Throughout history, the Romani have been one of the most misunderstood groups. Rumors and slurs have long persisted about their culture for centuries. While they are often portrayed with stereotypical caravans, fortune-tellers, and woman dancing with scarves, there is so much more behind the culture.
Here are some interesting facts, answers to frequently asked questions, and information about the Romani that we have picked out for you.
Do They Have An Origin?
The origin of the Romani is encapsulated in mystery. Professors that study the culture have theorized that the origin was created during a mass exodus from India. This was around the fifth century.
Their flight was due to the spread of Islam and India and the Romani’s wish to protect their religious freedom. From there, theories note that they split into three branches. This involves the Domari, Lomavren, and the Romani.
There’s another theory by Professor Ian Hancock that suggests that there wasn’t one split at once, but instead three separate migrations over the centuries. He was met with opposition to this theory even though he supported it with linguistic studies.
Not Always Nomadic By Choice
The people of Romani have been subject to exotification for a long time. The casual use the word “gypsy” or “gypsy soul” are ways of stereotyping the culture as people who are willing to move wherever they will.
The truth of their travels is far bleaker than just wandering freely. They have often been forced to move out from countries and have been persecuted for centuries.
No Place To Call Home
The Romani people are considered to be a stateless nation. It’s common for countries to refuse the Romani people citizenship even if they were born in the country. Centuries of persecution have left the modern Romani society to drift.
In 1977 there was the creation of the International Romani Union, but this did not help the issue. In 2000, the Romani were legally declared a non-territorial nation, creating a whole slew of new problems for its people.
They are often without access to health-care services and lack citizenship. This leads to many issues faced by people who become legally invisible. Often they have difficulty accessing health care, education, and other types of social services.
How Many Romani Exist?
Due to public discrimination, many Romani to do publicly register or identify themselves. This combined with their lacked ability to gain documentation many Romani or those born under Romani families are unaccounted for.
With what the world does know of their culture, The New York Times has estimated that the population of the Romani worldwide is around eleven million. These numbers are disputed and can not be accurately obtained.
Without knowing how many Romani there are in existence, it is known that there are Romani populations in the US, Italy, Bulgaria, Russia, and in other European nations.