Romani people in Austria
Chromolithograph entitled Enfants Tsiganes (Autriche) [Gipsy Children, Austria]; published by Garnier, Paris, printed by Testu & Massin, Paris.
|(6,273 (2001 census)
10,000 to 25,000 Unofficial estimations)
|Romani, Sintitikes, German|
The Romani are an ethnic group that has lived in Austria since the Middle Ages. 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 and 25,000. 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.
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.
Romani history in Austria
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.
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