Forgotten Indian Diaspora In Europe – 1000 years ago

Posted in Current Affairs, Desert Bloc, European History, History, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on December 7, 2007

Europe, a democratic, liberal, society that has great respect for individualism, has been persecuting the Roma Gypsy for 500 years – because they are different.

Renaissance and Enlightenment

In Europe, kidnapping children was considered legal for most of 1500AD-1750AD. On one condition – you had to kidnap Roma Gypsy children! More than 25,000 children kidnapped. No problem. Everybody sleeps peacefully at night. Switzerland was doing this till 1973!

Prof. Dr. Ian Hancock, University of Texas, Austin, USA, a pioneering researcher of the Roma

Prof. Dr. Ian Hancock, University of Texas, Austin, USA, a pioneering researcher of the Roma

Roughly, between 1500 to 1750, it was legal in Europe to hunt human beings. Yes! Just like hunting for deer in India, or hunting buffalo in Africa or fox-hunting in Britain. Yes! You could hunt human beings. As long as the humans you hunted were Roma Gypsies.

In Europe you could be hung to death if you committed the crime of being born – between 1500AD-1750AD! Born as a Roma Gypsy!

Europeans, in the their age of Enlightenment and Renaissance, (1500-1750) could just pick up human slaves – yes, own them like cattle and furniture, if you found one! As long as they were Roma Gypsies. Later you could also sell them for profit!

Ship owners and captains in Europe’s Golden age, (1500-1750) could arrange galley slaves for free. No wages, no salary. You just had to feed them. Use them, abuse them, flog them, kill them, drown them. You could do anything – as long as they were Roma Gypsies.

What set off this Europe-wide persecution of the Roma Gypsies? It was their opposition to the tyranny of the Vatican, where Gypsy Taborites joined with Utraquists under Jan Zizka during the Hussite Wars, that set off this persecution. Interestingly, a 100 years later, the European persecution of the Roma Gypsies began in full earnest. And during WW2, the Vatican joined with the Nazi collaborators, the Ustashe,  to extort gold and the genocide against the Roma Gyspises.

Roma Gypsy Wagon Caravan

Gypsy Wagons (?) which formed the Wagenbergs in the Hussite Wars

Subsequent ‘reformers’, like Martin Luther, earned his spurs from the kings and the Vatican, espousing the anti-semitism and anti-‘Gypsy’ writings. Martin Luther wrote in

1543 that Jews be placed ‘in a stable like the Zigeuner [Gypsies] so that they learn that they are not masters in our land’ (from Borders and travellers in early modern Europe By Thomas Betteridge Page 97)

The principle of ‘Cuius regio, eius religio’ (meaning whose land, his religion; CRER) – the ruler decided his people’s religion, was used to settle Europe post Hussite Wars and the ‘Reformation’, establishing the CRER principle to settle Germany, giving rise to the logic of ‘ubi unus dominus, ibi una sit religio’ (One ruler, one religion). Just in case someone had religious disagreement, the logic was they could well emigrate – (ius emigrandi). The target of these laws, principles and writings – the Jews and the Roma-Gypsies.

20th Century Europe

Hitler’s Germany killed 60 lakh Jews in various concentration camps – a broadly accepted figure. Other figures range between 50,00,000-1,00,00,000. This is today estimated at about 50% of the Jewish population.

These concentration camps (first used by Spaniards in Cuba) were discovered by Allied troops as they drove back German troops. All concentration camp commanders were tried at Nuremberg trials – and sentenced.

After the Wold War 2

The Jews have still not let any of the participants and accessories forget the crime. Swiss banks, the Vatican and various Nazi officials in hiding have been hunted and prosecuted. To make up for this holocaust, guilt laden post-WW2 European and American Governments, gave the Jews a country of their own – Israel. Films have been made on these concentration camps and killings. Elie Wiesel and Menachem Begin have got Nobel Prizes for post WW2 problem management.

Sharing the concentration camps with the Jews were a fringe European group – Roma Gypsies. 80% of the Romany Gypsy population – a greater percentage of Roma Gypsies died than the Jews. The world has little sympathy – and no intention of doing anything about this holocaust. One out of three in a concentration camps were Jews – the rest were Roma Gypsies and others (Jehovah’s Witnesses Spanish Republicans, and ordinary criminals). Estimates of Roma Gypsy deaths in the Nazi holocaust vary and are contradictory – between 2 lakhs to 15 lakhs. A weighted median figure seems to be 5 lakhs – and better figures are difficult as Roma Gypsies were considered unfit for inclusion as human population in various census operations.

Sixty Years Later

In war-crimes trials, Nazis attempted to justify – or differentiate – the killing of Gypsies by stating that they had been punished as criminals, not as Gypsies per se.  And they succeeded: although sufficient documents were available immediately after the war, the mass murder of Roma and Sinti was not addressed at the Nuremberg trials, and no  Gypsy witnesses were called.  To this day, just one Nazi, , Ernst-August Konig, has received a sentence specifically for crimes against Gypsies. (from Bury me standing By Isabel Fonseca).

