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An item that must be present in every Argentinian Romany home is the samovar. They are the dominant Eastern Romany group in those territories historically ruled by Hungary or under Hungarian influence, mainly Slovakia and Southern Poland besides Hungary. They are usually rich traders, and there are also many university graduated. They use to intermarry with other Romany groups, mainly with Srbiaya. These are probably the first Roma who settled in that land, likely coming from the Caucasus, and they speak an Old Romany language.

They are widespread throughout Russia even up to the Kamchatka Peninsula and across the boundaries with China, as well as in Ukraine, and some of them beyond the western border, in Poland.

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The Ruska Roma are an endogamic group and keep the Romany Law. Horse trading is another of their ancestral professions. A distinctive characteristic of this group, which is unique among Roma, is that joining the army is not unusual among them, a tradition that they keep from the past, when ethnic Romany men were found among the Cossacks.

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This group is the second largest by number in Russia and Ukraine. Initially settled by the Dniepr River, they arrived from Serbia, as their ethnonym indicates, in an early stage of the Romany Settlement in Europe.

Let’s End Prejudice Against ‘Gypsies’

Their language is also Old Romany, although many of them have lost it and speak Ukrainian as their mother tongue. The Servitka Roma have been in many aspects assimilated into the Ruska Roma; having outstanding musicians and artists as well, and intermarriage between both groups is common. They should not be confused with the Servika Roma , a Carpathian sub-group.

As well as Ruska Roma, many of them were Cossacks. Being now present in the central and southern Republics of the former Yugoslavia, they are the only ones of this block that may in some way be called "Vlax", as they arrived from Wallachia and Moldavia in the 19 th century c.

The Gurbeti are partly assimilated into non-Romany social environment and do not follow many patterns of the Romany Law any longer. Sinti and Romanichals: Central European Roma. The Sinti and Romanichal Gypsies can be classified as a single block, as they share many features which show that originally they came out from the same Romany branch. We can classify them as Central European Roma. Their dialects, although having lost the grammar structure of Romany and having taken many loanwords from the local languages, keep a good deal of terms of the Old Romany. They also keep Romany Law in different degrees of observance, not so striclty as Eastern Roma do.

This geographic distribution along centuries of relative isolation from the other Romany groups has defined their particular features, so much that they are often considered as a separate ethnic entity.

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This expression is also used mainly in Germany, Austria and other countries in order to distinguish the local Gypsies from the Eastern immigrant ones. Their distinction is the result of a process that took place in Europe. Concerning the etymology of the name Sinti , it is still unknown. The alleged association with the region of Sindh is rather a phonetic resemblance that has been discarded from the linguistic science.

Actually, this term appears to be relatively recent, not used before the 18 th century c. However, from the lexical point of view, there are some Old Romany words that have been lost by Eastern Roma which are still preserved by Sinti. They are also great musicians, so that the Gypsy Jazz is also known as Jazz Manouche. In compensation, they have almost lost their own Sinti-Romany dialect. They are also present in Provence. Sinti Lombardi and Veneti : An offshoot of the Estraxarya, the Sinti of North-Eastern Italy that once were under Austrian rule, have developed a separate identity and their dialect has adopted a Northern-Italian structure, so that it is not easy to be understood reciprocally with the other Sinti.

The Sinti dialects were undergoing a decadence within the young generations, but their recent affiliation to the Evangelical movements has produced a renewed need of the language in order to communicate with the Sinti communities in the different countries. In spite of the harsh discriminatory laws against Gypsies in the United Kingdom, they have achieved a cultural and social development within British society through their ability in arts and crafts. Some of them have ever been knighted, either for having served the Crown or else for musical or artistic excellence.

They have always professed Christian faith and many of them were even church pastors since early times of settlement, which has been a peculiarity of British Roma until recent times, when a large number of Roma worldwide have joined Evangelical movements.

Shakira - Gypsy (Official Music Video)

In official documents, they were first called Egyptians, then Gypsies, a designation that they have accepted and adopted for themselves along with Romanichal. Their original language is almost lost; they speak rather what is called Anglo-Romany , a mixture of English and Romany.

Britain's Gypsy Travellers: A People on the Outside | History Today

They are divided in three main sub-groups: English, Scottish and Welsh. The English Gypsies are now distributed not only in England but also in the former British colonies, where they did not emigrate voluntarily, but were deported. Therefore, we can find them, or their descendants, in the United States, Canada, Australia and even in the Caribbean. Although also whole families were transferred, most of the exiled were only men, so that their ethnicity disappeared with intermarriage. In North America it became common that male Gypsies took female Natives as wives, since they were not allowed to mix with the "White" population.

Some of their offspring is found among the Melungeon people. Some contemporary actors and musicians are English Romanichel. The Scottish Gypsies have an interesting history. It is well documented that a community of Gypsies dwelled in the Rosslyn Chapel area under protection of the Sinclair family, and many Roma even adopted this surname.

The reason for such a privilege is said to be the decisive contribution of a Gypsy contingent to defeat the English in the Battle of Bannockburn c. The so-called Irish Gypsies are not Roma but Travellers. However, there are some ethnic Roma in Ireland, but they are Scottish Gypsies that settled or stay temporarily in Ireland. They have shared the same restrictive laws and social emargination undergone by English Gypsies, and like them, many have been deported to the former British colonies.

There are notable artists and musicians , a dynasty founded by Abram Wood, who have contributed to the conservation of the Kale Romany dialect. This Romany group has developed a strong identity, having kept isolated from the other European Roma for centuries. The general hypothesis is that they reached the Iberian Peninsula through two ways: one from the north-east across the Pyrenees, and the other from the south across the Strait of Gibraltar.

Nevertheless, only the first route has been verified, while the alleged southern road has still not found any documented confirmation. Other characteristic they have in common with the Ruska Roma is that both groups have traditionally held the very same main professions: horse trading and music. Both groups have developed a particular style of folk that became the most representative of the respective countries. Undoubtedly, they are well known worldwide more than anything as the best performers of Flamenco culture in every aspect, so that they are fully identified with it and consider it their own characteristic and original culture.

Nevertheless, the fact that Flamenco is exclusive patrimony of Spanish Gypsies and not known by other Roma is a proof that they have found the roots of such expression in the Spanish soil. From the original palos , Roma have developed the Flamenco culture in a varied and rich style and in an unique way, so that it can be considered now legitimate property of the Cultura Gitana. Also the most celebrated Flamenco players, singers and dancers are Andalusian.

The Catalanes are the second largest community, they are present not only in Spain but also in Southern France. The Castilian sub-group is considered an offshoot of both Andalusian and Catalanes, established for many generations in the central-northern area of Spain. The Calon are the Portuguese Gypsies, a community socially more emarginated than their Spanish counterpart. Of course, these male Roma had no chance to perpetuate their culture and married Native women, so that today we cannot know their descent.

Concerning the Calons, they have a similar history of early deportation in Brazil, and later immigration in the same country.


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These Roma have also joined massively the Evangelical movements, which has led them to have a more fluent relationship with the international Romany community. Other Romany Groups Besides these well defined blocks, there are Romany groups and sub-groups that do not fit into any of them, and can be hardly gathered in a common classification, so that they have to be considered separately.

As a logical consequence of history, the majority of these communities are geographically located in the Balkan area, while other groups settled in relative isolation and developed their own peculiarities.