Roma people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flag of the Roma people
Total population

8 to 10 million

Regions with significant populations
Flag of Albania Albania Disputed: 1,300 to 120,000 [1]
Flag of Argentina Argentina 300,000 [2]
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia/Herz. 60,000 [3]
Flag of Brazil Brazil 678,000 [4]
Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria 750,000 ±50,000 [5]
Flag of Canada Canada 80,000 [6]
Flag of Chile Chile 10,000 to 20,000 [7]
Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic Disputed: 12,000
or 220,000


Flag of France France 310,000
Flag of Sweden Sweden 30,000 +
Flag of Germany Germany 100,000 [10]
Flag of Greece Greece Disputed: 200,000
or 300,000-350,000


Flag of Hungary Hungary Disputed: 189,984
or 500,000
Flag of Iran Iran 110,000 [14]
Flag of Italy Italy
Flag of Republic of Macedonia Rep. Macedonia 53,879 [15]
Flag of Moldova Moldova
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro 2,601 [16]
Flag of Norway Norway 5,000+ [citation needed]
Flag of Poland Poland 15,000 to 50,000 [17]
Flag of Portugal Portugal 40,000 [18]
Flag of Romania Romania Disputed:
Official census: 535,250
UNDP et al.:
Flag of Russia Russia 183,000 [20]
Flag of Serbia Serbia 108,193 [21]
Flag of Slovenia Slovenia 3,246 [22]
Flag of Slovakia Slovakia Disputed: 92,500 or 550.000[23] [24]
Flag of Spain Spain 600,000 to 800,000 [25]
Flag of Turkey Turkey Disputed:
2 to 5 million
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine 48,000 [27]
Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 40,000+ [28]
Flag of United States United States 1 million [29]
Romani, languages of native region
Christianity, Islam
Related ethnic groups
South Asians (Desi)

The Roma (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom) or Romanies are an ethnic group living in many communities all over the world. The Roma are among the best known ethnic groups that appear in literature and folklore, and are often referred to as gypsies or gipsies, a term that is based on a mistaken belief of an origin in Egypt. The Roma are still thought of as wandering nomads, but most Roma today live settled in permanent housing.[30] This widely dispersed ethnic group lives across the world not only near their historic roots in Southern and Eastern Europe, but also Western Asia, Latin America, the United States and the Middle East.


[edit] Origin and language

They are believed to have originated in the Punjab and Rajasthan regions of the Indian subcontinent. They began their migration to Europe and North Africa via the Iranian plateau around 1050.[31]

Most Roma speak one of several dialects of Romani,[32] an Indo-Aryan language. They also will often speak the languages of the countries they live in, or incorporate into Romani loanwords from the language of country, especially words for terms which Romani does not have. Some groups, such as the Gitanos of Spain and the Romnichal of the UK, have lost their knowledge of pure Romani, and speak patois languages like Caló[33] and Angloromani[34].

[edit] Population

Worldwide, there are an estimated 8 to 10 million Roma. The largest population of Roma is found on the Balkan peninsula; however, significant numbers also live in the Americas, the former Soviet Union, Western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

The Roma recognize divisions among themselves based in part on territorial, cultural and dialectal differences. Some authorities[citation needed] recognize five main groups:

  1. Kalderash are the most numerous, traditionally coppersmiths, from the Balkans, many of whom migrated to central Europe and North America;
  2. Gitanos (also called Calé) mostly in the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, and southern France; associated with entertainment;
  3. Sinti mostly in Alsace and other regions of France and Germany; often travelling showmen and circus people (Other experts, and Sinti themselves, insist that Sinti are not a subgroup of Roma but rather a separate ethnic group which also had Indian origins and a history of nomadism);
  4. Romnichal (Rom'nies) mainly in Britain and North America; and
  5. Erlides (also known as Yerlii or Arli) settled in southeastern Europe and Turkey.

Some groups, like the Finnish Roma population (Kaale) and the Norwegian and Swedish Travellers, are hard to categorize. Each of these main divisions may be further divided into two or more subgroups distinguished by occupational specialization or territorial origin, or both. Some of these group names are: Machvaya (Machwaya), Lovari, Churari, Rudari, Boyash, Ludar, Luri, Xoraxai, Ungaritza, Bashaldé, Ursari and Romungro.

