Many written documents report that the migrations of the Roma into the European area started already in the 14th century. Based on the similarities between the Romani language and Sanskrit, in the 18th and 19th century, the European linguists, among them the Slovenian linguist Franc Miklošič, established that their original homeland is India, and they outlined the directions of their journeys.


According to the researchers, the Roma people started migrating from their homeland due to conquest wars in India in the 9th century. At that time, the largest migration waves of these Indian nomadic groups were noticed. Their centuries-long migration path had begun. The reason for their constant migration from east to west was their nomadic way of life. Along with their socio-cultural traits, they were not able to settle anywhere, since they were part of a permanent chase. Therefore, even today the Roma people live in a double socio-cultural reality – they preserve their traditional lifestyle and at the same time, they adapt to the circumstances in the areas where they settle.


Picture: Map of Gypsy migration, available at: http://www.abroadintheyard.com/dna-study-finds-european-gypsies-left-their-ancestral-home-in-northwest-india-1400-years-ago/




Romani flag

The first World Romani Congress took place in London, 8 April 1971. At the congress, the visual appearance of the Romani flag was defined, as well as the official anthem and the Romani language.

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Romani anthem

The Romani anthem is a song Djelem, Djelem or internationally Gelem, Gelem. There are several variations according to the dialect and orthography, 

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Origin of the name

Throughout centennial travels and settlement in different European areas, different names can be found:

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Film about the settlement of Romani people in Europe

Open Society Foundation published a short film on their website depicting the settlement of Romani people in Europe.

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