Romani people in the United States
Roma Americans
Romani Americans
Total population
est. 1,000,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and Portland[2]
Languages
American English, Romani language, Angloromani
Religion
Christianity,[3] Islam, Romani mythology, others

It is estimated that there are one million Romani people in the United States, occasionally known as American Gypsies. Though the Romani population in the United States has largely assimilated into American society, the largest concentrations are in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas, Florida and the Northeast as well as in cities such as Chicago and St. Louis.[1][4]

The largest wave of Romani immigrants came from the Balkan region in the late 19th century following the abolition of Romani slavery in 1864,[1] which occurred as the Ottoman Empire was weakening. Romani immigration to the United States has continued at a steady rate ever since, with an increase of Romani immigration occurring in the late 20th century following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe.[1]

The size of the Romani American population and the absence of a historical and cultural presence, such as the Romani have in Europe, make Americans largely unaware of the existence of the Romani as a people.[1] The term's lack of significance within the United States prevents many Romani from using the term around non-Romani: identifying themselves by nationality rather than heritage.[5]

History

Origin

The Romani people originate from Northern India,[6][7][8][9][10][11] presumably from the northwestern Indian states Rajasthan[10][11] and Punjab.[10]

The linguistic evidence has indisputably shown that roots of Romani language lie in India: the language has grammatical characteristics of Indian languages and shares with them a big part of the basic lexicon, for example, body parts or daily routines.[12]

More exactly, Romani shares the basic lexicon with Hindi and Punjabi. It shares many phonetic features with Marwari, while its grammar is closest to Bengali.[13]

Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group.[7][8][14] According to a genetic study in 2012, the ancestors of present scheduled tribes and scheduled caste populations of northern India, traditionally referred to collectively as the Ḍoma, are the likely ancestral populations of modern European Roma.[15]

In February 2016, during the International Roma Conference, the Indian Minister of External Affairs stated that the people of the Roma community were children of India. The conference ended with a recommendation to the Government of India to recognize the Roma community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian diaspora.[16]

Migration to the US

An encampment of the Roma people on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. The photographed group faced eviction from the Portland Police (1905).
An encampment of the Roma people on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. The photographed group faced eviction from the Portland Police (1905).

Romani slaves were first shipped to the Americas with Columbus in 1498.[17] Spain sent Romani slaves to their Louisiana colony between 1762 and 1800.[18] The Romanichal, the first Romani group to arrive in North America in large numbers, moved to America from Britain around 1850. Eastern European Romani, the ancestors of most of the Romani population in the United States today, began immigrating to the United States on a large scale over the latter half of the 19th century coinciding with the weakening grip of the Ottoman Empire and the Ottoman Wars in Europe in the 19th century, which ultimately culminated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), freeing many ethnic Eastern Europeans from Ottoman dominance and producing new waves of Romani immigrants.

That wave of Romani immigration comprised Romani-speaking peoples like the Kalderash, Machvaya, Lovari and Churari, and ethnically Romani groups that had integrated more within the Central and Eastern European societies, such as the Boyash (Ludari) of Romania and the Bashalde of Slovakia.[19] Romani immigration, like all Central and Eastern European migration, was severely limited during the Soviet era in Central and Eastern Europe but picked up again in the 1990s after the fall of the Eastern Bloc.

Groups

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Webley, Kayla (October 13, 2010). "Hounded in Europe, Roma in the U.S. Keep a Low Profile". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010.
  2. ^ ROMANI REALITIES IN THE UNITED STATES : BREAKING THE SILENCE, CHALLENGING THE STEREOTYPES
  3. ^ ROMANI REALITIES IN THE UNITED STATES : BREAKING THE SILENCE, CHALLENGING THE STEREOTYPES
  4. ^ Berry, Lynn (February 19, 1995). "Business - Gypsies Trying To Change Stereotyped Image -- Some Practice Their Ancient Culture Secretly". Seattle Times.
  5. ^ Kates, Glenn; Gergely, Valer (April 7, 2011). "For Roma, Life in US Has Challenges: People commonly known as 'Gypsies' face stereotyping, discrimination". Voice of America.
  6. ^ Hancock, Ian F. (2005) [2002]. We are the Romani People. Univ of Hertfordshire Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-902806-19-8: ‘While a nine century removal from India has diluted Indian biological connection to the extent that for some Romani groups, it may be hardly representative today, Sarren (1976:72) concluded that we still remain together, genetically, Asian rather than European’((cite book)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  7. ^ a b Mendizabal, Isabel; et al. (December 6, 2012). "Reconstructing the Population History of European Romani from Genome-wide Data". Current Biology. 22 (24): 2342–9. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.10.039. PMID 23219723.
  8. ^ a b Sindya N. Bhanoo (December 11, 2012). "Genomic Study Traces Roma to Northern India". New York Times.
  9. ^ Current Biology.
  10. ^ a b c K. Meira Goldberg; Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum; Michelle Heffner Hayes (September 28, 2015). Flamenco on the Global Stage: Historical, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives. p. 50. ISBN 9780786494705. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Simon Broughton; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo (1999). World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rough Guides. p. 147. ISBN 9781858286358. Retrieved April 28, 2016. Roma Rajastan Penjab.
  12. ^ Šebková, Hana; Žlnayová, Edita (1998), Nástin mluvnice slovenské romštiny (pro pedagogické účely) (PDF), Ústí nad Labem: Pedagogická fakulta Univerzity J. E. Purkyně v Ústí nad Labem, p. 4, ISBN 978-80-7044-205-0, archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016
  13. ^ Hübschmannová, Milena (1995). "Romaňi čhib – romština: Několik základních informací o romském jazyku". Bulletin Muzea Romské Kultury. Brno: Muzeum romské kultury (4/1995). Zatímco romská lexika je bližší hindštině, marvárštině, pandžábštině atd., v gramatické sféře nacházíme mnoho shod s východoindickým jazykem, s bengálštinou.
  14. ^ "5 Intriguing Facts About the Roma". Live Science. October 23, 2013.
  15. ^ Rai, N; Chaubey, G; Tamang, R; Pathak, AK; Singh, VK (2012), "The Phylogeography of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup H1a1a-M82 Reveals the Likely Indian Origin of the European Romani Populations", PLOS ONE, 7 (11): e48477, Bibcode:2012PLoSO...748477R, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048477, PMC 3509117, PMID 23209554
  16. ^ "Can Romas be part of Indian diaspora?". khaleejtimes.com. February 29, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  17. ^ Peter Boyd-Bowman (ed.), Indice geobiográfico de cuarenta mil pobladores españoles de América en el siglo XVI, vol. 1: 1493–1519 (Bogota: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1964), 171.
  18. ^ The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery, Volume 1; Volume 7 By Junius P. Rodriguez
  19. ^ a b "Gypsies in the United States". Migrations in History. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  20. ^ a b "Gypsy and Traveler Culture in America". Gypsy Lore Society.

Further reading