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Countries with a significant Romani population according to unofficial estimates. .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  + 1,000,000   + 100,000   + 10,000
Countries with a significant Romani population according to unofficial estimates.
  + 1,000,000
  + 100,000
  + 10,000
Distribution of the Romani people in Europe (2007 Council of Europe "average estimates", totalling 9.8 million)[1]  * The size of the wheel symbols reflects absolute population size  * The gradient reflects the percent in the country's population: 0%                              10%.
Distribution of the Romani people in Europe (2007 Council of Europe "average estimates", totalling 9.8 million)[1]
* The size of the wheel symbols reflects absolute population size
* The gradient reflects the percent in the country's population: 0%                              10%.

The Roma people have several distinct populations, the largest being the Roma and the Iberian Calé or Caló, who reached Anatolia and the Balkans in the early 12th century, from a migration out of the Indian subcontinent beginning about 1st century - 2nd century AD.[2][3] They settled in the areas of present-day Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Moldova, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Hungary, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia, by order of volume, and Spain. From the Balkans, they migrated throughout Europe and, in the nineteenth and later centuries, to the Americas. The Roma population in the United States is estimated at more than one million.[4]

There is no official or reliable count of the Romani populations worldwide.[5] Many Romani refuse to register their ethnic identity in official censuses for fear of discrimination.[6] Others are descendants of intermarriage with local populations and no longer identify only as Roma, or not at all.

As of the early 2000s, an estimated 4 to 9 million Romani people lived in Europe and Asia Minor,[7] although some Romani organizations estimate numbers as high as 14 million.[8] Significant Romani populations are found in the Balkan peninsula, in some Central European states, in Spain, France, Russia, and Ukraine. The total number of Romani living outside Europe are primarily in the Middle East and North Africa and in the Americas, and are estimated[by whom?] in total at more than two million. Some countries do not collect data by ethnicity.

The Romani people identify as distinct ethnicities based in part on territorial, religious, cultural and dialectal differences, and self-designation. The main branches are:[9][10][11][12]

  1. Roma, concentrated in Central and Eastern Europe and Italy, they emigrated (mostly from the 19th century onwards) to the rest of Europe, as well as the Americas;
  2. Iberian Kale, mostly in Spain (see Romani people in Spain), but also in Portugal (see Romani people in Portugal), Southern France and Latin America;
  3. Finnish Kale, in Finland, communities also exist in Sweden;
  4. Welsh Kale, in Wales, specifically in the Northwestern part of the country in Welsh-speaking areas;
  5. Romanichal, in England. Communities also exist in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northeast Wales, South Wales and in the Scottish Borders
  6. Sinti, in German-speaking areas of Europe and some neighboring countries;
  7. Manush, in French-speaking areas of Europe (in French: Manouche); and
  8. Romanisæl, in Sweden and Norway. The Romani-Swedish population is mostly located in the southern parts of the country.
  9. Scottish Lowland Gypsies are also considered a Romani group (at least by English Romanichal and Welsh Kale) although they are theorised to be a fusion between Romani and a native Traveller group. Their language is predominantly derived from Romani.
  10. Muslim Roma, Horahane, Romanlar in Turkey and the Balkan
  11. Middle East Gypsies[13]

The Romani have additional internal distinctions, with groups identified as Bashaldé; Churari; Luri; Ungaritza; Lovari (Lovara) from Hungary; Machvaya (Machavaya, Machwaya, or Macwaia) from Serbia; Romungro from Hungary and neighbouring Carpathian countries; Erlides (also Yerlii or Arli); Xoraxai (Horahane) from Greece/Turkey; Boyash (Lingurari, Ludar, Ludari, Rudari, or Zlătari) from Romanian/Moldovan miners; Ursari from Romanian/Moldovan bear-trainers; Argintari from silversmiths; Aurari from goldsmiths; Florari from florists; and Lăutari from singers.

Population by country

This is a table of Romani people by country. The list does include the Dom people, who are often subsumed under "gypsies".

The official number of Romani people is disputed in many countries; some do not collect data by ethnicity; in others, Romani individuals may refuse to register their ethnic identity for fear of discrimination,[14] or have assimilated and do not identify exclusively as Romani. In some cases, governments consult Romani organizations for data.

