Roma in Serbia
|Roma in Serbia (1905)|
|147,604 (2011 census)
450,000 to 500,000 Unofficial estimations
Romani and the languages of the cohabitating peoples
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The first reference to the Romani people in Serbia is found in a 1348 document, by which Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia, Emperor of Serbs and Greeks donated some "Gypsy" slaves to the Monastery of Prizren, in Kosovo.
There are 147,604 Roma in Serbia, but unofficial estimates put the figure at between 450,000 and 500,000.
The first Romani people settled in the territory of present-day Vojvodina during Ottoman rule in the 16th century. In Ottoman times, they mostly lived in the towns and cities, but also in the villages, usually in their separate quarters called "cigan-mala". They were usually blacksmiths, manger makers or musicians. Large numbers of Romanis settled in the area in the 17th and 18th century, when Austrian authorities issued several proclamations regarding them (in 1761, 1767, and 1783). During the 1848/1849 revolution, Romanis were on the side of the Serbs. During World War II, Romani people, together with Serbs and Jews, were persecuted by Axis authorities, thus many of them participated in the anti-fascist struggle in opposition to the Axis occupation.
Living in the multiethnic region of Vojvodina, Romani people are integrated with other ethnic groups, especially with Serbs, Romanians and Hungarians. For this reason, depending of the group with which they are integrated, Roma are usually referred to as Serbian Roma, Romanian Roma, Hungarian Roma, etc.
Central Serbia 
The Roma in Central Serbia are predominantly Serbian Orthodox but a minority of Muslim Roma exists, mainly in the South.
Roma in Kosovo are Serbian Roma (Serbian speaking, Orthodox and Muslim), polylingual Roma (Serbian and Albanian speaking) and Albanian Roma (Albanian speaking, Muslim) who self-identify as Ashkali or Balkan Egyptians (Gjupci). The Serbian Roma were targeted by Kosovo Albanians (Kosovo Liberation Army) with the Serbs during the Kosovo War as being allied with Serbs and Serbian national interests. The Albanian Roma mostly sided with Albanians and fought in the Kosovo Liberation Army but many were targeted after the Kosovo War.
Kosovo Liberation Army (Kosovo Albanians) expelled 90,000 Roma from Kosovo, forcing them to take refuge in central Serbia,. 100,000 to 120,000 Roma live in present-day Kosovo (150,000 before 1999).
After the war and encouraged by the international community, the label Roma, Ashkali and Kosovo Egyptians and its abbreviation RAE became more common. Whereas the Ashkali and Kosovo Egyptians maintain their distinct origin, this is sometimes contested by Kosovo Roma who claim that all three groups are actually Roma subgroups.
The majority of Roma are Christian but the minority are Muslim but still preserve the tradition of Djurdjevdan.
They speak the Romani language, In October 2005 the first text on the grammar of the Romani language in Serbia was published by linguist Rajko Djuric, titled "Gramatika e Rromane čhibaki - Граматика ромског језика".
Besides Serbian, they speak the language of other people they have been influenced by; Romanian, Hungarian, Albanian etc.
Roma political parties in Serbia 
Notable Roma from Serbia 
See also 
Further reading