status. Other historians consider that they were enslaved while captured during the battles with the Tatars. The practice of enslaving prisoners may also have been taken from the Mongols.[68] While it is possible that some Romani people were slaves or auxiliary troops of the Mongols or Tatars, the bulk of them came 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, but the arrival of the Roma made slavery a widespread practice. The Tatar slaves, smaller in numbers, were eventually merged into the Roma population.[70]

The arrival of some branches of the Romani people in Western Europe in the 15th century was precipitated by the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. Although the Romanies themselves were refugees from the conflicts in southeastern Europe, they were mistaken by the local population in the West, because of their foreign appearance, as part of the Ottoman invasion (the German Reichstags at Landau and Freiburg in 1496-1498 declared the Romanies as spies of the Turks). In Western Europe, this resulted in a violent history of persecution and attempts of ethnic cleansing until the modern era. As time passed, other accusations were added against local Romanies (accusations specific to this area, against non-assimilated minorities), like that of bringing the plague, usually sharing their burden together with the local Jews.[71]

One example of official persecution of the Romani is exemplified by The Great Roundup of Spanish Romanies (Gitanos) in 1749. The Spanish monarchy ordered a nationwide raid that led to separation of families and placement of all able-bodied men into forced labor camps.

Later in the 19th century, Romani immigration was forbidden on a racial basis in areas outside Europe, mostly in the English speaking world (in 1885 the United States outlawed the entry of the Roma) and also in some South American countries (in 1880 Argentina adopted a similar policy).[71]


Romani arrivals at the Belzec death camp await instructions.

The persecution of the Romanies reached a peak during 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 of 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.[72] In Central Europe, the extermination in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was so thorough that the Bohemian Romani language became extinct.[citation needed]

Forced assimilation

In the Habsburg Monarchy under Maria Theresia (1740–1780), a series of decrees tried to force the Romanies to sedentarize, 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.[73]

In Spain, attempts to assimilate the Gitanos were under way as early as 1619, when Gitanos were forcibly sedentarized, the use of the Romani language was prohibited, Gitano men and women were sent to separate workhouses and their children sent to orphanages. Similar prohibitions took place in 1783 under King Charles III, who prohibited the nomadic lifestyle, the use of the Calo language, Romani clothing, their trade in horses and other itinerant trades. The use of the word gitano was also forbidden to further assimilation. Ultimately these measures failed, as the rest of the population rejected the integration of the Gitanos.[73][74]

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.[75] This resulted in some 1,500 Romani children being taken from their parents in the 20th century.[76]

Contemporary issues

Amnesty International reports continued instances of Antizigan discrimination during the 2000s, particularly in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Serbia[77] Slovakia,[78] Hungary,[79] Slovenia,[80] and Kosovo.[81]

Czechoslovakia carried out a policy of sterilization of Romani women, starting in 1973.[82] The dissidents of the Charter 77 denounced it in 1977-78 as a "genocide", but the practice continued through the Velvet Revolution of 1989.[83] A 2005 report by the Czech government'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.[84]

In 2008, following the brutal murder of a woman in Rome at the hands of a young man from a local Romani encampment,[85] 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).[86] 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.

Forced repatriation

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.[87] This followed tensions between the French state and Roma communities, which had been heightened after French police killed a traveller who did not stop at a checkpoint; in retaliation, a group of armed Roma attacked the police station of Saint-Aignan.[88][89] The French government has been accused of perpetrating these actions to pursue its political agenda.[90] EU Justice Commissioner 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 priority,"[91]

Fictional representations

Vincent van Gogh: The Caravans - Gypsy Camp near Arles (1888, Oil on canvas)

Many fictional 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. 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 and Miguel de Cervantes' La Gitanilla.

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 (1988) and Black Cat, White Cat (1998).

In contemporary literature

The Romani ethnicity is often used for characters in contemporary fantasy literature. In such literature, the Romani are often portrayed as possessing archaic occult knowledge passed down through the ages. This frequent use of the ethnicity has given rise to 'gypsy archetypes' in popular contemporary literature.[citation needed] A UK example is the Freya Trilogy by Elizabeth Arnold.

