Romani are dispersed, with their concentrated populations in Europe — especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe including Turkey, Spain and Southern France. They originated in Northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia, then Europe, around 1,000 years ago.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Migration of Romas
- 3 Romani subgroups
- 4 Linguistic evidence
- 5 Genetic evidences
- 6 Blood groups
- 7 Migration of Roma people
- 8 History
- 9 अंताखी
- 10 Hukum Singh Panwar on The Gypsies and Jats
- 11 Deities and saints
- 12 India's Children
- 13 Roma and Jats
- 14 Jarta and Roma
- 15 Common clans with Jats
- 16 In Indian epics
- 17 References
They are said to originate from the northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent, specifically from Northern India, presumably from the northwestern Indian states Rajasthan and Punjab.
Migration of Romas
Because Romani groups did not keep chronicles of their history or have oral accounts of it, most hypotheses about the Romani's migration early history are based on linguistic theory.
Shahnameh legend: According to a legend reported in Shahnameh and repeated by several modern authors, the Sasanian king Bahrām V Gōr learned towards the end of his reign (421–39) that the poor could not afford to enjoy music, and he asked the king of India to send him ten thousand luris, men and women, lute playing experts. When the luris arrived, Bahrām gave each one an ox and a donkey and a donkey-load of wheat so that they could live on agriculture and play music for free for the poor. But the luris ate the oxen and the wheat and came back a year later with their cheeks hollowed with hunger. The king, angered with their having wasted what he had given them, ordered them to pack up their bags and go wandering around the world.
Other groups, using different endonyms are, for example:
- Iberian Kale, mostly in Spain, also known as gitanos, but also in Portugal, also known as ciganos "Kala" or "kale" means "black" in Sanskrit, neo-Indian languages and the Romani language. They use the word "Kale" for their language, which is para-Romani. For their language, they use the term Caló.
- Manush in France are a sub-group of Sinti. The word "Manush" means "person" in Sanskrit, neo-Indian languages and the Romani language.
- Sinti, in Germany and Northern Italy. Sinti do not speak of themselves as Roma, but they use "romanes" as a name for their language.
Other Romani sub-groups include:
- Boyash (Lingurari, Ludar, Ludari, Rudari) from Romanian words for various crafts: Lingurari (spoon makers),Rudari (wood crafters or miners) or băieşi (miners); the semantic overlapping occurring due to the homophony of two different notions: in Serbian, ruda ore, hence rudar miner, and ruda stick, staff, rod, bar, pole (in Hungarian rúd, and in Romanian rudă, lemma no. 2)
- Kalderash, primarily from Romania – Caldarar tinsmith, tinker, kettlemaker; from there they spread into Bessarabia and Ukraine
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.
Romani and Domari share some similarities: agglutination of postpositions of the second Layer (or case marking clitics) to the nominal stem, concord markers for the past tense, the neutralisation of gender marking in the plural, and the use of the oblique case as an accusative.This has prompted much discussion about the relationships between these two languages. Domari was once thought a "sister language" of Romani, the two languages having split after the departure from the Indian subcontinent—but more recent research suggests that the differences between them are significant enough to treat them as two separate languages within the Central zone (Hindustani) group of languages. The Dom and the Rom therefore likely descend from two different migration waves out of India, separated by several centuries.
Numerals in the Romani, Domari and Lomavren languages, with Hindi and Persian forms for comparison. Note that Romani 7–9 are borrowed from Greek.
|1||ek||ekh, jekh||yika||yak, yek||yak, yek|
According to the study, 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.
In December 2012, additional findings appeared to confirm the "Roma came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago."
Genetic research published in European Journal of Human Genetics "has revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma."
Genetic evidence supports the mediaeval migration from India. The Romani have been described as "a conglomerate of genetically isolated founder populations," while a number of common Mendelian disorders among Romanies from all over Europe indicates "a common origin and founder effect."
A study from 2001 by Gresham et al. suggests "a limited number of related founders, compatible with a small group of migrants splitting from a distinct caste or tribal group." The same study found that "a single lineage… found across Romani populations, accounts for almost one-third of Romani males."