Country Region Population Subgroups
Albania Southern Europe, Balkans 8,301 (0.3%) (official 2011 census)[15] Gabel (Vlax Roma), Jevgs
Algeria Africa 40,000 Kale, Xoraxane
Angola Africa 16,000 Kale (from Portugal)
Argentina South America 300,000 Kalderash, Boyash, Kale
Australia Oceania 5,000+[16] Romanichal, Boyash
Austria Central Europe 20,000–50,000[17][18] Burgenland-Roma, Sinti, Lovari, Arlije from Macedonia, Kalderash from Serbia, Gurbeti from Serbia and Macedonia
Azerbaijan Asia 2,000[19] Garachi[20]
Belarus Eastern Europe 10,000 (census data)
or 50,000–60,000
(estimated data)[21][22]
Belgium Western Europe 10,000–15,000[17] Romungro
Bosnia and Herzegovina Southern Europe, Balkans 12,000[23] / 58,000[24]
Brazil South America 678,000–1,000,000 Kale, Kalderash, Machvaya, Xoraxane, Boyash
Bulgaria Southern/Eastern Europe, Balkans 370,908 (official census)
to 600,000[25]
Yerli, Gurbeti, Kalderash, Boyash, Ursari
Canada North America 80,000[26] Kalderash, Romanichal
Chile South America 15,000–20,000 Xoraxane
China Asia 9,000 Vlax (Kalderash, Lovara, Potkovari)
Colombia South America 4,850[27][28] Kalderash
Croatia Central / Southern Europe, Balkans 2,500 (census results)[29]
Estimated:3,000[30]
Lovari, Boyash
Cyprus West Asia 1,250 (estimated)[31] Kalderash, Kurbet, Mantides
Denmark Northern Europe 1,500–2,000[17]
Ecuador South America 2,000 Kalderash
Estonia Northern Europe 456[32]
Finland Northern Europe 10,000+[33][34] Kàlo
Egypt Northern Africa 2,300,000[citation needed] Nawar people, Dom people
France Western Europe 500,000 (official estimation)
1,200,000–1,300,000 (unofficial estimation)[35][36]
Manush, Kalderash, Lovari, Sinti
Germany Central / Western Europe 500,000[37] mostly Sinti, but also Balkan Roma, Vlax Roma
Georgia Eastern Europe/Western Asia 500+[38] Roma, Domari, Lom/Bosha
Greece Southern Europe, Balkans 200,000
or 300,000[39]
Erlides, Xoraxane,
Hungary Central/Eastern Europe 205,984 (census);[40]
394,000–1,000,000 (estimated)[41][42][43]
Romungro, Boyash, Lovari
Iran Asia 760,000[44] Domari, Koeli, Ghorbati, Nawari, zargar people
Iraq Asia 23,000 Nawar people, Qawliya, Kalderash, Xoraxane[citation needed]
Ireland Northern Europe 3,000[45]
Italy Southern Europe 90,000–180,000[17] + 152,000 illegal Roma in 700 camps[46] Sinti, Ursari, Kalderash, Xoraxane
Kazakhstan Asia 7,000[47] Sinti[48]
Latvia Northern Europe 8,482 (2012 est.)[49] or 13,000–15,000[50] Lofitka Roma (in same Baltic Romani dialect family as Polska Roma and Ruska Roma)
Lebanon Asia 12,000 Nawar people, Dom people
Libya Northern Africa 40,000 Nawar people, Dom people
Lithuania Northern Europe 3,000–4,000[17]
Luxembourg Western Europe 100–150[17]
North Macedonia Southern Europe, Balkans 53,879 Roma and 3,843 Balkan Egyptians
to 260,000[51]
Yerli, Gurbeti, Cergari, Egyptians
Mexico North America 16,000 Kale, Boyash, Machwaya, Lovari, Gitanos, Kalderash[52]
Moldova Eastern Europe 12,900 (census) to 20,000–25,000[17] or
150,000[53][54]
Rusurja, Ursari, Kalderash
Montenegro Southern Europe, Balkans 2,601
to 20,000,[55]
additionally 8,000 registered Roma refugees from Kosovo, the entire number of IDP Kosovarian Roma in Montenegro is twice as large.[55]
Morocco Northern Africa 50,000 Nawar people, Dom people, Kale, Gitanos, Kalderash, Boyash
Netherlands Western Europe 35,000–40,000[17]
Norway Northern Europe 6,500 or more[56] Norwegian and Swedish Travellers (Romanoar, Tavringer), Vlax[57]
Peru South America 8,400[dubious ][58] Kalderash, Calo
Poland Central/Eastern Europe 15,000–60,000[59][60] Polska Roma
Portugal Southern / Western Europe 40,000[17][61][62]
Romania Southern/Central/Eastern Europe 621,573 (2011 census)
850,000 (estimated)[63][64][65]
Kalderash, Ursari, Lovari, Vlax, Romungro
Russia Eastern Europe 182,766 (census 2002)
or
450,000–1,000,000 (estimated)[66][54]
Ruska Roma (descended from Polska Roma, from Poland), Kalderash (from Moldova), Servy (from Ukraine and Balkans), Ursari (from Bulgaria) Lovare, Wallachian Roma (from Wallachia).[citation needed]
Serbia Southeast Europe, Balkans 147,604 (census 2011)
or 400,000–800,000 (estimated)[55][67]
See Romani people in Serbia. Main sub-groups include "Turkish Gypsies", "White Gypsies", "Wallachian Gypsies" and "Hungarian Gypsies".[68]
Slovakia Central/Eastern Europe 92,500 or 550,000[69][70][71][72][73] Romungro
Slovenia Central / Southern Europe, Balkans 3,246–10,000[17][74]
South Africa Southern Africa 7,900[75] Romanichal
Spain Southern / Western Europe 1,000,000 (official estimation)[76]
600,000–800,000[77]
or 1,500,000[78][79]
Gitanos, Kalderash, Boyash
Sudan Africa 50,000 Nawar people, Dom people
Sweden Northern Europe 30,000–65,000[80] Swedish Travellers (Tavringer), Vlax (Kalderash, Lovara), Kàlo (Finnish Roma)
Switzerland Central / Western Europe 30,000–35,000[17]
Syria Asia 46,000 Nawar people, Dom people
Tunisia Northern Africa 20,000 Nawar people, Dom people
Turkey Southern/Eastern Europe, Balkans, Asia 35,000[81] to 5,000,000[82] Bosha, Romani people in Turkey
Ukraine Eastern Europe 47,587 (census 2001)
or 400,000 (estimated)[83]
Kelderare (Hungarian name for Kotlyary; Zakarpattia), Kotlyary (other Ukrainian regions), Ruska Roma (northern Ukraine), Servy (Serby, southern and central Ukraine, from Serbia), Lovare (central Ukraine), Kelmysh, Crymy (in Crimea), Servica Roma (in Zakarpattia from Slovakia), Ungriko Roma (in Zakarpattia from Hungary)[84][85]
United Kingdom Northern / Western Europe 44,000–94,000+[86][16] Unspecified number of Romani immigrants from Eastern Europe (among them in 2004 there were 4,100 Vlax Roma)[27]
and additionally 200,000 recent migrants[87]
Romanichal, Welsh Kale
United States North America 1,000,000 (Romani organizations' estimations)
Uruguay South America 2,000–5,000