In 1984, 40 years after the German defeat, Simon Wiesenthal wrote to Elie Wiesel about “the Gypsies had been murdered [in a proportion] similar to the Jews, about 80% of them in the area of the countries which were occupied by the Nazis”. It is now speculated that his espousal of the Gypsy cause cost him the Nobel Prize – and was meant to show Elie Wiesel in poor light. Elie Wiesel supporters claim, allegedly, he was more interested in discrediting Elie Wiesel and less bothered about Romany Gypsy deaths.Roma Gypsy Migration

After more than 40 years to acknowledge their co-victims, on 16 September 1986, as Elie Wiesel addressed a wide range of audience in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, he stated

“I confess that I feel somewhat guilty towards our Roma friends. We have not done enough to listen to your voice of anguish. We have not done enough to make other people listen to your voice of sadness. I can promise you we shall do whatever we can from now on to listen better” (Tanner 1997).

Elie Wiesel confirms that he feels only somewhat guilty and will do his best to listen – just like Europe and the world does once in a while and complete indifference rest of the time .

Who Are The Roma Gypsies

Till 1867, Roma gypsies were part of European slave population. Their crime – a different language, a different religion and they looked different. After living in Europe for 1000 years, they were considered ‘outsiders’ – and did not mix much with ‘native’ Europeans.

Macarena - Los Del RioIt is the same Roma Gypsies who have contributed to the Spanish cultural icon – Flamenco! It is the Roma-Gypsies (along with the Arabs) who brought Indian music systems to Europe – based on which the Western music system developed over the last 300-400 years. The iconic guitar is a modified Indian musical instrument – brought to Europe by the Gypsies, which the West tries ‘passing off’ as their own. But, of course, the Hittites, the Indo Aryans of the Middle East, before them had an instrument similar to the guitar. Why am I not surprised when flamenco style, Gypsy music group, Los Del Rio’s Macarena became a big hit in India. Gypsy music burst on the Western main street with Django Reinhardt’s Jazz – and the birth of modern Western music fuelled by Gypsy music traditions remains completely unacknowledged.

Hittite GuitarWhere did Roma Gypsies come from – they claimed they came from India. But no one was quite sure. Recent DNA mapping done has confirmed what they always claimed – they were from India. A Russian-Roma poet (born in Latvia) Leksa Manush, wrote a the Roma version of the Indian epic poem, Ramayana as “Ramajanam”.

What are we (Indians) doing about these “lost Indian tribe”. Sweet nothing at all!

Birth Of Western Music

Gypsy contribution to the growth of Western musical tradition has been , similarly blanked out from Western history. The spread of Gypsy populations across Europe by the 16th century coincides with the birth of Western music systems – a stripped down version of the 3000-years old Indian music structure.

Hungarian music was Gypsy music arrogated by the White Christian majority to itself – and resented the Gypsy music culture. Western military music came from gypsy music bands of Turkey, Austria and Hungary. In 1859, Franz Liszt wrote, The Gypsies And Their Music In Hungary, a 450-odd page treatise on Gypsy music – and his Hungarian Rhapsody was based on Gypsy music. The source of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody – a by product of Gypsy music, based on the famous Rákóczi March (Hungarian: Rákóczi-induló). The current and popular version of Rákóczi March, first performed and committed to paper by János Bihari, it was ‘incorporated’ by Hector Berlioz also in the ‘The Damnation of Faust.’

Verdi wrote the Il Trovatore, in 1853, a story about the clash between the White Christian Spain and a band of Gypsies. Georges Bizet’s, Carmen, another opera about the love of a Spaniard and the Gypsy, Carmen, used Gypsy music and themes considerably – apart from the story itself.

Gypsy Music Recordings

Gypsy Music Recordings

Carefully hidden is Bela Bartok’s research into ‘folk’ music and ‘inspiration’. In the true ‘cultural dacoity’ mode, Bartok (after emigrating to USA), covered his tracks and found ingenious ways to deny the Gypsy influence. After WW1, when parts of Hungary folded into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bartok’s access to his ‘inspiration’, the Gypsies (and their music) was also cut off, his music compositions also declined. In fact, the wax cylinders on which Bartok and Leos Janacek copied Gypsy music remain sought after items.

The Gypsies In Provence

Modern day Roma Gypsies made their first mark in Europe in Provence. The richness of the Roma Gypsy music (of India) overwhelmed the people of Southern France. They whole heartedly, assimilated the Gypsies (then known as troubadours) and their culture – warmly. 500 years later, across a bleak Europe, the French poet Voltaire, the English WB Yeats, lamented and longed for Provenceand the richness of the Provencal culture. Modern French cuisine, wine culture and tradition took root in this very area – and survived in spite of the best attempts by the Church to exterminate it in the Albigensian Crusade.

Difficult Issue?

