Romani people in Austria

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Romani people in Austria
Enfants Tsiganes (Autriche).jpg
Chromolithograph entitled Enfants Tsiganes (Autriche) [Gipsy Children, Austria]; published by Garnier, Paris, printed by Testu & Massin, Paris.
Total population
6,273 (2001 census)
to 25,000 Unofficial estimations
Romani, Sintitikes, German

The Romani are an ethnic group that has lived in Austria since the Middle Ages.[1] According to the 2001 census, there were 6,273 Romani in Austria or less than 0.1% of the population. Unofficial estimations count between 10,000 to 25,000.[2] Most indigenous Romani people in Austria belong to the Burgenland-Roma Group, in East-Austria. The Majority live in the State of Burgenland, in the City of Oberwart and in villages next to the District of Oberwart. The Burgenland-Roma speak the Vlax Romani language.

In Upper Austria there are also some Sinti families. 80% of the Sinti speak the Sinte Romani dialect of the Romani language.

Since 1960, there are also a significant Roma population which hails originally from former yugoslavian countries, especially from Serbia (Gurbeti and Kalderash Roma-Groups) and Ashkali from Kosovo.



According to genetic evidence the Romani people originated from India.[3]

The Romani people originate from the Northern India,[4][5][6][7][8][9] presumably from the northwestern Indian states Rajasthan[10][11] and Punjab.[12]

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.[13]

More exactly, Romani shares the basic lexicon with Hindi and Punjabi. It shares many phonetic features with Marwari, while its grammar is closest to Bengali.[14]

Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group.[5][6][15] 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.[16]

Romani history in Austria[edit]

Map of Europe showing Romani demographics

In the Habsburg Monarchy under Maria Theresa (1740–1780), a series of decrees tried to force the Romanies to permanently settle, removed rights to horse and wagon ownership (1754), renamed them as "New Citizens" and forced Romani boys into military service if they had no trade (1761), forced them to register with the local authorities (1767), and prohibited marriage between Romanies (1773). Her successor Josef II prohibited the wearing of traditional Romani clothing and the use of the Romani language, punishable by flogging.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Performance in Gypsy Autobiographies from Austria and Germany". Dickinson College. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  2. ^ "World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Austria : Roma/Gypsies". United Nations Human Rights Council. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  3. ^ Rajasthan turns out to be the 'baap' of Euro gypsies, DNA India, December 2, 2012 
  4. ^ Hancock 2002, p. xx: ‘While a nine century removal from India has diluted Indian biological connection to the extent that for some Romanian groups, it may be hardly representative today, Sarren (1976:72) concluded that we still remain together, genetically, Asian rather than European’
  5. ^ a b Mendizabal, Isabel; 21 others (6 December 2012). "Reconstructing the Population History of European Romani from Genome-wide Data". Current Biology. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Sindya N. Bhanoo (11 December 2012). "Genomic Study Traces Roma to Northern India". New York Times. 
  7. ^ Current Biology.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ [4]
  12. ^ [5]
  13. ^ Šebková, Hana; Žlnayová, Edita (1998), Nástin mluvnice slovenské romštiny (pro pedagogické účely) (PDF), Ústí nad Labem: Pedagogická fakulta Univerzity J. E. Purkyně v Ústí nad Labem, p. 4, ISBN 80-7044-205-0 
  14. ^ Hübschmannová, Milena (1995). "Romaňi čhib – romština: Několik základních informací o romském jazyku". Bulletin Muzea romské kultury (Brno: Muzeum romské kultury) (4/1995). Zatímco romská lexika je bližší hindštině, marvárštině, pandžábštině atd., v gramatické sféře nacházíme mnoho shod s východoindickým jazykem, s bengálštinou. 
  15. ^ "5 Intriguing Facts About the Roma". Live Science. 
  16. ^ Rai, N; Chaubey, G; Tamang, R; Pathak, AK; Singh, VK; et al. (2012), "The Phylogeography of Y-Chromosome Haplogroup H1a1a-M82 Reveals the Likely Indian Origin of the European Romani Populations", PLoS ONE 7 (11): e48477, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048477 
  17. ^ Samer, Helmut (December 2001). "Maria Theresia and Joseph II: Policies of Assimilation in the Age of Enlightened Absolutism.". Rombase. Karl-Franzens-Universitaet Graz. 

External links[edit]