Romani people facts for kids

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Romani people
Roma flag.svg
Romani flag created in 1933 and accepted by the 1971 World Romani Congress
Total population
2–20 million
 United States 1,000,000 estimated with Romani ancestry
 Brazil 800,000
 Spain 750,000–1,100,000 (1.87%)
 Romania 619,007 (3.3%)
 Turkey 500,000–2,750,000 (3.78%)
 France 350,000–500,000
 Bulgaria 325,343–750,000 (10.33%)
 Hungary 309,632–870,000 (8.8%)
 Argentina c. 300,000
 United Kingdom 225,000 (0.36%)
 Russia 205,007–825,000 (0.58%)
 Serbia 147,604–600,000 (8.23%)
 Italy 120,000–180,000 (0.3%)
 Greece 111,000–300,000 (2.7%)
 Germany 105,000 (0.13%)
 Slovakia 105,738–490,000 (9.02%)
 Iran 100,000–110,000
 North Macedonia 53,879–197,000 (9.56%)
 Sweden 50,000–100,000
 Ukraine 47,587–260,000 (0.57%)
 Portugal 40,000–52,000 (0.49%)
 Austria 40,000–50,000 (0.57%)
 Kosovo 36,000 (2%)
 Netherlands 32,000–40,000 (0.24%)
 Ireland 22,435–37,500 (0.84%)
 Poland 17,049–32,500 (0.09%)
 Croatia 16,975–35,000 (0.79%)
 Mexico 15,850
 Moldova 12,778–107,100 (3.01%)
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 8,864–58,000 (1.54%)
 Colombia c. 8,000
 Albania 8,301–115,000 (3.59%)
 Belarus 7,316–47,500 (0.5%)
 Latvia 7,193–12,500 (0.56%)
 Canada 5,255–80,000
 Montenegro 5,251–20,000 (3.7%)
Romani language, Para-Romani varieties, languages of native regions
Predominantly Christianity
Shaktism tradition of Hinduism
Romani mythology
Related ethnic groups
Dom, Lom, Domba; other Indo-Aryans

The Romani (also spelled Romany /ˈrməni/, /ˈrɒ-/), 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.

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