[edit] History

First arrival of the Roma outside Berne 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).
First arrival of the Roma outside Berne 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).

Linguistic and genetic evidence indicates the Roma originated from the Indian subcontinent. [13] The cause of the Roma diaspora is unknown. However, the most probable situation is that the Roma were part of the military in Northern India. When there were repeated raids by Mahmud of Ghazni and these soldiers were defeated, they were moved west with their families into the Byzantine Empire. This occurred between 1000 and 1050 AD. This departure date is assumed because, linguistically speaking, the Hindi words that are used in the Romani language have a neutral case, whereas most neutral words were converted to masculine in Hindi after about 1050 AD. They then stayed in the Byzantine Empire for several hundred years. However, the Muslim expansion, mainly made by the Seljuk Turks, into the Byzantine Empire recommenced the movement of the Romani people.[citation needed]

Many historians believe that the Muslim conquerors of northern India took the Roma as slaves and marched them home over the unforgiving terrain of Central Asia, taking great tolls on the population and thereby giving rise to such designations as the Hindu Kush mountains of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mahmud of Ghazni reportedly took 500,000 prisoners during a Turkish/Persian invasion of Sindh and Punjab. Others suggest the Roma were originally low-caste Hindus recruited into an army of mercenaries, granted warrior caste status, and sent westward to resist Islamic military expansion. In either case, upon arrival, they became a distinct community. Why the Roma did not return to India, choosing instead to travel west into Europe, is an enigma, but may relate to military service under the Muslims.

Contemporary scholars have suggested that one of the first written references to the Roma, under the term "Atsinganoi", (Greek), dates from the Byzantine era during a time of famine in the 9th century. In 800 AD, Saint Athanasia gave food to "foreigners called the Atsinganoi" near Thrace. Later, in 803 AD, Theophanes the Confessor wrote that Emperor Nikephoros I had the help of the "Atsinganoi" to put down a riot with their "knowledge of magic".

"Atsingani" was used to refer to itinerant fortune tellers, ventriloquists and wizards who visited the Emperor Constantine IX in the year 1054.[35] The hagiographical text, The Life of St. George the Anchorite, mentions that the "Atsingani" were called on by Constantine to help rid his forests of the wild animals which were killing off his livestock. They are later described as sorcerers and evildoers and accused of trying to poison the Emperor's favorite hound.

In 1322 a Franciscan monk named Simon Simeonis described people resembling these "atsinganoi" living in Crete and 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).[36]

Around 1360, an independent Romani fiefdom (called the Feudum Acinganorum) was established in Corfu and became "a settled community and an important and established part of the economy."[37]

By the 14th century, the Roma had reached the Balkans; by 1424, Germany; and by the 16th century, Scotland and Sweden. Some Roma migrated from Persia through North Africa, reaching Europe via Spain in the 15th century. The two currents met in France. Roma began immigrating to the United States in colonial times, with small groups in Virginia and French Louisiana. Larger-scale immigration began in the 1860s, with groups of Romnichal from Britain. The largest number immigrated in the early 1900s, mainly from the Vlax group of Kalderash. Many Roma also settled in Latin America.

A Roma woman with her child in Rome
A Roma woman with her child in Rome

Wherever they arrived in Europe, curiosity was soon followed by hostility and xenophobia. Roma were enslaved for five centuries in Romania until abolition in 1864. Elsewhere in Europe, they were subject to ethnic cleansing, abduction of their children, and forced labor. During World War II, the Nazis murdered 200,000 to 800,000 Roma in an attempted genocide known as the Porajmos. Like the Jews, they were marked for extermination and sentenced to forced labour and imprisonment in concentration camps. They were often killed on sight, especially by the Einsatzgruppen (essentially mobile killing units) on the Eastern Front.

In Communist Eastern Europe, Roma experienced assimilation schemes and restrictions of cultural freedom. The Romani language and Roma music were banned from public performance in Bulgaria. In Czechoslovakia, they were labeled a "socially degraded stratum," and Roma 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 social welfare payments, misinformation, and involuntary sterilization (Silverman 1995; Helsinki Watch 1991). Allegations of illegal sterilization in former Czechoslovakia have been made as recently as 2004.[38]

In the early 1990s, Germany deported tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to Eastern Europe. Sixty percent of some 100,000 Romanian nationals deported under a 1992 treaty were Roma. In Norway, Roma were forcibly sterilized by the state until 1977.[14]

[edit] Society and culture

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

The traditional Roma 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 Roma practice of child marriage. Roma law establishes that the man’s family must pay a dower to the bride's parents.