What makes handling Roma Gypsy question difficult is a difficult history. Is perceived Roma Gypsy ‘crime’ a result of systematic deprivation of opportunity or a cause of their value system or due to centuries of persecution? Is their alleged ‘lack of professional accomplishment due to disinclination or due to barriers? Or even a disability issue – as claimed by some Europeans?

How is it that no Indian group causes the problems that Europeans accuse Roma Gypsies of? Indians in every corner of the world have prospered – but not Roma Gypsies in Europe! If white European allegations have any truth, the truth also is that Roma Gypsy character has been perverted in Europe.

Gypsy Flamenco Dance

Possibly, it is the European handling. The handling of the Meena tribe by Rajasthan’s royal rulers is illustrative. The British colonial rulers declared the Meena tribe as a “criminal” tribe (much like Europe’s treatment of Gypsies). The Meenas were among the (now) 6 crore people declared as criminals at one stroke – much like the racist administration in Europe. Or the manner in which native populations were wiped out by Anglo-Saxons in USA, Canada and Australia.

In India, Rajput rulers of Rajasthan, on the other, made these ” reputed criminals” as their treasury supervisors. The fame of the Meena treasury keepers spread all over India – while the British attempts at “Meena genocide” in India failed. The rest of India refused to participate in these pogroms – unlike the Europeans. Free India de-notified these tribes in 1952 – and Indian law makers initially refused to look at crime in a racist manner. Subsequently, they reverted back to colonial laws – and that is a tragedy.

Europeans need to do more to understand the Roma Gypsies – and provide the much deserved climate and structure for Roma Gypsies to prosper – if they care, that is.

Indian Role

If India wants an international role, other countries and peoples will judge us by how we treat our own people first. Other countries are unlikely to let India have an international role, if our (Indian) national role is indifferent and dubious. If Indian professionals want to play an international role, they must be in a position to take up international issues. If Indian media wants to be be on world stage, they must take up issues that others in the world are not taking up!

Padmashri DrW.R.Rishi

PS – I did find one lonely Indian, Daisy Grewal, who has been working at raising awareness about the Romani-Gypsy Indians.

Update – And then came some more.

There is Late Weer Rajendra Rishi, a former officer of the Indian Foreign Service, interpreter to Jawaharlal Nehru, wrote a book on the Roma Gypsies. He set up the Indian Institute Of Roma Studies at Chandigarh. He also organized two International Romani festivals in Chandigarh (in 1976 and 1983). Last heard he was struggling to permanently house the Roma collection that he built up. In 1974, he published the Multi lingual Romani Dictionary. Friend Parag Tope sent me a link to the Roma Gypsy Wikipedia.

Romani Gypsy story is a lot like India too – as put (in a moment of despair perhaps) : –

यूनान-ओ-मीस्र-ओ रूमा, सब मीट गए जहाँ से, अब तक मगर है बाक़ी, नाम ओ नीशान हमारा,
कुछ बात है के हस्ती,मीटती नहीं हमारी, सदीओं रहा है दुश्मन, दौर ऐ ज़माना हमारा

Never mind, this too shall pass.

the Germanic lands.

56 Responses

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  2. Stan Lukaszewski said, on January 12, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Have you ever heard that the Romani Gypies may be the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?

    • Krycha said, on September 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

      It’s one of the ‘myths’ propagated about Romani. It stems from a story regarding them being from Egypt (the root of the word Gypsy) which suggested their ‘tribe’ had committed some heinous crime and so were banished to roam the world ceaselessly.

      • Sahli said, on March 16, 2016 at 10:03 pm

        Many Roma’s origins were from Egypt before the migration to India. Tarot….”ROM” and many customs that are like that of Hebrew.

    • Marek Tirpák said, on December 9, 2014 at 11:31 am


      Yes Roma-Gypsies are a lost tribe of Israel. If it is true that the Roma-Gypsies have lived for centuries in India, but that’s all. Traditions are Jewish? Roma laws is Jewish. Roma-Gypsies are building their own DNA, and there they do not have that comes from India. They have Semitic origin, and not Indian. Scholarly Activity of Roma origin who examined. And according jatyka came SOLUTIONS we are Roma from India is a big lie !!!! There are few words in Indian language. In our jezace is a powerful old Aramaic. Roma-Gypsies are a lost tribe of the northern Kingdom Samari.

  3. Anuraag Sanghi said, on January 13, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Stan – My knowledge about Gypsy history is recent. From what little I understand, the Gypsies should stop trying to be anything but Gypsies. The Gypsies are different. Period.

    Any attempts by the Gypsies to ingratiate with the Jews (by saying that Gypsies are one of the “lost tribes of Israel” or with Christians on the basis of fables of stealing the last nail from Christ’s crufixion or God’s desire that let the Gypsies should let be; will be met with scorn by the oppressors and will serve as justification for continued oppression.

    Usage of Gandhiji’s strategy (outlined below) will be an excellent idea.