See also




  1. ^ "Rom". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, estimates of the total world Romani population range from two million to five million." 
  2. ^ "Online version". Retrieved 2010-09-15. "Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Ian Hancock's 1987 estimate for "all Gypsies in the world" was 6 to 11 million." 
  3. ^ "EU demands action to tackle Roma poverty". BBC News. 2011-04-05. 
  4. ^ "The Situation of Roma in Spain" (pdf). Open Society Institute. 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "The Spanish government estimates the number of Gitanos at a maximum of 650,000." 
  5. ^ [1] Census 2001 in Romania: 535,140 Roma
  6. ^ "Roma rights organizations work to ease prejudice in Turkey". EurasiaNet. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "There are officially about 500,000 Roma in Turkey." 
  7. ^ "Situation of Roma in France at crisis proportions". EurActiv Network. 7 December 2005. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "The Romani population in France is officially estimated at around 500,000." 
  8. ^ "Population By Districts And Ethnic Group As Of 01.03.2001". 05.01.2004. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "Census 2001 in Bulgaria: 370,908 Roma" 
  9. ^ "Population by national/ethnic groups". Hungarian Central Statistical Office. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "Census 2001 in Hungary: 205,720 Roma/Bea" 
  10. ^ "The Romani population in Greece is officially estimated at 200,000.". Hellenic Republic National Commission For Human Rights. Retrieved 2010-09-15. "Census 2001 in Hungary: 205,720 Roma/Bea" 
  11. ^ "National Composition Of Population And Citizenship" (Excel). Retrieved 2010-09-16. "Census 2002 in Russia: 182,766 Roma." 
  12. ^ Demographics_of_Italy#Languages Estimated by Ministero degli Interni del Governo Italiano.
  13. ^ "Census 2002 in Serbia: 108,193 Romanies." (pdf). Republic of Serbia, Republic Statistical Office. December 24, 2002. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  14. ^ Census 2001 in Slovakia
  15. ^ [2] 70,000 Roma/Sinti estimated by the German Ministry of Internal Affairs.[dead link]
  16. ^ "The 2002-census reported 53,879 Roma and 3,843 'Egyptians'". Republic of Macedonia, State Statistical Office. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
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  19. ^ Sutherland, Ann, "Gypsies: The Hidden Americans", # Waveland Press (July 1986)# ISBN 0881332356, # ISBN 978-0881332353
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  21. ^ Hancock, Ian F (2002). We Are the Romani People, p. XIX. ISBN 9781902806198.,M1. Retrieved 2008-07-31 .
  22. ^ a b Hancock, Ian F (2002). We Are the Romani People, p. XXI. ISBN 9781902806198.,M1. Retrieved 2008-07-31 .
  23. ^ p. 52 in Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov's "Historical and ethnographic background; gypsies, Roma, Sinti" in Will Guy [ed.] Between Past and Future: The Roma of Central and Eastern Europe [with a Foreword by Dr. Ian Hancock], 2001, UK: University of Hertfordshire Press.
  24. ^ p. 13 in Illona Klimova-Alexander's The Romani Voice in World Politics: The United Nations and Non-State Actors (2005, Burlington, VT.: Ashgate.
  25. ^ Xavier Rothéa. "Les Roms, une nation sans territoire?" (in French). Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  26. ^ Hancock, Ian F (2002). We Are the Romani People, p. XX. ISBN 9781902806198.,M1. Retrieved 2008-07-31 .
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  29. ^ Fraser 1992.
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  31. ^ Report in Roma Educational Needs in Ireland
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  35. ^ 3.8 million according to Pan and Pfeil, National Minorities in Europe (2004), ISBN 978-3-7003-1443-1, p. 27f.
  36. ^ Council of Europe compilation of population estimates
  37. ^ Hancock, Ian, 2001, Ame sam e rromane džene / We are the Romani People, The Open Society Institute, New York, p. 2.
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  41. ^ Dicţionarul etimologic român (The Etymological Dictionary of the Romanian language), quoted in DEX-online (see lemma rudár, rudári, s.m. followed by both definitions: gold miner" and "wood crafter")
  42. ^ New Ethnic Identities in the Balkans: The Case of the Egyptians.
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  44. ^ Ian F. Hancock, Siobhan Dowd, Rajko Djurić (2004). The Roads of the Roma: a PEN anthology of Gypsy Writers.. Hatfield, United Kingdom: University of Hertfordshire Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0900458909. 
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  50. ^ Jatt mutation found in Romani populations
  51. ^ Ali, Manir et al. (2009). "Null Mutations in LTBP2 Cause Primary Congenital Glaucoma". The American Journal of Human Genetics 84 (5): 664–671. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.03.017. 
  52. ^ Michael Jan de Goeje, Mémoire sur les migrations des Tsiganes à travers l’Asie, Leyden, 1883.
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  58. ^ Delia Radu, "On the road: Centuries of Roma history", BBC World Service, 8 July 2009
  59. ^ Romanies and the Holocaust: A Reevaluation and an Overview
  60. ^ Denysenko, Marina (2007-03-12). "Sterilised Roma accuse Czechs". BBC News. 
  61. ^ Thomas, Jeffrey (2006-08-16). "Coercive Sterilization of Romani Women Examined at Hearing: New report focuses on Czech Republic and Slovakia". Washington File. Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. 
  62. ^ "Romani Customs and Traditions: Death Rituals and Customs". Patrin Web Journal. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  63. ^ David M. Knipe. "The Journey of a Lifebody". Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
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  72. ^ 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, probably higher, possibly closer to 500,000 (cited in Re. Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation (Swiss Banks) Special Master's Proposals, September 11, 2000). Ian Hancock, Director of the Program of Romani Studies and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the University of Texas at Austin, argues in favour of a higher figure of between 500,000 and 1,500,000 in his 2004 article, Romanies and the Holocaust: A Reevaluation and an Overview as published in Stone, D. (ed.) (2004) The Historiography of the Holocaust. Palgrave, Basingstoke and New York.
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  83. ^ For Gypsies, Eugenics is a Modern Problem - Czech Practice Dates to Soviet Era, Newsdesk, June 12, 2006 (English)
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  85. ^ Hooper, John (November 2, 2007). "Italian woman's murder prompts expulsion threat to Romanians". London: The Guardian. 
  86. ^ de Zulueta, Tana (2009-03-30). "Italy's new ghetto?". London: The Guardian. 
  87. ^ "France sends Roma Gypsies back to Romania". BBC. August 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  88. ^ "Troops patrol French village of Saint-Aignan after riot". BBC. July 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  89. ^ "Q&A: France Roma expulsions". BBC. September 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
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(An extensive historical bibliography, "Gypsies in France, 1566 - 2011", is available at [3].)