Roma social behaviour is strictly regulated by purity laws ("marime" or "marhime"), still respected by most Roma and among Sinti groups by the older generations. 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 impure emissions) as well as the rest of the lower body. Fingernails and toenails must be filed with an emery board, as cutting them with a clipper is taboo. 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. Many of these practices are also present in cultures such as the Balinese. However, in contrast to the practice of cremating the dead, Roma dead must be buried.[39] It is possible that this tradition was adapted from Abrahamic religions after the Roma left the Indian subcontinent.

[edit] Religion

A Roma woman outside a church in Rome
A Roma woman outside a church in Rome

Roma have usually adopted the dominant religion of the host country while often preserving aspects of their particular belief systems and indigenous religion and worship. Most Eastern European Roma are Catholic, Orthodox Christian or Muslim. Those in western Europe and the United States are mostly Catholic or Protestant. In Turkey, Egypt, and the southern Balkans, the Roma are split into Christian and Muslim populations.

Roma religion has a highly developed sense of morality, taboos, and the supernatural, though it is often denigrated by organized religions. It has been suggested that while still in India the Roma people belonged to the Hindu religion, this theory being supported by the Romani word for "cross", trushul, which is the word which describes Shiva's trident (Trishula).

Since the 1960s, a growing number of Roma have embraced Evangelical movements. Over the past half-century, Roma have become ministers and created their own churches and missionary organizations for the first time.[40] In some countries, the majority of Roma now belong to the Roma churches. This unexpected change has greatly contributed to a better image of Roma in society. The work they perform is seen as more legitimate, and they have begun to obtain legal permits for commercial activities.

Evangelical Roma churches exist today in every country where Roma are settled. The movement is particularly strong in France and Spain; there are more than one thousand Roma churches (known as "Filadelfia") in Spain, with almost one hundred in Madrid alone. In Germany, the most numerous group is that of Polish Roma, having their main church in Mannheim. Other important and numerous Romani assemblies exist in Los Angeles, California, Houston, Texas, Buenos Aires and Mexico. Some groups in Romania and Chile have joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In the Balkans, the Roma of Macedonia, Kosovo (southern province of Serbia) and Albania have been particularly active in Islamic mystical brotherhoods (Sufism). Muslim Roma immigrants to western Europe and America have brought these traditions with them.[citation needed]

[edit] Music

Main article: Roma music

Roma music plays an important role in Eastern European cultures such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Hungary, Russia, and Romania, and the style and performance practices of Roma musicians have influenced European classical composers such as Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. The lăutari who perform at traditional Romanian weddings are virtually all Roma. Probably the most internationally prominent contemporary performers in the lăutar tradition are Taraful Haiducilor. Bulgaria's popular "wedding music", too, is almost exclusively performed by Roma musicians such as Ivo Papasov, a virtuoso clarinetist closely associated with this genre. Many famous classical musicians, such as the Hungarian pianist Georges Cziffra, are Roma, as are many prominent performers of manele. Zdob şi Zdub, one of the most prominent rock bands in Moldova, although not Roma themselves, draw heavily on Roma music, as do Spitalul de Urgenţă in Romania, Goran Bregović in Serbia, Darko Rundek in Croatia, and Beirut in the United States.

Another great tradition of Roma music is the genre of the gypsy brass band, with such notable practitioners as Boban Markovic of Serbia, and the brass lăutari groups Fanfare Ciocărlia and Fanfare din Cozmesti of Romania.

The distinctive sound of Roma music has also strongly influenced bolero, jazz, and flamenco (especially cante jondo) in Europe. European-style Gypsy jazz is still widely practised among the original creators (the Roma People); one who acknowledged this artistic debt was guitarist Django Reinhardt.

The Roma of Turkey have achieved musical acclaim from local audiences. They perform for special holidays. Their music is usually performed on instruments such as the darbuka and gırnata.

The Roma anthem is called Gelem, Gelem.