    1. Start with a (genuine) internal (Pan Euro) reform in the Gypsy society.

    2. Build a political and intellectual leadership in the Gypsy society.

    3. Meet the oppressors with unmitigated and uncompromising (democratic and lawful methods of) opposition. (Gypsies don’t need to be in a hurry. They have suffered for 1000 years. Another few years wont make a difference.

    Gandhiji had a Jewish solution – which would have avoided the holocaust. The Jews scoffed at that idea. You can look at more details on this at “India’s biggest success – Gandhiji”

    Above all – have self belief.

    • Krycha said, on September 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Just incidentally, you’d need to stop using the word “Gypsy” and its derivatives as that name comes from this mistaken idea many Europeans had that the Romani were from Egypt.

      • Sahli said, on March 16, 2016 at 10:05 pm

        The Rom said they were from Egypt because before India and the migration that was the truth. Can western DNA trace back over a thousand years ago?

        • naayram said, on March 17, 2016 at 8:34 am

          The Roms are indeen from India. Andrew Boorde dont asked them about their place of origin, he collected just 13 sentences of Romani language. He named the Roms egyptians because he met them in Egypt. The DNA of Rom nation is very mixed with the DNA of european populations. Thats why the Roms of Romania are white. In the 16-17 century the black Roms married white romanians. In Hungary is the same, the hungarian Roms 9Gabors0 are nearly all of them white, beacuse they were forced by the empress Maria Theresia to marry hungarian wifes and husbands. When a Gabor is born black, then is named Kalo- the black one. Very few Roms of Romania are black as their forefathers.

          • Dr. Jessie Mercay said, on March 17, 2016 at 7:58 pm

            Im pretty big on DNA studies to solve the migration riddles of the world. While I am white european, it turns out that I have a line of ancient ancestry from northern India. I feel india in my blood… perhaps that’s why I go there every year. In any case I believe that DNA research confirms the modern Romani’s ancestors migrated out of northwest India all at one time 1,500 years ago.


  4. […] Sweet nothing at all! Difficult Issue? What makes handling Roma Gypsy society difficult is a difficult history. Is Roma Gypsy crime a result of systematic deprivation of opportunity or a cause of their value system. …via Google Blog Search: roma issues gypsy […]

  5. […] like Romani Gypsy and Australian aboriginal children were taken away from their parents, Red Indian children were also […]

  6. […] happen considering the low income levels. Fancy theory apart, to my mind, it is this exposure to skullduggery by Western Governments (to which they are exposed) which causes this low […]

  7. […] Forgotten Indian Diaspora In Europe – 1000 years ago […]

  8. […] like Romani Gypsy and Australian aboriginal children were taken away from their parents, Red Indian children were also […]

  9. Ashish said, on March 2, 2008 at 10:45 am

    What are we (Indians) doing about these “lost Indian tribe”. Sweet nothing at all!

    Firstly, they aren’t Indians. Just like me and my INDIAN family are not Polish/Finnish (this was established by a DNA study my ancestors originate from Eastern Europe who migrated to India around 1000 AD).

    Secondly, what are we Indians doing to our own version of Roma: the backward banjaras, bhils and 160 million “untouchables” -persecution is no less. At least, 30% of Indians aren’t really Indian to us in the real sense. Therefore, we (Indians) as pots shouldn’t call the kettle (Europeans) black.

    European countries have human rights, civil rights etc. Present generation of Europeans is more educated and civilized than their forefathers. We still have at least 50 years to reach that stage.

    Finally, India is overpopulated. I don’t think we need 15 million gypsies to add to the wonderful diversity we already have in our country. I think Gypsies are the problem of the European people. I’m sure their treatment is improving day by day. We can only hope for the best.

    BTW, here is a pic of a Romani girl from Czech Republic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Romany_girl_from_cz_2005.jpg Well, she looks exactly like North Indian girls. I might “rescue” her -looks quite sexy to me. Here are more Romanis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NadezhdaSliven.jpg they look somewhat like Indians/South Americans.

    Incidentally, many people when they see MODERN-DAY Indians from India, they build automatic connections. We have resemblence with Hispanics from North America, Mestizos of Mexico and several “Indian” tribes of countries like Peru, Chile etc. I once met two guys in a hotel in Bangkok and went and said, “Excuse me, are you Indians?” They looked surprised and later shook my hands, “No we are Chileans. Nice to meet you.”

    Indian diaspora is EVERYWHERE. The world is India.

    • naayram said, on February 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      We, the european gypsies are the problem of the Laws of Manu! The Doms ancestors of the european gypsies were rejected outside India beacuse the Manus sistem of chattur varna….

  10. Anuraag Sanghi said, on March 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Same thing. Read the post again.

  11. mary said, on May 17, 2008 at 7:11 am

    i dont under stand your comments and for your information most gypsy do very good alot are million airs so you better do your studys just a little better how do u think we survied all these years like a holucast and no country and the only thing to depend on is our minds with out any scooling from gaza and your way of life we are a hidden town in gods heart some thing most people can not under stand we are blessed people in every tribe of people there is rich and poor good and bad but we all have one thing in common no matter what we have god living in our hearts

  12. martialarts said, on June 20, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Hi all great information here and good thread to comment on.