Central and Eastern Europe

Main article: Roma (Romani subgroup)

An 1852 Wallachian poster advertising an auction of Romani slaves
An 1852 Wallachian poster advertising an auction of Romani slaves

A significant proportion of the world's Romanies live in Central and Eastern Europe. However, in some cases—notably the Kalderash clan in Romania, who work as traditional coppersmiths prospered. Some Romani families choose to immigrate to Western Europe. Many of the former Communist countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria have entered the European Union, and free travel is permitted. During the 1970s and 1980s, many Romanies from former Yugoslavia migrated to other European countries, especially Austria, West Germany and Sweden.

Albania

Romani people have been living in Albania for more than 600 years. They arrived from Asia shortly before the Ottoman Turks in the middle of the fifteenth century. They started from India, traveled towards the direction of Persia, Syria, Iraq and through Armenia into the Western Byzantine territories, then through the Balkans into Europe. 1,300-120,000 Roma are estimated to live in Albania.[88]

Bulgaria

Main article: Roma in Bulgaria

Romani people constitute the third largest ethnic group (after Bulgarians and Turks) in Bulgaria, they are referred to as "цигани" (cigani) or "роми" (romi). According to the 2001 census, there were 370,908 Roma in Bulgaria, equivalent to 4.7% of the country's total population.[89]

