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Roma (people)

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Roma (people)

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    This article is a travel topic

Roma (people) live mainly in Europe.

Roma and Sinti are the largest national minority in Europe. The estimates of their numbers vary from 1 to 20 million. They don't have their own country but live in a diaspora all over Europe and beyond. This page aims at collecting pointers to places where Roma can be met and their culture can be experienced.


The Roma are a tribal people, and carried many of the traditional customs, values, and religious beliefs of India with them in their journeys. Their physiognomy is substntially the same as that of North India: straight dark hair, darker skin, shorter stature, a broader skull, a long nose, and dark pigmentation under the eyes.

Their non-European origin makes them an easy victim of discrimination and inter-ethnic conflict with local Europeans. The Romani language derives from Sanskrit and North Indian languages but they have no written language of their own, although foreign human rights groups have promoted a Latin- or Sanskrit-based alphabet in hopes of improved franchisement. Reincarnation, polytheism, intense superstition and propitiation of gods, a strong hierarchy, and various forms of gods of Indian Hindu origin all are expressed among the Roma in great variety. One village may have a different set of religious or clan ethics than another only a few miles away. In Romania, they are often called the Țigani. The Roma include many tribes, including the famous Sinti (named after Sindh province in Pakistan) and the Kalderashi.

At least 500 years ago (calculations vary), Roma settled in Eastern Europe during the Medieval period. Most avoided staying in the Middle East, likely due to its brutal persecution of polytheistic religions like that of the Roma, similar to their ancestors' experience in Muslim-dominated India at the time of their exodus. Most settled in what became Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania.

Smaller communities spread all over the rest of Europe. Most settled in dilapidated shanties, tent colonies, and ghettoes that were substantially segregated from the local populations, as is often the case today. There was and remains almost no assimilation due to obstinate inter-cultural antagonism. Over the past several centuries of their nomadic settlement in Eastern Europe and the Russian Steppes, they were treated as a bacillus or parasite and were frequently expelled, attacked, or even in the case of World War II, exterminated altogether.

Their non-Christian nature made them an additional target for angry Christian mobs. It was not only the Germans who massacred the Gypsies along with the Jews and homosexuals; Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, and Romania (all Axis nations) took the opportunity to put many of their Gypsies to death or do nothing to stop the exterminations.


All over Europe, mainly in the Balkans, in the south of Spain and South of France.



Stolipinovo district of Plovdiv


Saintes Maries de la Mer (Provence)


Skopje/Šuto Orizari


Granada, Jerez, Sevilla



Romanes (Romane, Romani), Kale

See[edit][add listing]


Czech Republic[edit]

  • Museum of Roma Culture (Muzeum romské kultury), Bratislavská 67, 602 00 [[Brno]], +420 545 571 798, [1].  edit


  • German Documentation and Culture Centre for Sinti and Roma (Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrum Deutscher Sinti und Roma), Bremeneckgasse 2, D-69117 Heidelberg, +49 6221-981102 (, fax: +49 6221-981177), [2].  edit
  • Museum for Roma and Sinti (Museum für Roma und Sinti), (Sachsenhausen), [3].  edit


Budapest Gypsy Museum about the history of the Roma (Gypsy) people in Hungary


Like Jews, communists and homosexuals, they were targeted for extermination by the Nazis and millions perished.



  • The Gordon Boswell Romany Museum, Clay Lake, [[Spalding]], [[Lincolnshire|Lincs]] PE12 6BL, +44 1775 710599, [4]. late Mar- end Oct, F-Su and Bank Holidays. Traditional Romany horse-drawn Vardos (caravans), carts and harness. Large lecture room for slide-shows and talks on the Romany way of life. Collection of Romany photographs and sketches covering the last 150 years. Fortune-telling tent and a collection of cooking utensils used on the open fire.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]


Eat[edit][add listing]

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