    I am an adict to training and really want to get to my best this year!

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

  13. normal_voice said, on October 11, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    personally, I can’t stand gypsies. I think the sooner they go back to India the better – for both Europeans and Gypsies. Their integration proved to be impossible.

    • Rhea said, on March 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      u r anything but normal

  14. Anuraag Sanghi said, on October 12, 2008 at 6:21 am

    I am sure that there must be a lot of people who cant stand each other – which does not give them the right to ‘send away’ people. By extending your logic, if I cant stand you, I can ‘send’ you away – from the Earth itself. Which is what Europe did for centuries. I thought Europe was ‘cured’. But I see, I am wrong.

    I am sure after being in Europe for 1000 years, the Gypsies have as much rights as you (or anyone) in Europe, to stay and lead lives as per their choosing. Roma Gypsies are politically, as much European, as you are!

    ‘Modern’ Europe, which is twice the size of India, I am sure is not so ‘backward’, that they cannot live with a population of which is one-third of India – without killing each other.

    If however, Europe does want the option to ‘cleanse’ the Gypsies, it just proves how ‘modern’, ‘civilized’ and ‘advanced’ they are.

  15. normal_voice said, on October 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Let them just go back to India or wherever they came from. I don’t hate them, just don’t want them to live in my country.
    A millenium wasn’t enough for them the become normal citizens of the countries they inhabit. They still don’t want work like other people. It’s easier to beg and/or steal.
    They are between 5 and 10 % of the population of my country but yet they are responsible for at least 60% of the crimes here. For example when you hear that someone have entered a widow’s house, tortured, repeatedly raped and killed her in 9 out of 10 times the criminals are gypsies. The vast majority of them don’t pay for water/electricity so we are required to pay for their utilities. And so on, and so on……

    There are other minorities in my country -Russians, Armenians and It seems that they have adapted pretty well into local societies. Armenians and Russians are respected for their culture ( i mean their history, traditions and etc.) and personal achievements.

    I don’t think that we’ll continue to live together. Either we or they will have to go away.

  16. normal_voice said, on October 12, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    This is an example of one of their their innocent crimes. The annoying thing is that it happens on a daily basis everywhere they go….
    Just take them back to India AND STAY THERE, we’ll stay in Europe and woudn’t come to your country. Deal???

    • Incognito said, on August 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      >>>”The annoying thing is that it happens on a daily basis everywhere they go….”

      Ever thought of how annoying you have been to rest of the world ?
      you, in the sense, westerners.

      The crimes you committed is nothing compared to the ‘annoying’ things that you see them doing.

      You westerners killed MILLIONS of people, in Americas, Australia, Asia, Africa, ENSLAVED MILLIONS. DESTROYED CIVILIZATIONS, ENTIRE TRIBES, impoverished NATIONS, looted for centuries!

      Gassed the Gypsies in MILLIONS.

      It is such you who is annoyed, is it ?
      You want them to ‘integrate’ with your ‘society’, do you ?

      When did you and your anscestors treat them as humans in the past millennium ? When did you consider them as not heathen/kaffir/infidel ?
      When did you not burn them at stake, accusing them of witch craft ?

      Do you know why MILLIONS of children starve to death in ‘third world’ countries ?
      Because your anscestors, Europeans, looted them for centuries. Destroyed their countries, and lives.

      You conscience-less apology of a human being.

  17. dfhfgj said, on November 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm


  18. yeui said, on November 19, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Unpretentious_Diva said, on January 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    यूनान-ओ-मीस्र-ओ रूमा, सब मीट गए जहाँ से, अब तक मगर है बाक़ी, नाम ओ नीशान हमारा,
    कुछ बात है के हस्ती,मीटती नहीं हमारी, सदीओं रहा है दुश्मन, दौर ऐ ज़माना हमारा

    Never mind, this too shall pass.

    and Iqbal then said,
    Saare jahaan se Achchaa pakistan hamaraa.

    A good right up.

    Anyways Liberty loving human cannot support man made dividing boundaries.
    Nationalism is not above Humanism, Individualism.

  20. Anuraag Sanghi said, on January 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    The facts are …

    Allama Iqbal wrote an epochal book … Taraana-e-hind … circa 1905 …

    In 1907, under the ‘guidance’ of a ‘Western’ Islamic ‘scholar’ Sir Thomas Arnold, he went for an extended ‘education’ to England (the West … again) …He came back ‘transformed’ – and supported a Pakistan idea, as an autonomous region of India.

    His words were …

    Saare Jahaan se achcha Hindustan hamara …

  21. […] a 100 years later, the European persecution of the Roma Gypsies began in full […]

  22. marie said, on February 7, 2009 at 8:38 am

    you keep talking about the “so called modern west” but most gypsies live in poor eastern European countries such as Romania.