Greece

Main article: Roma in Greece

The Romani people of Greece are called Arlije or Erlides. The number of Roma in Greece is currently estimated to be between 200,000 and 350,000 people.[39]

Hungary

Main article: Roma in Hungary

In the 2011 census, 315,583 people called themselves Roma.[90] Various estimations put the number of Roma people to be between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people, or 8–10% of Hungary's population.[91][92]

Romani nomads, c. 1857
Romani nomads, c. 1857

Romania

Main article: Roma in Romania

There is a sizable minority of Romani people in Romania, known as Ţigani in Romanian and, recently, as Rromi, of 621,573 people or 3.3% of the total population (2011 census). There exist a variety of governmental and non-governmental programs for integration and social advancement, including the Foundation Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, the National Agency for the Roma and Romania's participation in the Decade of Roma Inclusion. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Spain participate in these programs. As an officially recognized ethnic minority, the Romani people also have guaranteed representation in Parliament.

Russia

Main article: Ruska Roma

A Romani family travelling (1837 print)
A Romani family travelling (1837 print)
Romani people from Ivanovo Oblast
Romani people from Ivanovo Oblast

In Russian the Romani people are referred to as tzigane. The largest ethnic group of Romani people in Russia are the Ruska Roma. They are also the largest group in Belarus. They are adherents of the Russian Orthodox faith.

They came to Russia in the 18th century from Poland, and their language includes Polish, German, and Russian words.

The Ruska Roma were nomadic horse traders and singers. They traveled during the summer and stayed in cottages of Russian peasants during the winter. They paid for their lodging with money, or with the work of their horses.

In 1812, when Napoleon I invaded Russia, the Romani diasporas of Moscow and Saint Petersburg gave large sums of money and good horses for the Russian army. Many young Romani men took part in the war as uhlans.

At the end of the 19th century, Rusko Rom Nikolai Shishkin created a Romani theatre troupe. One of its plays was in the Romani language.

During World War II some Ruska Roma entered the army, by call-up and as volunteers. They took part in the war as soldiers, officers, infantrymen, tankmen, artillerymen, aviators, drivers, paramedical workers, and doctors. Some teenagers, old men and adult men were also partisans. Romani actors, singers, musicians, dancers (mostly women) performed for soldiers in the front line and in hospitals. A huge number of Roma, including many of the Ruska Roma, died or were murdered in territories occupied by the enemy, in battles, and in the blockade of Leningrad.

After World War II, the music of the Ruska Roma became very popular. Romen Theatre, Romani singers and ensembles prospered. All Romanies living in the USSR began to perceive Ruska Roma culture as the basic Romani culture.

Slovenia

It is estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 Romani people live in Slovenia.[93]

Western Europe

Spain

Main article: Romani people in Spain

Spanish Romani woman
Spanish Romani woman

Romanies in Spain are generally known as Gitanos and tend to speak Caló which is basically Andalusian Spanish with a large number of Romani loanwords.[94] Estimates of the Spanish Gitano population range between 600,000 and 1,500,000 with the Spanish government estimating between 650,000 and 700,000.[95] Semi-nomadic Quinqui consider themselves apart from the Gitanos.

Portugal

Main article: Romani people in Portugal

The Romanies in Portugal are known as Ciganos, and their presence goes back to the second half of the 15th century. Early on, due to their socio-cultural difference and nomadic style of live, the Ciganos were the object of fierce discrimination and persecution.[96]

The number of Ciganos in Portugal is difficult to estimate, since there are no official statistics about race or ethnic categories. According to data from Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance[97] there are about 40,000 to 50,000 spread all over the country.[98] According to the Portuguese branch of Amnesty International, there are about 30,000 to 50,000.[99]

France

Fortune teller in the Romani shrine of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
Fortune teller in the Romani shrine of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Main article: Romani people in France

Romanies are generally known in spoken French as Manouches or Tsiganes. Romanichels or Gitans are considered pejorative and Bohémiens is outdated. The French National Gendarmerie tends to refer to "MENS" ("Minorités Ethniques Non-Sédentarisées"),[citation needed] a neutral administrative term meaning Traveling Ethnic Minorities. Traditionally referred to as gens du voyage ("traveling people"), a term still occasionally used by the media, they are today generally referred to as Roms or Rroms.[100] By law, French municipalities over 5,000 inhabitants have the obligation to allocate a piece of land to Romani travellers when they arrive.[101]