[edit] Language

Main article: Romani language

Most Roma speak both Romani, an Indo-Aryan language and the dominant language(s) of their region of residence. 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.

[edit] Genetics

Gipsy Encampment - facsimile of a copper-plate by Callot.
Gipsy Encampment - facsimile of a copper-plate by Callot.
Spanish Roma (1917)
Spanish Roma (1917)

Genetic data strongly supports linguistic evidence that the Roma originated on the Indian subcontinent. Studies of Bulgarian, Baltic and Vlax Roma genetics suggest that about 50% of observed haplotypes belong to Y-chromosomal haplogroup H. Similar studies of the same population with mitochondrial DNA show 50% belong to female mitochondrial haplogroup M. Both of these are widespread across South Asia.

This genetic evidence indicates that approximately half of the gene pool of these studied Roma is similar to that of the surrounding European populations. Specifically, common Y-chromosome (i.e. male-line) haplogroups are haplogroups H (50%), I (22%) and J2 (14%), and R1b (7%). Common mitochondrial (i.e. female-line) haplogroups are H (35%), M (26%), U3 (10%), X (7%), other (20%). Whereas male haplogroup H and female M are rare in non-Roma European populations, the rest are found throughout Europe. However, female haplogroups U2i and U7 are almost absent from female Roma, but are present in South Asia (11%-35% approx).

By contrast, male Sinti Roma in Central Asia have H (20%), J2 (20%) and a high frequency of R2 (50%) which is found frequently in West Bengal and among the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka. The M217 marker, which accounts for about 1.6% of male Roma, is also found in West Bengal (Kivisild (2003) et al). Haplogroup L is found in about 10% of Indian males but is absent from Roma (though Gresham et al. does not seem to test for it), and also from West Bengal and Central Asian Sinti (Kivisild (2003) et al). However, a search of the Yhrd database shows that some Roma populations in Europe have considerable percentages of male haplogroup R1a1. Yhrd gives few matches with South Asian populations, but a large number of matches on haplogroup H with British Asian Londoners, a population that has a large proportion of Bengali and Sri Lankan groups.

All these genetic studies indicate a South-East Indian origin of the male Roma population. Haplogroup R1a1 occurs around 35-45% in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, but only 10-15% in the southeast. On the other hand, Y-haplogroups H, R2 and J2 increase in frequency towards the southeast. R2 occurs around 20-40% in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh (Bamshad et al. 2001, Kivisild et al. 2003, Sengupta et al. 2006, Sahoo et al. 2006). H and J2 occur 20-30% in South and East India. A study published in Nature[citation needed] associates the Roma with the Sinhala, and must be viewed from this genetic profile of Roma. The Sinhalese are mostly descendants of East and South Indian communities.

Luba Kalaydjieva's research has shown that the original group appeared in India some 32-40 generations ago and was small, likely under 1,000 people.

(Ref: Origins and Divergence of the Roma (Gypsies), David Gresham, Bharti Morar, Peter A. Underhill, et al, Am J Hum (2001); The Eurasian Heartland: A continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity, Wells et al.)

[edit] Etymology

Most Roma refer to themselves as Rom. The word means "husband", while Romni means "wife". The unmarried are named chavo/छावो ("boy") (IPA pronunciation: /cʰaʋo/) or chey/छेय ("girl"). The origin of the word Rom/रोम is proposed as the Sanskrit word ram/रम or ramaṇ/रमण meaning "husband". There are proposed also other origins, like the Bihari Rouma ("gentleman") or the Sanskrit ḍōma, designating low caste people.[41] The last one was preferred and upheld by many non-Roma since it justified the discrimination against Roma, although there is no evidence of a relation with the Domba. Moreover, the Dom name used in South Asia is an exonym employed by high caste people to designate some unrelated ethnic groups that use their own different ethnic names as endonyms (proving this origin as untrue). Alternate spellings of "Rroma" for the people and "Rromanes" for the language, were rejected by the last World Romani Congress, which defined the universal Romani alphabet (they are used sometimes in Romania to avoid confusions with the Romanian people, a different ethnic group).