A 2004 study by Morar et al. concluded that the Romani population "was founded approximately 32–40 generations ago, with secondary and tertiary founder events occurring approximately 16–25 generations ago."
Y-DNA composition of Romani in the Republic of Macedonia, based on 57 samples:
- Haplogroup H – 59.6%
- Haplogroup E – 29.8%
- Haplogroup I – 5.3%
- Haplogroup R – 3.6%, of which the half are R1b and many are R1a
- Haplogroup G – 1.8%
Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria) writes that - Blood group B is highest in India and decreases in all directions. India must have a a great significance in the dispersion of B group in Central and Middle Asia, Europe and the Eastern Asiatic countries. North and north Western India and Pakistan where B is highest are believed to be predominantly inhabited by Aryan speaking races or branches of the White race.
Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria) writes that - B being highest (42.7) in Bengal, 37.2 in the Hindu and Sikh Jats in north-West India dwindles very low in South West Arabia and Africa, and is lowest in European Whites except in the Gypsies (38.96) who are emigrants from north west India since the time of Alexander's invasion of India and even earlier. The now of B in all directions from India indicates migrations from the subcontinent in ancient times without any shadow of doubt. Its dispersion might have taken place about 25,000 years ago.
But what about Western Europe? It is also suggested that B is not necessarily associated with the Mongoloids and may be inherited quite independently of them. The suggestion is quite plausible in the sense that it is indicative of the fact that B existed in the European Whites before the Hun invasions. Since Europe is not the cradle of B, where had it came from and who were its carriers? The answer is not too far to seek. It flowed from the East. The donors of B were the Getae, Thysagetae, and Massagetae (Goths, Visigoths and Ostrogoths) who were the primitive precursors of the Huns in Europe, where they, being segregated from the main stream, became isolates and developed in course of time higher frequencies of O and A due to mutation, inbreeding, etc. They were, in fact, the progenitors of the Nordic or the White race. Haldane also firmly asserts that 10 to 15 percent of B in the European population could not have been acquired in the last 20,000 years through mutation alone and there is good evidence that the European B is due to infiltration from the east and may well have increased in repeated mutation in different areas.
Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria) writes that W.R. Rishi has collected valuable comparative serological data of the Roma Gypsies of Europe and of the martial races of India and further establishes, on the strength of this evidence besides that of the similarity of their language and culture which though have undergone immense transformation under impact of foreign environs, that the Gypsies are the carriers of the blood of their Indian progenitors to the western world in the historical period (Appendix No 2).
Migration of Roma people
Their subsequent westward migration, possibly in waves, is now believed to have occurred beginning in about AD 500.
It has also been suggested that emigration from India may have taken place in the context of the raids by Mahmud of Ghazni. As these soldiers were defeated, they were moved west with their families into the Byzantine Empire. The 11th century terminus post quem is due to the Romani language showing unambiguous features of the Modern Indo-Aryan languages, precluding an emigration during the Middle Indic period.
Arrival in Europe: Though according to a 2012 genomic study, the Romani reached the Balkans as early as the 12th century, the first historical records of the Romani reaching south-eastern Europe are from the 14th century: in 1322, an Irish Franciscan monk, Symon Semeonis encountered a migrant group, "the descendants of Cain", outside the town of Heraklion (Candia), in Crete. Symon's account is probably the earliest surviving description by a Western chronicler of the Romani people in Europe.
In 1350, Ludolphus of Sudheim mentioned a similar people with a unique language whom he called Mandapolos, a word some think derives from the Greek word mantes (meaning prophet or fortune teller).
Their early history shows a mixed reception. Although 1385 marks the first recorded transaction for a Romani slave in Wallachia, they were issued safe conduct by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund in 1417. 
Romanies were ordered expelled from the Meissen region of Germany in 1416, Lucerne in 1471, Milan in 1493, France in 1504, Catalonia in 1512, Sweden in 1525, England in 1530 (see Egyptians Act 1530), and Denmark in 1536.
