Ancient tribe Romani people - Ancestry and origin
The Roma are known by a variety of names: "Zigeuner“ (German), "Gitanes“ (French), "Czigany“ (Hungarian) and "Gypsy“ (English). They are erroneously attributed an Egyptian origin. In reality, the Roma come from northwest India. They speak Romany, which is an Indian language whose name is derived from the word "Roma." It means "humans" or "people." One theory of their origin explains the exile of the group from India in the 11th century by their being recruited to fight the Islamic invaders, whom they then pursued back into the Byzantine Empire and southeastern Europe.
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The Roma have long lived on the margins of society, in part to escape discrimination but also due to their wandering way of life. For many centuries, the families traveled in colorfully painted horse-drawn wagons and practiced such trades as were compatible with their sort of nomadic life. They were horse trades, peddlers, weavers, musicians, soothsayers, and performers.
Over the course of time, the Roma have taken on various confessional allegiances, and were often dependent on the locally prevailing traditions. Though they observed many of the rites of their religion, they occasionally added their own. The Roma members of the Roman-Catholic Church, for example, gather each May in the Rhône River delta to revere the Black Sarah, their Patron Saint, though she is not officially recognized by the Church.
Today, the Roma are a minority in every country in Europe, and their number worldwide is estimated to be between eight and twelve million. Exact numbers are unknown. Their long history of discrimination has led to many Roman yet today being unwilling to disclose their origins. During the Second World War, more than a half million Roma were murdered by the Nazis. Communist Regimes have also oppressed the Roma culture.
While the birth rates of other ethnic groups in Europe are declining, those of Roma are increasing. Some demographers have reached the conclusion, that there will be more Roma than Slovaks in Slovakia in the year 2060.
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DNA origins analysis and genealogy: about the test
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