Approximately 500,000 Roma live in France as part of established communities. Additionally, the French Roma rights group FNASAT reports that there are at least 12,000 Roma, primarily from Romania and Bulgaria, living in illegal urban camps throughout the country. French authorities often close down these encampments. In 2009, the government returned more than 10,000 Roma illegal immigrants to Romania and Bulgaria.[102] In the summer of 2012, with mounting criticism of their deportation of Roma migrants, French key ministers met for emergency talks on the handling of an estimated 15,000 Roma living in camps across France. They proposed to lift restrictions on migrants (including Roma) from Bulgaria and Romania who were working in France.[103]

Italy

Main article: Romani people in Italy

Romani in Italy are generally known as zingaro (with the plural zingari), a word also used to describe a scruffy or slovenly person or a tinker. The word is likely of Greek origin meaning "untouchables", compare the modern Greek designations Τσιγγάνοι (Tsingánoi), Αθίγγανοι (Athínganoi). People often use the term "Rom", although the people prefer Romani (in Italian Romanì), which is little used. They are sometimes called "nomads," although many live in settled communities.

Northern Europe

Northern Romani Traveller groups include:

  1. Romanichal Travellers in England (As well as North East Wales, South Wales and the Scottish Borders), with diaspora communities in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
  2. Romanisæl Travellers in Central Norway and Sweden.
  3. Scottish Lowland Travellers in Lowland Scotland.
  4. Welsh Kale Travellers in the West-speaking parts of Northwestern Wales.
  5. Finnish Kale in Finland and parts of Sweden.

Northern Romani generally identify as “Travellers” more than they do as “Gypsies”. These groups have much European heritage due to mixing with Indigenous Traveller groups (British Romani Travellers mix with Irish Travellers, Scottish Highland Travellers and Funfair Traveller and Scandinavian Romani Travellers mix with Indigenous Norwegian Travellers) and even non-Travellers over the centuries. This has led to these Romani groups generally looking White in appearance.

It is also a reason why these groups speak mixed languages rather than more purer forms of Romani:

Northern European Romani groups culturally have more in common with Indigenous Northern European Traveller groups, such as Irish Travellers, Dutch Travellers, Scottish Highland Travellers and Norwegian Travellers then what they do with Romani from the rest of Europe. Northern Romani groups have common ancestry from the wave of Romani who migrated to England and Scotland in the 16th century.

Finland

Main article: Finnish Kale

The Kale (or Kaale) Romani of Finland are known in Finnish as mustalaiset ('blacks', cf. Romani: kalò, 'black') or romanit. Approximately 10,000 Romani live in Finland, mostly in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.[104] In Finland, many Romani people wear their traditional dress in daily life.[105] Finnish Kale speak Finnish Kalo.

Norway and Sweden

Main article: Norwegian and Swedish Travellers

Romanisæl Travellers in Sweden are the Romani group or Norway and Sweden. They speak Scandoromani.

Recently the term romer has been adopted as a collective designation referring to both Romanisæl Travellers and Eastern European Roma migrant communities, with Resande (Travellers) referring to Romanisæl only.

Approximately 120,000 Romani live in Sweden,[106] including 65,000~ Romanisæl Travellers, the Norwegian and Swedish Romani group, 3,000~ Finnish Kale, the Finnish Romani group who immigrated in the 1960s,[107] and 50,000~ Eastern European Roma, who have only started to immigrate to Sweden (as well as Norway, Finland and Britain) in recent years.

Romanisæl Travellers in Sweden have periodically suffered discrimination at the hands of the state. For example, the state has taken children into foster care, or sterilised Romani women without their consent. Prejudice against Romanies is widespread, with most stereotypes portraying the Romani as welfare cheats, shoplifters, and con artists. For example, in 1992, Bert Karlsson, a leader of Ny Demokrati, said, "Gypsies are responsible for 90% of crime against senior citizens" in Sweden.[108] He had earlier tried to ban Romani from his Skara Sommarland theme park, as he thought they were thieves. Some shopkeepers, employers and landlords continue to discriminate against Romani.[109]

The situation is improving. Several Romani organisations promote education about Romani rights and culture in Sweden. Since 2000, Romani chib is an officially recognised minority language in Sweden. The Swedish government has established a special standing Delegation for Romani Issues. A Romani folk high school has been founded in Gothenburg.[110]

United Kingdom

Main article: Romani people in the United Kingdom

Romanichal Travellers in England are generally known as English Travellers or English Gypsies. They are found in England (As well as South Wales, Northeast Wales and the Scottish Borders), and they speak Angloromani.

