Romani people

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For criticism see Criticism of Romani people
Romani people
Rromane dźene
100px
Romani flag proposed by the 1971 World Romani Congress
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(left to right):
GrigoraÅŸ Dinicu, Drafi Deutscher, Charles Chaplin, Isabel Pantoja,
Ricardo Quaresma, Ceija Stojka, Džej Ramadanovski, Irini Merkouri
Total population
Up to 5 million in the world[1]
or
6-11 million in the world[2]
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
(1.62%)
[3]
Romania 535,140
(2.46%)
[4]
Turkey 500,000
(0.72%)
[5]
France 500,000
(0.79%)
[6]
Bulgaria 370,908
(4.67%)
[7]
Hungary 205,720
(2.02%)
[8]
Greece 200,000
(1.82%)
[9]
Russia 182,766
(0.13%)
[10]
Italy 130,000
(0.22%)
[11]
Serbia 108,193
(1.44%)
[12]
Slovakia 89,920
(1.71%)
[13]
Germany 70,000
(0.09%)
[14]
R. Macedonia 53,879
(2.85%)
[15]
Languages

Romani, languages of native region

Religion

Christianity
(Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism),
Islam,
Shaktism[16]

Related ethnic groups

Dom people, Lom people, other Indo-Aryans

The Romani (also Romany, Romanies, Romanis, Roma or Roms; exonym: Gypsies; Romani: Romane or Rromane, depending on the dialect) are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe, who trace their origins to medieval India.

The Romani are widely dispersed with their largest concentrated populations in Europe, especially the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe and Anatolia, followed by the Iberian Kale in Southwestern Europe and Southern France, with more recent diaspora populations in the Americas and, to a lesser extent, in other parts of the world.

Their Romani language is divided into several dialects, which add up to an estimated number of speakers larger than two million.[17] The total number of Romani people is at least twice as large (several times as large according to high estimates), and many Romani are native speakers of the language current in their country of residence, or of mixed languages combining the two.

Terminology

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

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 / 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.[18]

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).[19]

English usage

In the English language (according to OED), 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.

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[20][21] as a generic term for the Romani people as a whole.[22]

Because all Romanies use the word Romani as an adjective, the term began to be used as a noun for the entire ethnic group.[23]

Today, the term Romani is used by most organizations—including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the US Library of Congress.[19]

The standard assumption is that the demonyms of the Romani people, Lom and Dom share the same origin.[24][25]

Gypsy

The English term Gypsy (or Gipsy) originates from the Greek word Αιγύπτοι (Aigyptoi, whence modern Greek γύφτοι gifti), in the erroneous belief that the Romanies originated in Egypt, and were exiled as punishment for allegedly harboring the infant Jesus.[26] This exonym is sometimes written with capital letter, to show that it designates an ethnic group.[27]

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[cn] or fashion, and not to the Romani ethnicity. The Spanish term gitano and the French term gitan may have the same origin[clarification needed].[28]

Population and subgroups

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Distribution of the Romani people in Europe (2007 Council of Europe "average estimates", totalling 9.8 million)[29]
* The size of the wheel symbols reflects absolute population size
* The gradient reflects the percent in the country's population: 0%                              10%.

Many Romanies for a variety of reasons choose not to register their ethnic identity in official censuses. There are an estimated four million Romani people in Europe and Asia Minor (as of 2002),[30] although some high estimates by Romani organizations give numbers as high as 14 million.[31] 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:[32][33][34][35]

  1. Roma, crystallized in Eastern Europe and Central Italy, emigrated also (mostly from the 19th century onwards), in 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, Southern France and Latin America;
  3. Finnish Kale, in Finland, emigrated also in 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 Central Europe and some neighboring countries;
  7. Manush, in French-speaking areas of Central 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; Zlătari - goldsmiths); Ursari from Romanian/Moldovan bear-trainers; Argintari from silversmiths; Aurari from goldsmiths; Florari from florists; and Lăutari from musicians.

History

The section could be expanded

Origins

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 northwest India (the Punjab region) around 250 B.C. 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 500 A.D. and 1000 A.D. Contemporary populations sometimes suggested as sharing a close relationship to the Romani are the Dom people of Central Asia and the Banjara of India.[36]

The emigration from India likely took place in the context of the raids by Mahmud of Ghazni[37] 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,[38] precluding an emigration during the Middle Indic period.

Genetic evidence supports the medieval migration from India. The Romanies have been described as "a conglomerate of genetically isolated founder populations",[39] while a number of common Mendelian disorders among Romanies from all over Europe indicates "a common origin and founder effect".[39][40] 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".[41] The same study found that "a single lineage ... found across Romani populations, accounts for almost one-third of Romani males."[41] 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".[42]

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 recent discovery 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.[43]

This contradicted 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.[44] The haplogroup H, which is the most common haplogroup in Romanis is far more prevalent in central India and south India than it is in northern India, where haplogroup R1a lineages makes up at least half of male ancestries, and haplogroup H is rare.