The English term gypsy (or gipsy), originates from the Greek word Αιγύπτοι (Aigyptoi), modern Greek γύφτοι (gyphtoi), in the erroneous belief that the Roma originated in Egypt, and were exiled as punishment for allegedly harboring the infant Jesus.[42] As described in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the medieval French referred to the Rom as "egyptiens". This ethnonym is not used by the Roma to describe themselves, and is often considered pejorative (as is the term "gyp", meaning "to cheat", a reference to the suspicion the Roma engendered). However, the use of "gypsy" in English is now so pervasive that many Roma organizations use the word gypsy in their own names. In North America, the word "gypsy" is commonly misused as a reference to lifestyle or fashion, and not to the Roma ethnicity. The Spanish term gitano and the French term gitan may have the same origin.[43]

In most of continental Europe, Roma are known by many names, most of them similar to the Hungarian cigány (pronounced IPA /ˈʦiɡaːɲ/). Early Byzantium literature suggests that the various names now referring to Gypsies, such as tzigane, zincali, cigány, etc., are derived from the Greek ατσίγγανοι (atsinganoi, Latin adsincani), applied to Roma during Byzantine times,[44] or from the Greek term αθίγγανοι (athinganoi)[45] meaning literally 'untouchables', in reference to a 9th-century heretical sect that had been accused of practising magic and fortune-telling.[46] In modern Greek, aside from the term Rom (Ρομ), the terms gyphtoi (Greek:γύφτοι) and tsigganoi (Greek:τσιγγάνοι) are interchangeable and both are used when referring to the Roma.

Because many Roma living in France had come via Bohemia, they were also referred to as Bohémiens. This would later be adapted to describe the impoverished artistic lifestyle of Bohemianism.

Outside Europe, Roma are referred to by more varied names, such as Kowli (کولی) in Iran; Lambani, Labana Lambadi, Rabari or Banjara in India; Ghajar (غجر) or Nawar (نور') in Arabic; and tzo'anim צוענים in Hebrew (after an ancient city in Egypt and the biblical verb צענ ṣā‛an - roaming).

There is no connection between the name Roma (ethnicity) and the city of Rome, ancient Rome, Romania, the Romanian people or the Romanian language.

[edit] Relations with other peoples

Roma arrivals at the Belzec death camp await instructions.
Roma arrivals at the Belzec death camp await instructions.

[edit] Persecution

Main article: Antiziganism

Because of their nomadic lifestyle, differences in language and culture there has been a great deal of mutual distrust between the Roma and their neighbours.

Persecution of Roma reached a peak during World War II in the Porajmos, the Nazi genocide of Roma during the Holocaust. Because the Roma communities of Eastern Europe were less organized than the Jewish communities, it is more difficult to assess the actual number of victims; the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Research Institute in Washington puts the number of Romani lives lost by 1945 at between a half and one and a half million. The ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill has argued that the Roma population suffered proportionally more genocide than the Jewish population of Europe and that their plight has largely been sidelined by scholars and the media [15]. The extermination in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was so thorough that the Bohemian Romani language became totally extinct as a result.

In the UK, "travellers" (referring to Irish Travellers and New Age Travellers as well as Roma) became a 2005 general election issue, with the leader of the Conservative Party promising to review the Human Rights Act 1998. This law, which absorbs the European Convention on Human Rights into UK primary legislation, is seen by some to permit the granting of retrospective planning permission. Severe population pressures and the paucity of greenfield sites have led to travellers purchasing land, and setting up residential settlements almost overnight, thus subverting the planning restrictions imposed on other members of the community.

Travellers argued in response that thousands of retrospective planning permissions are granted in Britain in cases involving non-Roma applicants each year and that statistics showed that 90% of planning applications by Roma and travellers were initially refused by local councils, compared with a national average of 20% for other applicants, disproving claims of preferential treatment favouring Roma. [16]

They also argued that the root of the problem was that many traditional stopping-places had been barricaded off and that legislation passed by the previous Conservative government had effectively criminalised their community, for example by removing local authorities’ responsibility to provide sites, thus leaving the travellers with no option but to purchase unregistered new sites themselves. [17]

In Denmark there was much controversy when the city of Helsingør decided to put all Roma students in special classes in its public schools. The classes were later abandoned after it was determined that they were discriminatory, and the Roma were put back in regular classes. Reference page in Danish

Despite the low birth rate in the country, Bulgaria's Health Ministry was considering a law aimed to curb the birth rate among minority groups, particularly Roma due to the large mortality rate among Roma families who typically have large families. This was later rejected as it would come into conflict with EU law and Bulgarian constitution.[47]

[edit] Roma and crime

Roma in European population centers are often accused of petty crimes such as pickpocketing. A UN study [48] found that Roma in Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria are arrested for robbery at a much higher rate than other groups. Amnesty International[49] and Roma groups[50] blame widespread police and government racism and persecution.