In 1510, any Romani found in Switzerland were ordered put to death, with similar rules established in England in 1554, and Denmark in 1589, whereas Portugal began deportations of Romanies to its colonies in 1538.
A 1596 English statute, however, gave Romanies special privileges that other wanderers lacked; France passed a similar law in 1683. Catherine the Great of Russia declared the Romanies "crown slaves" (a status superior to serfs), but also kept them out of certain parts of the capital. In 1595, Ştefan Răzvan overcame his birth into slavery, and became the Voivode (Prince) of Moldavia.
Although some Romani could be kept as slaves in Wallachia and Moldavia until abolition in 1856, the majority traveled as free nomads with their wagons, as alluded to in the spoked wheel symbol in the national flag. Elsewhere in Europe, they were subject to ethnic cleansing, abduction of their children, and forced labor.
In England, Romani were sometimes expelled from small communities or hanged; in France, they were branded and their heads were shaved; in Moravia and Bohemia, the women were marked by their ears being severed. As a result, large groups of the Romani moved to the East, toward Poland, which was more tolerant, and Russia, where the Romani were treated more fairly as long as they paid the annual taxes.
विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर ने लेख किया है ...अंताखी (AS, p.4) सिरिया या शाम देश में स्थित ऐंटिओकस नामक स्थान का प्राचीन संस्कृत रूप जिसका उल्लेख महाभारत में है-'अंताखी चैव रोमां च यवनानां पुरं तथा, द्तैरेव वशंचक्रे करं चैनानदापयत्' सभा0 31,72; अर्थात् सहदेव ने अपनी दिग्विजय-यात्रा में अंताखी, रोम और यवनपुर के शासकों को केवल दूत भेज कर ही वश में कर लिया और उन पर कर लगाया। (टि. इस श्लोक का पाठांतर- 'अटवीं च पुरीं रम्यां यवनानां पुरंतथा' है)
Hukum Singh Panwar on The Gypsies and Jats
- Zigeuner in Germany
- Zigari or Zigani in Russia
- Zengi in Persia
- Chinege in Turkey53
- Cigan or Gupti in Bulgaria
- Gitano or Giptano54 in Spain
- Azingani in Greece
- Zingari or Zingaro55 in Italy
- Tzigani in Hungary
- Atsincan56 in Georgia
- Cigar or Cingan or Cican or Cigany 57 inCzechs
These we believe are the names of the different tribes of the six million 'lost and forgotten children of India'58, scattered over the world. The average common name for them is Gypsies, a distortion of Aegyptian or Egyptian 59
It is possible that all these wandering tribes who trotted all over the globe have ties of blood with the Sakas of India who, too, have tramped across the continent through the ages, for these Gypsies have strong affinities with us in India.
Quite a number of Gypsologists61, in fact, are of the view that Gypsies are Jats62, the descendents of the original Aryans of Sindh63 where from they were carried away as prisoners of war and as slaves by Mohammad-bin-Kasim, Mahmud Gazni, Mohammad Gori and Tamurlane (Timur ) from early eighth century AD to the last quarter of the thirteenth century AD.64.
Such Gypsologists also include, among the Gypsies, thoseJats who were invited by Behram Gour to the Province of Luristan and were settled in a district and in village known as Zutt and Az-Zuts65 in Iran in the first half of the fifth century AD 66 They also include, among Gypsies, those Jats who, in search of pastures fresh and meadows new, moved from Sindh along the Persian Gulf during second and third centuries AD,67, and also those Buddhist Jat refugees who fled the country, in order to escape persecution at the hands of Pushyamitra Sunga68, (the usurper and the supporter of the orthodox Brahmanism), who fixed an award of one
The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations: End of page 343
hundred gold coins for the head of a Buddhist in second century B.C.69. The first and the earliest70 great exodus of these people from India happened at the time of Alexander's invasion of India in 326 B.C., while some small groups 71 of refugees preceded the great exodus. The array of all this testimony should be sufficient to substantiate the migrations of the Jats to the Middle Eastern countries and thence, via Egypt, Greece and Turkey 72, to Europe in historic time, where they were branded as Gypsies because a majority of them entered Europe through Egypt.
