Romani flag created in 1933 and accepted by the 1971 World Romani Congress
|United States||1,000,000 estimated with Romani ancestry|
|United Kingdom||225,000 (0.36%)|
|North Macedonia||53,879–197,000 (9.56%)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||8,864–58,000 (1.54%)|
|Romani language, Para-Romani varieties, languages of native regions|
Shaktism tradition of Hinduism
|Related ethnic groups|
|Dom, Lom, Domba; other Indo-Aryans|
The Romani (also spelled Romany //, //), colloquially known as Roma, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally itinerant, living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent, from the Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab regions of modern-day India.
Genetic findings appear to confirm that the Romani "came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago". Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics "revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma". They are a dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (including Turkey, 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 India sometime between the 6th and 11th century.
The Romani are widely known among English-speaking people by the exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which is considered to be pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. Beginning in 1888, the Gypsy Lore Society started to publish a journal that was meant to dispel rumors about their lifestyle.
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 19th century from Eastern Europe. Brazil also includes a notable Romani community descended from people deported by the Portuguese Empire during the Portuguese Inquisition. In migrations since the late 19th century, Romani have also moved to other countries in South America and to Canada.
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 diaspora.
The Romani language is divided into several dialects which together have an estimated number of speakers of more than two million. The total number of Romani people is at least twice as high (several times as high according to high estimates). Many Romani are native speakers of the dominant language in their country of residence or of mixed languages combining the dominant language with a dialect of Romani; those varieties are sometimes called Para-Romani.
Images for kids
Gypsies camping. Welsh Romanies near Swansea, 1953
A Roma makes a complaint to a local magistrate in Hungary, by Sándor Bihari, 1886
Sinti and other Romani about to be deported from Germany, 22 May 1940
Christian Romanies during the pilgrimage at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in France, 1980s
Romani and bear (Belgrade, Banovo brdo, 1980's)
Gypsy fortune-teller in Poland, by Antoni Kozakiewicz, 1884
Muslim Romanies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (around 1900)
Deportation of Roma from Asperg, Germany, 1940 (photograph by the Rassenhygienische Forschungsstelle)
Distribution of the Romani people in Europe (2007 Council of Europe "average estimates", totalling 9.8 million)
August von Pettenkofen: Gypsy Children (1885), Hermitage Museum
Vincent van Gogh: The Caravans – Gypsy Camp near Arles (1888, oil on canvas)
Romani people Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.