Law enforcement agencies in the United States hold regular conferences [51] on the Roma and similar nomadic groups. It is common to refer to the operators of certain types of travelling con artists [18] and fortune-telling [19] businesses as "gypsies," although many are Irish Travellers or not members of any particular nomadic ethnic group.

[edit] Assimilation

During the Enlightenment, Spain briefly and unsuccessfully tried to assimilate the Roma into the mainstream population by forcing them to abandon their language and way of life; even the word gitano was made illegal. Many nations have subsequently attempted to assimilate their Roma populations[citation needed].

[edit] Roma in Central and Eastern Europe

Roma boy in bear costume, part of a team entertaining Christmas crowds. Budapest, Hungary
Roma boy in bear costume, part of a team entertaining Christmas crowds. Budapest, Hungary

A significant proportion of the world's Roma live in Central and Eastern Europe, often in depressed[weasel words] squatter communities with very high unemployment, while only some are fully integrated in the society. However, in some cases—notably the Kalderash clan in Romania, who work as traditional coppersmiths—they have prospered. The current and historical situation of Roma in the region differs from country to country.

[edit] Roma in Spain

Main article: Roma in Spain

Roma in Spain are generally known as Gitanos and tend to speak Caló which is basically Andalusian Spanish with a large number of Romani loan words. Estimates of the Spanish Gitano population range between 600,000 and 800,000 with the Spanish government estimating between 650,000 and 700,000. [20]

[edit] Roma in the Middle East

A community related closely to the Roma and living in Israel and the Palestinian territories and in neighboring countries are known as Dom people. Before 1948, there was an Arabic-speaking Dom community in Jaffa, whose members were noted for their involvement in street theatre and circus performances. They are the subject of the play "The Gypsies of Jaffa" (Hebrew: הצוענים של יפו), by the late Nissim Aloni, considered among Israel's foremost playwrights, and the play came to be considered a classic of the Israeli theatre (see [21]). Like most other Jaffa Arabs, much of this community was uprooted in the face of the Israeli advance in April 1948, and its descendants are assumed to be presently living in the Gaza Strip; it is unknown to what degree they still preserve a separate Domari identity. Another Dom community is known to exist in East Jerusalem. In October 1999, the nonprofit organisation "Domari: The Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem" was established by Amoun Sleem to advocate on this community's behalf. [22]

Some Eastern European Roma are known to have arrived in Israel in the late 1940s and early 1950s, having intermarried with Jews in the post-WWII Displaced Persons camps or, in some cases, having pretended to be Jews when Zionist representatives arrived in those camps. The exact numbers of these Roma living in Israel are unknown, since such individuals tended to assimilate into the Israeli Jewish environment. According to several recent accounts in the Israeli press, some families preserve traditional Romani lullabies and a small number of Romani expressions and curse words, and pass them on to generations born in Israel who, for the most part, are Jews and speak Hebrew.[citation needed] The Romani community in Israel has grown since the 1990s, as some Roma immigrated there from the former Soviet Union.

In Iraq, the Qawliya people are a small Roma minority group who trace their history back to Spain.

[edit] Fictional representations of Roma

A Roma family travelling (1837 print)
A Roma family travelling (1837 print)

