Roma people

ethnic group living mostly in Europe and the Americas
(Redirected from Gitanos)

The Roma are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group found mainly in Europe.[1] In English, they are often called Gypsies. Some Roma but not all consider "Gypsy" to be a slur. The old word "Chingar" is now rarely used. The Roma are people that originally came via the Silk Road from the Indian subcontinent arround late last century BC through the early 1st century AD and settled in Egypt.[2] A DNA study by Indian and Estonian researchers shows that the Roma people's ancestors originate from the Chandala (untouchables), Dalit and Shudra community of their ancestral homeland.[3] Gene flow from Turks into the Roma people population at the Ottoman Empire , happend trough the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans and Byzantine Empire.[4] Another Gen study show South Indian Tamil people DNA to Romani people[5], also the Y-DNA H in Roma community if from India[6] The Newborns of the Romani people from different countrys, as a Indian study show's have the blue-greyish so called Mongolian spot.[7] Another study show's that many Romani Men from the Zargari tribe in Iran at Qazvin Province are born without a Foreskin or a very short foreskin, naturally circumcised is very rare, called Aposthia.[8] There are populations of Roma all over Europe, but the largest populations are in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans.

Romani people
Roma flag.svg
Romani flag created in 1933 and accepted at the 1971 World Romani Congress
Romani people around the world.svg
Total population
2–20 million

There are various groups of Roma: the Roma of East European birth;[9] the Sinti in Germany and the Manouches in France and Catalonia; the Kaló in Spain, Ciganos in Portugal and Gitans of southern France; the Romanichals of Britain; and the Romanlar in Turkey.[10]


The Romani language is now an official language in many European countries under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.[11]

Three Finnish Romani women in Helsinki, Finland, during the 1930s.


A camp with Welsh Romanies near Swansea, 1953. (Title of photo: Gypsies camping.)

The 18th-century idea on the Indian birth of the Roma is based on the likeness between Romani[12] and the languages spoken in the Indian subcontinent. The theory is now supported by genetic evidence. The origins of the Roma were not known until 1763, when a theology student, Stefan Vali, met Indian medical students. He noticed that they were physically similar to the Roma he saw in Hungary. He also noticed that they used similar words.[13]

It is believed that People from India left the Indian subcontinent as traders about Indo-Roman trade via the Silk Road through Byzantine Empire to Egypt, where they live for centuries.[14] The Copts named them ⲣⲱⲙⲁ (man or human, also these people there) in Coptic. Around the 12th or the 13th centuries, the Roma reached the Balkans, in the wake of the Crusades. From there, they dispersed in Western Europe.[15]

The first arrivals were well accepted. European people thought they were Christian pilgrims. The local people of Europe were fascinated by their nomadic way of life and their new sciences. A Roma was often recruited as a musician, for Horse training and circus artists, a lion tamer, a Blacksmith, a town crier, a hawker, avgroundskeeper, a dishwasher, a cleaner, a lumberjack, a caretaker, a locksmith, and other low jobs. Roma were crossing Europe aboard large caravans, which contained their luggage.[16]

The Egyptians Act of 1530 expelled Roma people from England, and 10,000 expelled Roma people went to the Ottoman Empire and became Muslims. Their descendants have , call themself until today Egyptians.[17]

During World War II, Roma people suffered from the Nazis' persecution and ethnic cleansing policies. Statistics show that about 500,000 Roms died in Nazi concentration camps.[18]


The ancestors of the Romani people were the 150,000 slaves who was deported after the Kalinga War. Their descendants became the nomadic Chingari tribe, which belongend to the untouchable Chandala Group, which wandered as nomads from Central India to northwestern india.

The children born from low-caste Shudra men and high-caste Brahmin women were called Chandala and are untouchables as per Manusmriti, an ancient legal constitution text of Hinduism.


The culture of roma people differs from country to country where there live in and also many differences from group to group. The different Religions also have a big influence of the difference of roma-culture. The Roma left a musical heritage. Guitars and violins are part of their traditions. The Roma influenced musical styles in Europe, such as the belly dance, flamenco, rumba, and jazz.[16]

On 8 April 1971, the Roma nationality was legally recognized in Europe. Since then, 8 April is the Roma national day.[19] Most Romani people practise endogamy and arranged marriage's in very young age. Exogamy, marrying a Gadjo (non-Roma), is seldom. In some groups Cousin marriage is prohibited.[20]


The Roma's religions are mostly Eastern Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam. Baptism by the Dasikane (Christian Roma) and male circumcision by the Xoraxane (Muslim Roma) are practiced. Their ancient religion was Hinduism[21] and Buddhism.[22] Some formally Christian and Muslim Roma have embraced the Noahidic faith. According to Jewish law, non-Jews do not have to convert, but are supposed to obey the Noahide commandments. Persons who submit to the commandments are called children of Noah (B'nei Noach) Noahids.[23] In Hungary there are many former Christian Roma who adopted Buddhism.[24] There are also some Christian Roma groups, who taken one of the several evangelicalism faith.[25] Several Muslim Roma belong to one of a Sufism Tarika.[26] When the Yugoslav Wars ended in 2001, a small group of Dasikane (Christian) and Xoraxane (Muslim) Balkans Roma made their own Romani folk religion, Devlaism (Romani: Devleske Dīn), which was created from their own mythology and folklore of oral tradition. Also, rites like male circumcision and infant Baptism are practised. Devla is the name for God and I'd derived from Deva. Their new religious movement is very secretive. There is no holy books or spiritual leaders. Only Roma or partial roma may be members.[27] Some Roma belonges to Bahá'í Faith and Mormonism[28]


Even though they have been recognized, they still suffer from discrimination and antiziganism. Some countries still apply discriminatory attitudes towards Roma, especially in workplaces and schools, where they are not accepted.[19]

Their squatting communities also irritate locals.[29] The Romani created an association in 1978 to defend their rights.[30]


  3. Nelson, Dean (3 December 2012). "European Roma descended from Indian 'untouchables', genetic study shows". The Telegraph.
  4. Bánfai, Zsolt; Melegh, Béla I.; Sümegi, Katalin; Hadzsiev, Kinga; Miseta, Attila; Kásler, Miklós; Melegh, Béla (13 June 2019). "Revealing the Genetic Impact of the Ottoman Occupation on Ethnic Groups of East-Central Europe and on the Roma Population of the Area". Frontiers in Genetics. 10: 558. doi:10.3389/fgene.2019.00558. PMC 6585392. PMID 31263480.
  9. Morar B et al. 2004. Mutation History of the Roma/Gypsies. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 75:596–609.
  10. Kalaydjieva L, Gresham D, and Calafell F. 2001. BMC Medical Genetics , 2:5doi:10.1186/1471-2350-2-5
  11. "Patrin: A Brief History of the Roma". Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  12. "Patrin glossary". Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  13. "Histoire et origine des Roms".
  14. Richard Salomon Journal of the American Society 1991.[1]
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Gitans, manouches et tsiganes : la route du Rom".
  18. "Les persécutions et le génocide des Roms dans la seconde guerre mondiale - Presse fédéraliste".
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Compilhistoire - Roms, Gitans, Manouches et Tsiganes".
  21. "Meet the Roma: 2,000 years ago, the first 'Indians' to go to Europe". The Indian Express.
  22. "Buddhism and the Romani".
  29. "Expulsions des Roms : fascistes sous Sarkozy, mais humanitaires et normales sous Hollande". Riposte Laïque. 24 August 2012.
  30. "Union Romani Internationale - Union Romani Internationale".

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