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.
- 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.
- Roma subgroups differ in language and variations of customs: These hold social distance from each other.
- They are a dispersed population: They have significant concentrations in Egypt, Turkey, Romania, southern France, Spain, and Hungary.
- Population in U.S.: Estimated at one million. Largely centered in southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas, and the Northeast./
- Population in Greece: Between 200,000 and 300,000.
- Population in Brazil: 800,000.
- Roma slaves: They were shipped with Columbus in 1492. Spain sent Romani slaves to Louisiana, 1762-1800.
- Romania: Abolished Roma slavery in 1864.
- 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.
- 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.
Today, let’s let them welcome the official beginning of summer.