Many fictional depictions of the Roma emphasize their supposed mystical powers. They often appear as nomads, or a sort of supernatural deus ex machina.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ 313,000 self-declared in 1992 census (Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov, The Gypsies of Bulgaria: Problems of the Multicultural Museum Exhibition (1995), cited in Patrin Web Journal); 450,000 estimated in 1990 (U.S. Library of Congress study); at least 553,466 cited in a confidential census by the Ministry of the Interior in 1992 (cf Marushiakova and Popov 1995). 750,000 ±50,000 is Marushiakova and Popov's 1995 estimate.
  6. ^ Roma in Canada fact sheet
  7. ^ 9,463 according to the 2001 census.
  8. ^ 12,000 according to 2001 census
  9. ^ 220,000 according to NGOs ([1]).
  10. ^ Mostly Sinti[citation needed]
  11. ^ According to the Greek government ([2])
  12. ^ 300,000 to 350,000 according to the IHF monitor for Greece ([3]).
  13. ^
  14. ^ Dom Research Center - Iran
  15. ^ 2002 census
  16. ^ 2003 census[citation needed]
  17. ^ Early 1990s from U.S. Library of Congress Country study.
  18. ^ People on the Move - Supp. N°93, Pontifical Council, December 2003, pp.299-305.
  19. ^ 2002 census data, based on Population by ethnicity, gives a total of 535,250 Roma in Romania. This figure is disputed by other sources, because at the local level, many Roma declare a different ethnicity (mostly Romanian, but also Hungarian in the West and Turkish in Dobruja) for fear of discrimination. Many are not recorded at all, since they do not have ID cards [4]. International sources give higher figures than the official census(UNDP's Regional Bureau for Europe, World Bank, International Association for Official Statistics).
  20. ^ 2002 Russian census recorded 182,766 Roma (Gypsies). Independent estimates range from 5 to 6 million[citation needed].
  21. ^ 2002 census not including Kosovo. Independent estimates range between 400,000 and 800,000 (including Kosovo)[citation needed].
  22. ^ 2002 census
  23. ^ [5]
  24. ^ CIA Factbook on Slovakia.
  25. ^ U.S. Library of Congress Country study.
  26. ^ No official count; estimate from Reaching the Romanlar - A Feasibility Study Report (International Romani Studies Network), Istanbul: 2006, p.13. See also Turkey: A Minority Policy of Systematic Negation (IHF report) and SERİN, Ayten (08.05.2005). AB ülkeleriyle ortak bir noktamız daha ÇİNGENELER. Hürriyet. Retrieved on September 23, 2006.
  27. ^ 2001 Ukrainian census recorded 47,587 Roma (Gypsies).
  28. ^ 40,000 estimated Romani speakers[citation needed], mainly immigrants from Eastern Europe. Accurate figures for non-Romani-speaking Roma not known. See also
  29. ^ Handbook of Texas
  30. ^ [6] "GYPSIES IN CANADA: THE PROMISED LAND? The Gypsy Myth"
  31. ^ Kenrick Donald. Historical Dictionary of the Gypsies (Romanies). Scarecrow Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8108-3444-8
  32. ^ Dieter W. Halwachs. Speakers and Numbers (distribution of Romani-speaking Roma population by country) (PDF). Rombase.
  33. ^ Caló: A language of Spain. Ethnologue.
  34. ^ Angloromani: A language of United Kingdom. Ethnologue.
  35. ^ Indian studies
  36. ^ Gypsy Culture
  37. ^ A Chronology of significant dates in Romani history
  38. ^ [7]
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ Romani words for Romanies and non-Romanies - Ian Hancock
  42. ^ Fraser 1992.
  43. ^ See for example the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française.
  44. ^ A Brief History of the Rom
  45. ^ [8]
  46. ^ Roma (Gypsies) in the Byzantine empire
  47. ^ Women’s reproductive rights and right to family life interferance by the Health Minister (Bulgaria)
  48. ^ Avoiding the Dependence Trap: A Regional Human Development Report, Ch. 7. [9]
  49. ^ "Anti-Roma racism in Europe." by Julie Denesha, Amnesty International. [10]
  50. ^ such as the Union Romani [11]
  51. ^ "Gypsies: the Usual Suspects," Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2006. [12] (copy on National Association of Bunco Investigators website, which deletes a description of profane cries when a speaker said not all gypsies are criminal)

[edit] References

  • Achim, Viorel (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. [23]
  • 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. [24]
  • Marushiakova, Elena; Popov, Vesselin. (2001) "Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire." Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press.
  • 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. pg. 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 Roma treatment in Denmark
  • Firdawsi Tousi. “Shah-Nameh” (book of Kings) ca. 1000 A.D.

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] External links

[edit] Non-governmental organisations

[edit] News media sources

[edit] Museums and libraries