It is a well known fact that Gypsies acclaim India as the country of their origin. Further, the customs and traditions, the literary monuments and language, the physical features and complexion, the anthropometric data and serological studies of the Gypsies (App. No.2) point to their Indian origin and their close affinity with the Jats, Rajputs and Khatris of north-western India 73. Racial memories actuate Gypsies to assert with pride that India is their motherland. Indian visitors are greeted by them with the sentimental remark that 'you and we are of the same blood'74. All this in our view, should be enough to confirm their Indian origin. All this runs parallel to pre-and proto-historical migrations of the Thjoth or Goths, Jutes or Juts from India to Europe and the Zotts or Jutt or Jats who perforce left their country during historical times. We reiterate, in support of our view the dictum that the unknown can often be explained by the known. The ethos and ethnogenesis of the former can, without any hazard and hesitation, be interpreted and comprehended in the light of those of the later to ensure the identity of their communality and place of their origin.
53. Chaman Lal, Gypsies, Delhi, 1962, p.16. Mac Ritchic, Gypsies of Ind., London, 1886. W.R Rishhi, Roma, Patiala, 1976, p. 4.
54. Ibid., Mac Ritchie, op.cit., Sir Richard Burton, The Jew. Gypsy and El-Aslam, London, 1898. W.R Rishi, op.cit.
55. Ibid., pp. 27, 36. De Goeje, op.cit., W.R.Rishi, op.cit.
56. Ibid., 27. Mac Ritchie, op.cit., Burton, op.cit., De Goeje, op.cit., Rishi, op.cit., Tzigano is a Babylonian word for slave.
57. Ibid., 36, Mac Ritchie, op.cit., Burton op.cit., De Goeje, op.cit., Rishi, op.cit.
58. Chaman lal, op.cit., p. 2.
59. Mac Ritchie, Rishi and Chaman Lal agree in this respect.
60. Rishi, op.cit., Chaman Lal, op.cit., pp. 15-17.
61. Pott, Betaillard, Newold, H. Rawbinson,de Goeje, Richard F. Burton, H.H.G. Grellman, A.G. Paspati, Franz McKlosich, etc. q. by Chaman Lal and W.R Rishi.
62. Mac Ritchie, op.cit., p. 8. Istakhri, Ibn Hawkal, Mukaddasi; Beladsori (also called Deladsori or Bilazuri or Biladuri), pp. 162,167-8, 375-6,lbn-i-Athir, VI, p. 256,; Abul-I-Mahasin, I, p. 590, Tabari, III, 1069. FA Grooms, Pott, Betaillard, Newbold, Sir H. Rawlinson, Prof. de Goeje; q. by Mac Ritchie, op.cit., p. 81.
63. Dr. Trumpp. Zeitachrift der deutschen morgcniandischen Gesellschaft, Vol. XV, pp. 690-91. 1861, q. by Mac Ritchie op.cit., p. 37. Elliot and Dowson, His. of Ind., Vol. I, pp. 507-8, 519. Jats and Meds shown as descendents of Ham, son of Noah.
64. Elliot and Dowson, op.cit., Vol. I, pp. 100-102; Vol. ii, 161-162.
65. Strange, op.cit., p. 244.
66. For the 7th century AD., Beladsori, pp. 162,375-6. For 8th century A.D . Elliot and Dawson, His. of Ind., Vol.I, pp. 161, 187,435; Vol. II, p. 100. For 9th century AD., Wahidi, p. 171; Tabari, III, p. 1426; Ibn-i-Athir, VII, p. 52; Beladsori, p. 373-8 "I say the Zoths are an Indian people," ,q. by Mac Ritchie. op.cit., p. 29. Elliot and Dawson, His. of In I., Vol.II, pp. 247-8; Vol.I, pp. 448-9. Elphinstone Hon. Mountstuart; His. of Ind., Vol. II, pp. 277-78 (After Jaipal's defeat in 1001 AD. Mahmud Gazni is said to have taken 500.000 Indians as slaves or prisoners (Rishi, Roma, p. 50). He says that they included Jats, Rajputs and Khatris, but according to Grierson (q. by Chaman Lal, op.cit., p. 6) they were mainly Jats. For 12 Cen. AD. (Timur) Elliot and Dowson, op.cit., Vol. III, pp. 428-30, 492-494.