    By the way the gypsies never claimed they were from India, they claimed they were from Egypt…and many i have come across don’t accept the idea that they came from India.

    • aaron anderson said, on July 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

      People are free to believe (or imagine) where they family line comes from, including any Gypsy person. But Romani dialects and Romani genes clearly point to ancestry in North Western India. However, most North Western Indians have common ancestors–and common root languages–as people in much of Europe. So, really, the Roma Folk in Europe today “came from” Europe itself.

      The mis-conception of Egyptian origins could have come about like this: Some of the early generations of Gypsies would have been aware that they great, great (etc) grandparents were from a place called “Punjab”, and upon being asked by people of host populations as to where they came from, some Gypsies may have answered “Punjab-seh” (“from Punjab”). The syllables “Punjab-seh” repeated over time may have become worn away to “Jahb-seh”, and they “Gypsy”, and a misconception that they were from “Egypt”.

      It’s not my theory anyway, but theory I read, and which sounds viable.

  23. Anuraag Sanghi said, on February 7, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Is Eastern Europe not a apart of the West? Maybe you differentiating between Western Europe and Eastern Europe. But both the Eastern and Western Europe are part of the West … is it not?

    Reg. the origin of the Roma Gyspies … If you are happy with the Egyptian root theory, be my guest. If you believe that Roma Gypsies are not from India, so be it. Don’t worry, be happy.

  24. Stacy said, on February 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Hello, thank you for the informative articles on the disporia of the Gypsie peoples. I have recently had my Autosmal DNA and the results are amazing…East Indian (which we expected). What I did not expect was a high ancestry result of Aboriginal Australian.
    Your information here hass been invaluable to our research, thank you.

  25. […] – like the false apologies, made or not made, after the genocide of Jews, Native Americans, or the Roma Gypsies or the Australian […]

  26. […] a 100 years after the Hussite Wars, the European persecution of the Roma Gypsies began in full earnest. And during WW2, the Vatican joined with the Nazi collaborators, the […]

  27. […] the immense contribution by the Roma Gypsies to European culture and life. Is it because: […]

  28. […] When the Roma Gypsies were attacked and assaulted, ‘knowing’ readers responded that it was the fault of the Roma Gypsy! […]

