Ten facts about the Romani

The more she learns about her great-grandmother in my novel What’s Left, the more reason Cassia has to be curious about her roots.

  1. Romani or Roma: The preferred terms for “Gypsies.” They are ethnically and genealogically different from other Europeans. They originated in northern India and migrated about 1,500 years ago as a group.
  2. Roma subgroups differ in language and variations of customs: These hold social distance from each other.
  3. They are a dispersed population: They have significant concentrations in Egypt, Turkey, Romania, southern France, Spain, and Hungary.
  4. Population in U.S.: Estimated at one million. Largely centered in southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas, and the Northeast./
  5. Population in Greece: Between 200,000 and 300,000.
  6. Population in Brazil: 800,000.
  7. Roma slaves: They were shipped with Columbus in 1492. Spain sent Romani slaves to Louisiana, 1762-1800.
  8. Romania: Abolished Roma slavery in 1864.
  9. Marriage: Couples generally wed within their tribe. The parents of the boy customarily select his bride, and a bride price would be paid to compensate her father for his loss.
  10. Community: When a Roma male marries a non-Roma, she may in time be accepted by the community, if she accepts their way of life. For a Roma female to marry a gaje, however, is a serious violation of marime or marimhe code originating in Hindu purity laws.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.