Appearance in Europe

File:Movimiento gitano.jpg
The migration of the Romanies through the Middle East and Northern Africa to Europe
File:Spiezer Schilling 749.jpg
First arrival of the Romanies 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).
File:Sclavi Tiganesti.jpg
An 1852 Wallachian poster advertising an auction of Romani slaves in Bucharest.

In 1322 CE a Franciscan monk named Symon Semeonis described people resembling these "atsinganoi" living in Crete and in 1350 CE 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).[45]

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."[46]

By the 14th century, the Romanies had reached the Balkans; by 1424 CE, 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 the United States in colonial times, with small groups in Virginia and French Louisiana. Larger-scale immigration 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, curiosity was soon followed by hostility and xenophobia. Romanies were enslaved for five centuries in Wallachia and Moldavia until abolition in 1856.[47] Elsewhere in Europe, they were subject to ethnic cleansing, abduction of their children, and forced labor. In England, there were hangings and expulsions of the Romani; in France, branding and the shaving of heads; in Moravia and Bohemia severing of ears of women. As a result, large groups of the Romani travelled back East, towards Poland, which was more tolerant, and Russia, where the Romani were also treated less heavy-handedly, as long as they paid the annual taxes.[48]

File:Bundesarchiv R 165 Bild-244-52, Asperg, Deportation von Sinti und Roma.jpg
Sinti and Roma about to be deported in Germany, May 22, 1940

World War II

During World War II, the Nazis embarked on systematic attempt at genocide of the Romanies, known as the Porajmos.[49] They were marked for extermination and sentenced to forced labor and imprisonment in concentration camps. They were often killed on sight, especially by the Einsatzgruppen (essentially mobile killing units) on the Eastern Front. The total number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 to 1,500,000; even the lowest number would count as one of the largest mass murders in history.

Post-1945

In Communist Eastern Europe, Romanies experienced assimilation schemes and restrictions of cultural freedom.[cn] The Romani language and Romani music were banned from public performance in Bulgaria. In Czechoslovakia, they were labeled a "socially degraded stratum,"[cn] 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"[50] with new revealed cases up until 2004, in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[51]

Society and culture

File:A Gipsy Family Fac simile of a Woodcut in the Cosmographie Universelle of Munster in folio Basle 1552.png
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. Fingernails and toenails must be filed with an emery board, as cutting them with a clipper is a 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. In contrast to the practice of cremating the dead, Romani dead must be buried.[52] 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).[53] Some animals are also considered impure, for instance cats because they lick themselves[54].

Religion

File:Bosnian Gypsies.jpg
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 or Orthodox Christian or Muslim. Those in western Europe and the United States are mostly Roman Catholic or Protestant. In Turkey, Egypt, and the Balkans, the Romanies are split into Christian and Muslim populations.

Music

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Young Hungarian Romani performing a traditional dance

Romani music plays an important role in Eastern European countries such as Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Hungary, 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, 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.[cn]

Language

Most Romanies speak one of several dialects of Romani,[55][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,[56] 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.[cn]

Persecutions

Historical persecution

The first and one of the most enduring persecutions against the Romani people was the enslaving of the Romanies who arrived on the territory of the historical Romanian states of Wallachia and Moldavia, which lasted from the 14th century until the second half of the 19th century. Legislation decreed that all the Romanies living in these states, as well as any others who would immigrate there, were slaves.[57]

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.[58]

One example of official persecution of the Romani is exemplified by the 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).[58]

Holocaust

File:Porajmos.jpg
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 the late Sybil Milton, formerly senior historian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.[59] In Central Europe, the extermination in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was so thorough that the Bohemian Romani language became extinct.[cn]

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.[60]

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.[60][61]

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.[62] This resulted in some 1,500 Romani children being taken from their parents in the 20th century.[63]

Contemporary issues

Amnesty International reports continued instances of Antizigan discrimination during the 2000s, particularly in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia,[64] Hungary,[65] Slovenia,[66] and Kosovo.[67]

Czechoslovakia carried out a policy of sterilization of Romani women, starting in 1973.[68] The dissidents of the Charter 77 denounced it in 1977-78 as a "genocide", but the practice continued through the Velvet Revolution of 1989.[69] 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.[70]

In 2008, 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 (gypsy emergency)[71] Specifically officials in the Italian government accused the Romanies of being responsible for rising crime rates in urban areas. Mario Marazziti, spokesperson of the Community of Sant'Egidio human rights organization said "There is no national emergency ... What is an emergency is that in the 21st century the life expectancy of a gypsy living in Italy is under 60 years of age."[72]

Fictional representations

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

Many fictional depictions of the Romani in literature and art present Romanticized narratives of their supposed mystical powers of fortune telling, and their supposed irascible or passionate temper paired with an indomitable love of freedom and a habit of criminality. Particularly notable are classics like Carmen by Prosper Mérimée and adapted 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. One example of such a use is the character Jilly Coppercorn in the seminal urban fantasy novel Dreams Under Foot by Charles de Lint.