  29. Tamara said, on November 5, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Maisim Rromni. I am a sixth generation tribal American Karldarash Rromani….yes American Rromani Princess I was born and raised within the subculture of the American Rromani.My grandfather was the only official American Rromano Karldarash leader in the history of America, him and his Uncle “Oh Chifto” and a secretary of State in the early nineteen hundreds helped to bring many many tribes of the Karldarash families with my Sixth generation fore fathers and thier following sons, into America.There was Rromani in America before this, two of them was slaves on the ship that Columbus came upon and to our Native American First indigenous, that was not our choice and we would give up our lives before voluntary harming your people as a whole race, even if there is some lost Rromani out there that would. My Grandfather’s name was Toma Stanley.He was a decorated World war 2 Captain, Diplomat for the United States Government. Strong Command of 27 different languages, traveled the world twice to visit the world Rromani groups and whatever at the time there was of human right organisations trying to assist. He had a seventh grade education. His life is documented in the Smithsonian Institute. I have many relatives and am a descendant of the European Karldarash Rromani amd yes, our homeland by all accounts verified is from India. I am thankful that you have shown the unprecedented and insane facts of our true time line of persecution; which with no exaggeration it is really only the tip of the iceberg until today. If you would like evidence, please visit the “Patrin” web site where you will see under time line, the documentation of Rromani throughout history and that which has been there punishment for existing. Most information out there is stereo type money making hooey. The leading documentation I could send you to is Ian Hanacock; Professor and director of the Rromani Archives in the Texas University in Austin Texas. No matter how many times we will stand up and say; present day Gypsy bathrooms and Euro bathrooms. Good evidence of forced sterilization of the women going on “RIGHT NOW”. Present day only special need schools, segregated daycares, videos on utube to prove it, evidence through more formal avenues also available. Distaste for us, lie about us, thinks we are disgusting as anyone would of some of us when they treat us like garbage in their homelands where they have no way of bing hygienic or clean water, space to habitat (and that is if there is few children or not). As I write this there is Rroma children moved with their families to toxic waste lands, so much evidence of poison the teeth of all family members are black and all test results are proven. NO ONE will do anything. Media only focuses on the “minority” criminal element, out of that Minority is an even smaller number that does so for reasons other then absolute survival life and death. .Ghettos in Europe, poor education “if” we get to educate in some areas. The slander, harrasment, misunderstanding, ill treatment subhuman animalistic deneyal that we are equal is……indescribable. We do not have to get fair treatment as those in Darfur or South Africa, as they are looked upon as innocent where we are vilified for a thousand years and forced into criminal behavior because of it….chasing our tail don’t you think?? Organisations, Governments that have to get forced to admit what is happening does and then the People whom are competing and resenting our presence “has” to blame someone
    for the poverty of thier own Country and economic crisis. Of course there are rotton low life greedy lazy Rroma, just as there is rotten low life greedy lazy every other color in the world…”thankfully” it is in the minority not majority…. for all races, including ours
    I pray. Did anyone know there is Many Countries that have thousands of Rromani in their homeland who get along very well, educated, integrated, celebrated, contributing members of Society. How is it that the very same race is so inhumane in one Country and somehow when treated with equal rights well loved in another??
    When you see people saying crazy things like “why did they have so many children when they can not afford?” Why do they live like that? I wish Hitler would have killed all those lazy filthy scum. They do not like to work, you don’t understand they are inferior to us. They hate school and all people outside there race, its there culture. “GYPSY TEARS”. Stereo type, mythological, dancing on tables, stealing children. crooked nose, old scary hag, Ezmerelda, all of our traditional medicine is fake, yet somehow Companies throughout the world keep selling millions of dollars worth of imitations of our sacred herbal formulas, reading cards,movies, books, metaphysical awareness. If we steal children but yet hate every one else besides our people?????? How can this be? People by the generations have been taught to fear us for nothing, vampire insanity. So few actually go to look at a verified documentation of our History. Ghandi embraced us, Dali Llama yet not good enough. 70% of us in America are Christian now, before that religions as vast as the sea and very devoted to a One creator of all and still, that makes no difference. How many times are we in the news for crime compared to every other race? We are the largest minority in Europe but still we make no contribution? Either they hate us or they want to take and become us. They can not just be humane and understand once and for all we are. they can not stand up with us so we no longer have to tell the school, the employer, the newspaper when we are famous or even our own “CHILDREN” , I am Romanian, Italian, Greek, “anything” except for Rroma or “GYPSY” our derogatory name. Of course there is Rroma, real Rroma that do not mind the G word, of course they know not better and for some we have been calling our selves that for generations with pride. they do not know the roots the insult. Of course there is some whom have reverse prejudice, ignorenace towards so many if not all other outside races, would it not be possible for any race that has went through this? Of course there is responsibility on all sides but when so many hate us; which side do you think we will be on until it changes somewhat resembling fairness. Imitators stealing now the only things we have left, our traditional culture, music, spiritual awareness. all these things taken out of context of such big and private matters, how rude, how cruel. Rromani wish for big families and have “hope” especially when they are young, that it will be better for them and their children. Rromani view wealth as prosperity and of course, big family, grandchildren. Rromani if you were to look at our own social and spiritual laws, it is indeed a fact that we are more like OCD cleaning and not the opposite. Just ask the countless of girls and women in our culture that are taught for generations how to sterilize till our hands rub off. We are not afraid of the earth dirt. We are not afraid of just enough germs that keeps us healthy. We do not live in disgusting conditions, less the Europeans force our people there. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS IN A HUMAN EXPERIENCE JUST LIKE YOU ALL”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are doing our best to integrate without assimilation, community controbution without institution but even when they force us, we are not even allowed to “assimilate”! Dysfunctional behavior comes with generations of upon generations of ridicule, unfounded hatred, fear, stereo typing, disgust for no reasons. Suspicion and criminal behavior comes from “HUNGER”, WEARINESS”, ANGER” tired of watching insanity in one’s life …no matter how much one does not play victim,take responsibility. Do you know what it is like for the world to not recognize you are real?? Do you know what it is like for the world’s media to not show the millions of non Roma that love us? Do you know what it is like to know our spiritual beauty, cultural wealth, devotion to the highest laws of our consciousness! Do you understand that our race has been hated and maimed more then Native American and African American “COMBINED”. I do not yell at you, I yell to awaken you as our relations. THERE IS A VERY BIG LIE GOING ON. BLESS YOUR AWARENESS, OURS, OUR EVOLUTION, PEACE AND HEALING…PLEASE….. STOP HATING AND TAKE INTEREST.

    • Teresa Wright said, on May 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      I am glad that I have found another roma sister or brother I never lived the life as a Roma my Grandfather did. 🙂