Welsh Kale are Welsh Romani, they are found in the Welsh-speaking parts of Northwestern Wales, and they speak Welsh Kalá.

Scottish Lowland Travellers are Scottish Romani. They are found in Lowland Scotland and they speak Scottish Cant.

Romani have been recorded in the UK since at least the early 16th century. Records of Romani people in Scotland date to the early 16th century.

Many Romanichal emigrated to the British colonies and to the United States during the centuries. Romani number around 300,000 in the UK. This includes the sizable population of Eastern European Roma, who immigrated into the UK in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and also after EU expansion in 2004.

The first recorded reference to "the Egyptians" appeared to be in 1492, during the reign of James IV, when an entry in the Book of the Lord High Treasurer records a payment "to Peter Ker of four shillings, to go to the king at Hunthall, to get letters subscribed to the 'King of Rowmais'". Two days after, a payment of twenty pounds was made at the king's command to the messenger of the 'King of Rowmais'.[111]

According to the Scottish Traveller Education Programme, an estimated 20,000 Scottish Gypsies/Travellers live in Scotland.[112] this includes Scottish Lowland Romani Travellers, Indigenous Scottish Lowland Travellers, Irish Travellers, Funfair Travellers (Showman) as well as Eastern European Roma.

The term "gypsy" in the United Kingdom has come to mean anyone who travels with no fixed abode (regardless of ethnic group). This use has often been synonymous with "pikey",[113] now considered a derogatory term. In some parts of the UK, the Romani are commonly called "tinkers" because of their traditional trade as tinsmiths.

Irish Travellers, Scottish Highland Travellers, Funfair Travellers (Showman) are non-Romani Travelling groups found in the United Kingdom.

West Asia

One route taken by the medieval proto-Romani cut across Indian Subcontinent to Roman Egypt and Asia Minor to Europe. Numerous Romani continue to live in Asia Minor.[citation needed] Other Romani populations in the Middle East are the result of modern migrations from Europe. Also found in the Middle East are various groups of the Dom people, often identified as "gypsies." They are derived from a migration out of northwestern India beginning about 600 years earlier.[2][3]

Cyprus

History

Historians estimate that the first immigrants came between 1322 and 1400, when Cyprus was under the rule of the Lusignan (Crusader) kings. These Roma were part of a general movement from Asia Minor to Europe. Those who landed on Cyprus probably came across from the Crusader colonies on the eastern Mediterranean coast.[114]

There is no evidence suggesting one cause for the Roma to leave mainland Asia, but historical events caused widespread upheaval and may have prompted a move to the island. In 1347 the Black Death had reached Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire; in 1390 the Turks defeated the Greek kingdom in Asia; and ten years later, the Battle of Aleppo marked the advance of the Mongols under Tamerlane.

The first surviving written record of Roma in Cyprus is from 1468. In the Chronicle of Cyprus compiled by Florio Bustron, the Cingani are said to have paid tax to the royal treasury, at that time under King James II. Later, in 1549, the French traveler Andre Theret found "les Egyptiens ou Bohemiens" in Cyprus and other Mediterranean islands. He noted their simple way of life, supported by the production of nails by the men and belts by the women, which they sold to the local population.

During the Middle Ages, Cyprus was on a regular shipping route from Bari, Italy to the Holy Land. Second immigration likely took place sometime after the Turks dominated the island in 1571. Some Kalderash came in the 19th century.

Currently, Muslim Roma in Cyprus refer to themselves as Gurbeti, and their language as Kurbetcha, although most no longer speak it. Christian or Greek-speaking Roma are known as Mantides.[115]

According to the Council of Europe there are 1000–1500 (0.16%) Romanis living in Cyprus .[116]

Names of Roma in Cyprus

(For additional names of Roma in Greek-speaking Cyprus, see Roma in Greece)

Israel

A community anciently related to the Romani are the Dom people. Some live in Israel, the Palestinian territories and in neighboring countries.