  • Viorel Achim (2004). "The Roma in Romanian History." Budapest: Central European University Press. ISBN 963-9241-84-9.
  • Auzias, Claire. Les funambules de l'histoire. Baye: Éditions la Digitale, 2002.
  • De Soto, Hermine. Roma and Egyptians in Albania: From Social Exclusion to Social Inclusion. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank Publications, 2005.
  • Fonseca, Isabel. Bury me standing: the Gypsies and their journey. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1995.
  • Fraser, Angus The Gypsies : Blackwell Publishers, Oxford UK, 1992 ISBN 0-631-15967-3.
  • Genner, Michael. Spartakus, 2 vols. Munich: Trikont, 1979-80.
  • "Germany Reaches Deal to Deport Thousands of Gypsies to Romania," Migration World Magazine, Nov-December 1992.
  • Gray, RD; Atkinson, QD (2003). "Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin." Nature.
  • Gresham, D; et al. (2001). "Origins and divergence of the Roma (Gypsies)." American Journal of Human Genetics. 69(6), 1314-1331. [4]
  • Hackl, Erich. (1991). Farewell Sidonia, New York: Fromm International Pub. ISBN 0-88064-124-X. (Translated from the German, Abschied von Sidonie 1989)
  • Helsinki Watch. Struggling for Ethnic Identity: Czechoslovakia's Endangered Gypsies. New York, 1991.
  • Leland, Charles G. The English Gipsies and Their Language. London: Trübner & Co., 1873.
  • Lemon, Alaina (2000). Between Two Fires: Gypsy Performance and Romani Memory from Pushkin to Post-Socialism. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2456-3
  • Luba Kalaydjieva; et al. (2001). "Patterns of inter- and intra-group genetic diversity in the Vlax Roma as revealed by Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA lineages." European Journal of Human Genetics. 9, 97-104. [5]
  • Marushiakova, Elena; Popov, Vesselin. (2001) "Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire." Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press.
  • Matras, Yaron (2002). Romani: A Linguistic Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-512-02330-0.
  • McDowell, Bart (1970). "Gypsies, Wanderers of the World". National Geographic Society. ISBN 0-87044-088-8.
  • "Gypsies, The World's Outsiders." National Geographic, April 2001, 72-101.
  • Ringold, Dena. Roma & the Transition in Central & Eastern Europe: Trends & Challenges. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank, 2000. pp. 3, 5, & 7.
  • Roberts, Samuel. The Gypsies: Their Origin, Continuance, and Destination. London: Longman, 4th edition, 1842.
  • Silverman, Carol. "Persecution and Politicization: Roma (Gypsies) of Eastern Europe." Cultural Survival Quarterly, Summer 1995.
  • Simson, Walter. History of the Gipsies. London: S. Low, 1865.
  • Tebbutt, Susan (Ed., 1998) Sinti and Roma in German-speaking Society and Literature. Oxford: Berghahn.
  • Turner, Ralph L. (1926) The Position of Romani in Indo-Aryan. In: Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society 3rd Ser. 5/4, pp. 145–188.
  • Danish Broadcasting Corporation A page in Danish about Romani treatment in Denmark

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