  30. answertoyourquestion said, on August 21, 2010 at 6:29 am

    i am crying. we have civilised the world. and yet our people are being persecuted everywhere. it is all our fault. us indians. if we stand up strongly. no one will persecute those gypsies. it is a pity that the roma think
    of calling themselves egyptians rather than indians.
    roma. dont believe the christian propoganda.
    dalits are not being persecuted. india is not like that.
    we have dalit chief minister mayawati of uttar pradesh
    largest populated state of india. the speaker in our parliament is a dalit woman. we have had dalit presidents(see kr narayan). i have many dalit friends. they own three storey buildings while i live in a rent house. they have got reservations in education and jobs. there are dalit police officers, member of parliaments.
    the few incidents that happend where dalits are persecuted are not state sponsored persecutions but
    riots which happen due to christians calling hindu gods dirty ,etc. these too happen rarely like 1 in a lakh villages. the christians when they convert you . they forbid you to wear bhindi, flowers in your hair, they forbid you to speak your mother tongue and want you to speak only in english in the schools. children are beaten severly for not speaking in english by christian missionary schools. these are all documented. come to hyderabad and ask the media tv channels for these videos and contact details. they will give you about thousand instances of christian persecution of children.
    as far as hindu persecution of muslims is concerned that too is a lie.
    look at our movie stars . the most popular ones are muslim.
    check out shah rukh khan, amir khan, salman khan,
    who are the three kings of indian film. also saif ali khan. emraan hashmi, abbas,
    the leading author of film songs is also muslim javed akthar.
    muslim super rich people like azeem ashim premji , the ceo of wipro.
    minorities like the parsis can also become super rich. like the tata
    we have had muslim captains of india team.
    nawab of patuadi. mohd. azharuddin. we always had lots of muslims in our cricket teams like zaheer khan, irfan pathan, yusuf pathan .
    most of our media agencies are owned by christians.
    like ndtv
    the most powerful politician in our country is Sonia Gandhi who is a roman catholic christian from Italy.
    if indians were racist they would never have accepted it.
    also in andhra pradesh which is the 4th biggest state in india was ruled by a christian convert y samuel
    rajasekhar reddy as chief minister.
    apj abdul kalam fomer president of india is a muslim
    scientist aeronautical engineer.
    arundhati roy a christian everyday ridicules hindu religion and makes a living out of it and yet we didnt kill her.
    then there is mf hussain a muslim who paints hindu goddesses in nude and bad positions and yet we didnt kill him.
    the prime minister of india is a sikh . which is a minority religion in india.
    even we have had banjaras become chief ministers of maharastra (a big indian state whose capital is mumbai city) vasantrao naik ruled for 11 years. his nephew sudhakarrao naik also became chief minister.
    (this info i got from internet so i dont know if it is 100% true because i dont belong to maharastra state.)
    the dalits are not persecuted. but i must say the tribals live a tough life that too because of multi national companies and foreign pharma companies
    using them as human guinea pigs. but the common public dont persecute each other. at worst people crack jokes at other religions thats all. but you see
    some of us have become like western people. that is why we are unable to be patriotic that is why we couldnt stand up for you roma. i feel ashamed for letting you suffer in europe.

    • Rroma Country said, on August 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Then do something for Rroma instead of just shedding crocodile tears, you bag of filth.

  31. admin said, on April 16, 2012 at 4:55 am

  32. Dr. Jessie Mercay said, on May 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I read the text from which you quoted the atrocities agains the Rromani. It spoke of people forming predjudice base on seeing them as different etc. One word was used in the text “Heidenjachten” which evidently means “pagan hunts.” Have you found any references that might give more insight into the whole tragedy beyond people forming fear filled sterotypes? The word I mentened – pagan hunts- smacks of religous persecution… witch hunts, the inquisition etc. Have you found anything that might support the idea that the real basis of this persecution was due to the Catholic church in its effort to convert the world? Or is there an economic reason behind it (follwo the money). (certainly the Catholic church had monetary gains to think of – it is one of the richest entities in the world). I am really curious about the origins of this hatred.

    Interesting that even on this discussion board there is predjudice against others. It is a sad thing.

  33. Teresa Wright said, on May 12, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I am a Roma Gypsy but never have lived the life that my Grandfather lived. I would love to live the life and go back to my roots,

  34. admin said, on August 21, 2012 at 7:33 am

  35. admin said, on September 5, 2012 at 5:29 am

  36. Dave said, on September 5, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Its rather sad that you criticize a couple of Jewish writers for not supporting the Gypsies in regard to the Holocaust. Most jews i know oppose racism in all forms, against all peoples. Jews have interacted with gypsies throughout Europe, Klezmer music being a good example. My father escaped Poland under the Nazis with Gypsy help, they could at least cross borders with ease! The real fight is against all forms of fascism and bigotry, not between equally oppressed groups.

    • Neelabh said, on September 10, 2012 at 2:25 am

      Jews have the power and influence that they utilize only to protect themselves, they must try much harderto include Gypsies as a part of their own. It is rather sad if jews who complain of being prosecuted, ignore the plight of their fellow brothers and sisters.

  37. John said, on November 7, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of Leksa Manush, Ramayana, Eng. and Rom.???

  38. Reddy said, on August 29, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Im Indian and ive always believed believed i had Roma blood even though we supposedly belong to the Upper Classes !! The Roma are my blood. 45 years later i can still feel the searing gaze of the Romas i encountered while visiting my grandma in Andhra !! The music, the sound, the mysterious ways … i was enraptured … for a lifetime. My daughter now learns Flamenco. I wish i could help the Roma if thats the only good i can do in this lifetime.

  39. R. Davidson said, on September 26, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I understand that the focus of this article is on the Roma gypsies but it’s a little misleading: African people were enslaved and transported to Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries too. And then, there was the white slave trade, which occurred at roughly the same time http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-forgotten-white-slaves-part-ii-nehesy/. Capturing, owning and selling people was not limited to the Roma gypsies.

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