Lebanon

It is estimated that there are 5,000 Romanis or Domaris in Lebanon.[118] The language of Romanis is called Domari in Lebanon and neighboring countries.[119] There is evidence that child labor was prevalent in Romani communities in Lebanon.[120]

Turkey

Main article: Romani people in Turkey

Romani people in Turkey are generally known as Romanlar, Çingene, Çingen, or Çingan, as well as Çingit (West Black Sea region), Kıptî (meaning Coptic), Şopar (Kırklareli), Romanlar (İzmir)[121] and Gipleri (derived from the term "Egyptian"). Since the late twentieth century, some have started to recognize and cherish their Romani background as well.[122] Music, blacksmithing and other handicrafts are their main occupations.

Overseas

Most Romani populations overseas were founded in the 19th century by emigration from Europe.

North America

United States

Main article: Roma in the United States

At the beginning of the 19th century, the first major Romani group, the Romanichal from Great Britain, arrived in North America, although some had also immigrated during the colonial era. They settled primarily in the United States, which was then more established than most English-speaking communities in Upper Canada. Later immigrants also settled in Canada.

The ancestors of the majority of the contemporary local Romani population in the United States, who are Eastern European Roma, started to immigrate during the second half of the century, drawn by opportunities for industrial jobs. Among these groups were the Romani-speaking peoples such as the Kalderash, Machvaya, Lovari and Churari, as well as groups who had adopted the Romanian language, such as the Boyash (Ludari). Most arrived either directly from Romania after their liberation from slavery between 1840 and 1850, or after a short-period in neighboring states, such as Russia, Austria-Hungary, or Serbia. The Bashalde arrived from what is now Slovakia (then Austria-Hungary) about the same time. Many settled in the major industrial cities of the era.[123]

Immigration from Eastern Europe decreased drastically in the post-World War II era, during the years of Communist rule. It resumed in the 1990s after the fall of Communism. Romani organizations estimate that there are about one million Romani in the United States.[124]

Roma in the United States are concentrated in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and Portland.[125] There is also a substantial Romani population in Las Vegas.[126]

Canada

According to the 2006 Canadian census, there were 2,590 Canadians of full or partial Romani descent.[127]

Mexico

Main article: Romani people in Mexico

According to data collected by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, the Romani in Mexico numbered 15,850,[128] however, the total number is likely larger.[128]

South America

Argentina

The Romani people in Argentina number more than 300,000. They traditionally support themselves by trading used cars and selling their jewelry, while travelling all over the country.

Brazil

Main article: Romani people in Brazil

Romani groups settled the Brazilian states of Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais primarily in the late 19th century. The Machvaya came from present-day Serbia (then Austria-Hungary), the Kalderash from Romania, the Lovari from Italy, and the Horahane from Greece and Turkey.[129] Initially, the Romani in Brazil were believed to be descended from ancestors who were exiled in the colony by the Portuguese Inquisition but more has been learned about the peoples. The current population of ethnic Romani is estimated at 600,000. Most are descended from ethnic Kalderash, Macwaia, Rudari, Horahane, and Lovara.

Chile

A sizeable population of Romani people live in Chile. As they continue their traditions and language, they are a distinct minority who are widely recognized. Many continue semi-nomadic lifestyles, travelling from city to city and living in small tented communities. A Chilean telenovela called Romane was based on the Romani. It portrayed their lifestyles, ideas and occasionally featured the Chilean-born actors speaking in the Romani language, with subtitles in Spanish.

Colombia

The first Romani in Colombia are thought to have come from Spain and were formerly known as Egipcios settling primarily in the Departments of Santander, Norte de Santander, Atlántico, Tolima, Antioquia, Sucre, Bogotá D.C. and in smaller numbers in the Departments of Bolívar, Nariño and Valle del Cauca.[130]

In 1999, the Colombian Government recognized the Romani people as a national ethnic minority, and today, around 8,000 Roma are present in Colombia. Their language has been officially recognized as a minority language.[131]

Africa

Angola

In spite of a ban introduced in 1720, a number of Romani families arrived in the country during the time when Angola was a Portuguese colony. It is unlikely the community survived to the present day.[132][page needed]


South Africa

A small number of Kalderash live in South Africa.[132][page needed]

Caribbean

Romani slaves deported to the West Indies to work on the Scottish and English plantations in Jamaica and Barbados.[133]

See also

References

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