67. Westphal and Westphal, Jat of Pakistan, Berlin, 1964, p. 102.
68. Smith, Vincent; Ear. His. of Ind., p. 213.
69. Rapson, E.J., Camb. His. of Ind., Vol. I, p. 467.
70. Kanard Bercovici, The Story of the Gypsies, q. by Chaman Lal. op.cit., p. 6
71. The Jats are said to be in the armies of Darius and Cyrus in Iran.
72. Mac Ritchie, op.cit., pp. 30. 85-90, 204-43; Rishi.op.cit., p. 55; Chaman Lal, op.cit., p.6.
73. Rishi. op.cit., pp. 81-117; Chaman Lal, op.cit.. pp. 166-206.
74. Chaman Lal, op.cit., pp. 1,2,5,.
Deities and saints
Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla is considered a patron saint of the Romani people in Roman Catholicism. Saint Sarah, or Kali Sara, has also been venerated as a patron saint in the same manner as the Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla. Since the turn of the 21st century, Kali Sara is understood to have been an Indian deity brought from India by the refugee ancestors of the Roma people; as the Roma became Christianized, she was absorbed in a syncretic way and worshipped as a saint.
Mother Goddess figurines have been found in the excavations of the Indus Valley Civilisation in Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, in the Sindh - Punjab - Haryana area [Some Romani claim Punjab is their original habitat], and Kali Mata [Mother Kali] is still worshipped in India, particularly by the Hindus. Therefore, Saint Sarah is now increasingly being considered as "a Romani Goddess, the Protectress of the Roma" and an "indisputable link with Mother India".
For members of the Roma community in the audience, it must have felt like homecoming. On Thursday, union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed them with the words, "You are the children of India who migrated and lived in challenging circumstances in foreign lands for centuries. Yet you maintained your Indian identity. You are indeed the first flag-bearers of Indian culture overseas. Your 'baro than' (land of ancestors), India, once again welcomes you with an open heart," she said.
The minister was addressing a gathering of Roma scholars and performers from 12 countries attending a three-day International Roma conference and cultural festival.
According to an ICCR note, Roma community, also referred to as Romani people, is 20 million strong and spread across 30 countries covering west Asia, Europe, America and Australia. Treated harshly down the ages, Romani people are referred to by different names in different countries: gypsies in Britain, Tshingan in Turkey, Gitano in Spain, Tatara in Sweden and Tsyiganes in France.
Several Europe-based Roma scholars and historians insist the roots of the Romani people are in India. Another school of historians believe they are nomadic tribes of Europe. "One senses an emotional, linguistic and cultural bond while speaking with a Roma community member. Their Indian roots needs to be further researched anthropologically, linguistically and culturally," says C Rajashekhar, director general, ICCR.
India has been trying to connect with them for decades. The first Roma conference was organised in 1976 in Chandigarh followed by a cultural conference seven years later. In a paper, Serbian journalist Bajram Haliti writes, "In 1983, at a festival of Roma culture in Chandigarh, Indira Gandhi had recognised Roma as 'children of India'. Like Swaraj, she too had said, 'welcome to baro than'."
In his keynote address, Lokesh Chandra said Parisbased Roma scholar Vania had termed his people, Ramno chave (sons of Rama). At least one member of the Roma community could be spotted with a Jai-Shri-Ram stole.
Roma community members, this reporter spoke to, were no doubt that their roots are in India. Belgrade-based Jovan Damjanovic, president, World Roma Organisation, said the Roma people originated from India."We too say nak for nose and dant for teeth," he said.
As Rajashekhar said, "Foreign relations is all about connecting with another country. This can be an important bridge to reach out."
