Gypsy History – Romani Exodus


European Romani exodus began 1,500 years ago, DNA evidence shows. “Despite their modern-day diversity of language, lifestyle, and religion, Europe’s widespread Romani population shares a common, if complex, past. It all began in northwestern India about 1,500 years ago, according to a study reported on December 6th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that offers the first genome-wide perspective on Romani origins and demographic history.

The Romani represent the largest minority group in Europe, consisting of approximately 11 million people. That means the size of the Romani population rivals that of several European countries, including Greece, Portugal, and Belgium. . . . Once in Europe, Romani people began settling in various locations, likely spreading across Europe via the Balkan region about 900 years ago.”


The Rom and History

Vardo and horses

“So it was, that at my birth in the early part of the 20th century, the Rom
had succeeded in neatly sidestepping history. As we traveled slowly from
village to village in our luminous wagons drawn by our splendid horses, it
worried none of us that we lingered yet in the human evolutionary phase of
‘hunter and gatherer’. It was obvious to us the gadje had moved on to
another way of life, the ‘Industrial Age’, they called it, but we coveted
nothing from that lifestyle. We Rom were an uncomplicated people and had
happily escaped many of the epidemics that plagued the gadje world,
including one of its most common – neurosis. Perhaps it was because we
believed instead to live in truthfulness to one’s nature, rather than live in
service to the gods of materialism. The Rom paid those gods no homage, at
least not with our hearts.

And we needed no history books to explain our past; our memories were
strong and sufficient to extend back four or five generations, long enough
for a full and proud ancestry. Since we had no libraries containing books of
mythical or legendary heroes from the past to compare ourselves to, we did
not belittle our accomplishments, nor goad ourselves on to inflated heights
of glory, which did not serve our life force. Each of our lives was to be
lived as best we could, extending few side glances over at our neighbor.”

                     Destiny’s Consent: Book I
                           The Gypsy’s Song

The Gypsys Song small