Romani people in France
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|est. 20,000 - 400,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Alsace, Aquitaine, Île-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Lorraine, Midi-Pyrénées, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes|
|French, Spanish, Romani, Sinti-Manouche, Erromintxela|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Part of a series on|
Romani people in France, generally known in spoken French as gitans, tsiganes or manouches, are an ethnic group that originated in Northern India. Exact numbers of Romani people in France are unknown—estimates vary from 20,000 to 400,000. According to these estimates, at least 12,000 Romani live in unofficial urban camps throughout the country, with French authorities often attempting to close them. In 2009, the French government sent more than 10,000 foreign Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria.
The linguistic evidence has indisputably shown that roots of Romani language lie in India: the language has grammatical characteristics of Indian languages and shares with them a big part of the basic lexicon, for example, body parts or daily routines.
Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group. According to a genetic study in 2012, the ancestors of present scheduled tribes and scheduled caste populations of northern India, traditionally referred to collectively as the Ḍoma, are the likely ancestral populations of modern European Roma.
In France the Romani people are typically classified into three groups:
- "Roms", referring to Romani who come from territories from eastern Europe
- "Manouches", also known as "Sinté" (in Germany and Holland: Sinti), who often have familial ties in Germany and Italy
- "Gitans", who trace their familial ties to Romani people in Spain
The term "Romanichel" is considered pejorative, and "Bohémien" is outdated. The French National Gendarmerie tends to refer to "MENS" ("Minorités Ethniques Non-Sédentarisées"), an administrative term meaning "Travelling Ethnic Minorities". This term is not considered neutral or correct[who?], because broadly a majority of French Romani have homes like other minorities, and are not more "travelling" than others.
The exact numbers of Romani people in France are not known, with estimates varying from 20,000 to 400,000. The French Romani rights group FNASAT reports that at least 12,000 Romani, who have immigrated from Romania and Bulgaria, live in unofficial urban camps throughout the country. French authorities often attempt to close down these encampments. In 2009, the government sent more than 10,000 Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria.
In 2009, the European Committee of Social Rights found France had violated the European Social Charter (rights to housing, right to protection against poverty and social exclusion, right of the family to protection) in respect to Romani population from foreign countries.
Guitar player Django Reinhardt.
Ritual bath in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a shrine associated with Romani people.
In 2010 and 2011, the French government organized repatriation flights to send French Romani to Romania. On 12 April, a chartered flight carrying 160 Romani left northern France for Timisoara. As in the 2010 deportations, the French government gave those Romani leaving France €300 each, with €100 for each child. The Romani on the 12 April flight were forced to sign declarations that they would never return to France.
On 9 August, the city of Marseille in southern France forcibly evicted 100 Romani people from a makeshift camp near Porte d'Aix, giving them 24 hours to leave. A chartered flight carrying approximately 150 Romani to Romania left the Lyon area on 20 September. France's goal for 2011 was to deport 30,000 Romani to Romania. As of 2012, France sent about 8,000 Romani to Romania and Bulgaria in 2011, after dismantling camps where they were living on the outskirts of cities. The actions prompted controversy and calls for greater inclusion of Romani people.
Prejudiced views of Romani are widespread in France, with a 2014 Pew Research poll indicating that two-thirds of French people have unfavorable views of Romani. According to a report published by the Human Rights League of France and the European Roma Rights Centre, 60 percent of all Romani living in France were forcibly evicted from their homes in 2016, many in cold winter months.
Rumors and fake news stories of a white van occupied by Romani attempting to abduct children or young women have spread across the French internet on multiple occasions. A number of violent incidents against Romani occurred in March 2019 after rumors of Romani kidnapping children spread on Facebook and Snapchat. Two people in a white van were attacked by 20 youths in Colombes on March 16. On 25 March, 50 people attacked a Roma camp in Bobigny with sticks and knives, burning several vans, and a separate group of Romani were chased and attacked in Clichy-sous-Bois. Similar incidents occurred in Aubervilliers, Bondy and Noisy-le-Sec.
- Cascarots, a group of Romani in the Basque Country
- Erromintxela, a group of Romani in the Basque Country with their own language
- Gypsy jazz#France
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Zatímco romská lexika je bližší hindštině, marvárštině, pandžábštině atd., v gramatické sféře nacházíme mnoho shod s východoindickým jazykem, s bengálštinou.
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Try 'Manouche - Living With The Gypsies Of France,' available on Amazon, a true account of these people
- Media related to Roma people in France at Wikimedia Commons