Roma and Jats
This section is based on info obtained from Reference - http://www.punjabrang.com/forum/f33/jat-muslim-22827/
The Hindu mythological account in Deva Samhita traces the origin of Jat people to Lord Shiva's locks (see Origin of Jats from Shiva's Locks). The earliest attestation of the Jat people is in a Pali inscription dated to AD 541 (as Jit).
In 2007 a limited medical survey of haplotypes frequently found in Jats from the Indian States of Haryana and Punjab found no matches with Romani populations. However, in 2009 a "Jat mutation" that causes a type of glaucoma in Romani people was discovered. A press release from Leeds University states:
- "An international collaboration led by Manir Ali of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, first identified the ‘Jatt’ mutation in one of four Pakistani families. Further study amongst Roma populations in Europe showed that the same mutation accounted for nearly half of all cases of PCG [Primary congenital glaucoma] in that community. Manir Ali’s research also confirms the widely accepted view that the Roma originated from the Jat clan of Northern India and Pakistan and not from Eastern Europe as previously believed."
Jarta and Roma
Bhim Singh Dahiya  writes - In Unādivṛitti, Hemachandra says that the word Jat means king. This was so because the Jats were the first rulers in the vast central Asian plains as per Deva-Samhita. In a commentary on Unadi Sutra (V. 52), the meaning of the word Jarta is given as roma, i.e. hair. Durga Simha (7th century A.D.) says, "Jartah Dlrgharoma", i.e. the Jats have (or mean) long hair. This meaning has obviously been given because traditionally the Jats kept long hair on their heads and also had beards. That is why the word Jat came to be associated with Jatas (long hair) of Lord Shiva. In this context, the meaning of "Jāṭyah Jāṭṇarah). (जाट्य जाटणार:)" of Yashka becomes clear; it shows that Jatas (long hairs) were a special feature of the Jats. It is significant that in the Punjab, the flock of long hair is even today called Gutt as well as Jatt. Both these forms of Gutt and Jatt are used for naming these people also. Therefore, when the Mahabharta says that, "Sakāshtukhārah Kankāscha Romasha Sringṇonarāh", it correctly places the "long distant traveller" Jats on the high hills of Pamir. 42 The other names in this verse are those of various Jat clans, viz., Tukhar, Kang, etc. The word Romasha used here baffled Wilson, the commentator of Vishnu Purana and he thought that it may perhaps stand for the Greeks. It is not so. The word stands for the people with long hair, i.e., the Jats as explained above.
Bhim Singh Dahiya  further writes - The word Jat however, is not an Apabhransa of Jarta. Jarta itself is Sanskritised form of Jat, in the same manner in which the Central Asian Gujars were named Gurjara and Munda was made into Murunda. In both these cases the letter 'r' was added in the same manner in which it was added in Jarta.
Common clans with Jats
- Achra - Achra are also said to have got this name from Anglo people of Roma who came to India from Europe.
In Indian epics
The hero brought under his subjection and exacted tributes from the Pandayas and the Dravidas along with the Udrakeralas and the Andhras and the Talavanas, the Kalingas and the Ushtrakarnikas, and also the delightful city of Atavi, Roma, and that of the Yavanas.
- पाण्ड्यांश च दरविदांश चैव सहितांश चॊथ्र केरलैः
- अन्ध्रांस तलवनांश चैव कलिङ्गान ओष्ट्र कर्णिकान (Mahabharata:II.28.48)
And the Sakas and and Tukharas and Kankas and Romas and men with horns bringing with them as tribute numerous large elephants and ten thousand horses, and hundreds and hundreds of millions of gold waited at the gate, being refused permission to enter
- शकास तुखाराः कङ्काश च रॊमशाः शृङ्गिणॊ नराः
- महागमान थूरगमान गणितान अर्बुदं हयान (Mahabharata:II.47.26)
- कॊटिशश चैव बहुशः सुवर्णं पथ्मसंमितम
- बलिम आथाय विविधं थवारि तिष्ठन्ति वारिताः (Mahabharata:II.47.27)
- वध्राः करीषकाश चापि कुलिन्दॊपत्यकास तदा
- वनायवॊ दशा पार्श्वा रॊमाणः कुश बिन्दवः (Mahabharata:VI.10.54)