This numerically small, widely dispersed people have migrated to the region from South Asia, particularly from India, in Byzantine times. As in other countries, they tend to keep apart from the rest of the population, which regards them as dishonorable yet clever. The Roma have traditionally provided musical entertainment at weddings and celebrations. The participation of Roma women in such activities is lucrative, yet at the same time it reinforces the group's low status. Roma also appear at festivals to work their trade as fortune-tellers, sorcerers, and animal trainers. In Syria today, one may still encounter Nawar encampments in rural areas.
Their language is known as Nawari, classified as a dialect of the Domari language.