See also

References

Notes

  1. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, estimates of the total world Romani population range from two million to five million.[1]
  2. Ian Hancock's 1987 estimate for "all Gypsies in the world" was 6 to 11 million [2].
  3. [3] The Spanish government estimates the number of Gitanos at a maximum of 650,000
  4. [4] Census 2001 in Romania: 535,140 Roma
  5. [5] There are officially about 500,000 Roma in Turkey.
  6. [6] The Romani population in France is officially estimated at around 500,000
  7. [7] Census 2001 in Bulgaria: 370,908 Roma
  8. [8] Census 2001 in Hungary: 205,720 Roma/Bea
  9. [9] The Romani population in Greece is officially estimated at 200,000
  10. [10] Census 2002 in Russia: 182,766 Roma
  11. [11] Estimated by Ministero degli Interni del Governo Italiano.
  12. [12] Census 2002 in Serbia: 108,193 Romanies
  13. [13] Census 2001 in Slovakia: 89,920 Roma
  14. [14] 70,000 Roma/Sinti estimated by the German Ministry of Internal Affairs
  15. [15] The 2002-census reported 53,879 Roma and 3,843 "Egyptians"
  16. Gall, Timothy L. (ed). Worldmark Encyclopedia of Culture & Daily Life: Vol. 4 - Europe. Cleveland, OH: Eastword Publications Development (1998); pg. 316, 318 : "Religion: An underlay of Hinduism with an overlay of either Christianity or Islam (host country religion) "; "Roma religious beliefs are rooted in Hinduism. Roma believe in a universal balance, called kuntari... Despite a 1,000-year separation from India, Roma still practice shaktism, the worship of a god through his female consort... ""
  17. Matras, Yaron (2002). Romani: a linguistic introduction. Cambridge University Press. pp. 239. ISBN 9780521631655. http://books.google.com/books?id=D4IIi0Ha3V4C&pg=PA238&dq=number+speakers+of+Romani. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  18. We Are the Romani People, Pg XIX, http://books.google.ro/books?id=MG0ahVw-kdwC&pg=PP1&ots=PiPKTLplWa&sig=Ly3TAfbjs6FqhS7h0e1Yz44qaIk&hl=ro&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPR19,M1, retrieved 2008-07-31 
  19. 19.0 19.1 We Are the Romani People, Pg XXI, http://books.google.ro/books?id=MG0ahVw-kdwC&pg=PP1&ots=PiPKTLplWa&sig=Ly3TAfbjs6FqhS7h0e1Yz44qaIk&hl=ro&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPR21,M1, retrieved 2008-07-31 
  20. 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
  21. p. 13 in Illona Klimova-Alexander's The Romani Voice in World Politics: The United Nations and Non-State Actors (2005, Burlington, VT.: Ashgate
  22. Rothéa, Xavier. "Les Roms, une nation sans territoire?" (in French). http://www.theyliewedie.org/ressources/biblio/fr/Rothea_Xavier_-_Les_roms.html. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  23. We Are the Romani People, Pg XX, http://books.google.ro/books?id=MG0ahVw-kdwC&pg=PP1&ots=PiPKTLplWa&sig=Ly3TAfbjs6FqhS7h0e1Yz44qaIk&hl=ro&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPR20,M1, retrieved 2008-07-31 
  24. The Institute for Middle East Understanding
  25. Online Etymology Dictionary - Douglas Harper
  26. Fraser 1992.
  27. Hancock, Ian (1995). A Handbook of Vlax Romani. Slavica Publishers. p. 17. 
  28. "gitan" (in French). Dictionnaire de l'Académie française. http://www.academie-francaise.fr/dictionnaire/. Retrieved 2007-08-26. "Nom donné aux bohémiens d'Espagne ; par ext., synonyme de Bohémien, Tzigane. Adjt. Une robe gitane." 
  29. Council of Europe website, European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF)
  30. 3.8 million according to Pan and Pfeil, National Minotiries in Europe (2004), ISBN 978-3700314431, p. 27f.
  31. Council of Europe compilation of population estimates
  32. Hancock, Ian, 2001, Ame sam e rromane džene / We are the Romani People, The Open Society Institute, New York, page 2
  33. Matras, Yaron, Romani: A linguistic introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2002, page 5
  34. "Names of the Romani People", http://desicritics.org/2007/12/24/012125.php, retrieved 2009-01-30 
  35. N.Bessonov, N.Demeter "Ethnic groups of Gypsies"
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