Romani Americans

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Romani people in the United States
Roma Americans
Romani Americans
Total population
(est. 1,000,000[1])
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Romani people
Flag of the Romani people

It is estimated that there are one million Romani people in the United States. Though the Romani population in the United States has assimilated into American society, the largest concentrations are in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas and the Northeast as well as in cities such as Chicago and St. Louis.[1][2] The Romani, ethnically and genealogically different from other Europeans, began settling in America in the mid-19th century.

The largest wave of Romani immigrants came after the abolition of Romani slavery in Romania in 1864. Romani immigration to the United States has continued at a steady rate ever since, though a large-scale surge of Romani immigration followed the 1989 collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe.[1]

Due both to the size of the American Romani population and the absence of a historical and cultural presence, such as the Romani have in Europe, Americans are largely unaware of the existence of the Romani as a people.[1] Due to the term's lack of significance within the United States, many Romani do not use the term around non-Romani: identifying themselves by nationality rather than heritage.[3] The U.S. Census does not distinguish Romani as a group, since it is neither a nationality nor a religion.[1]

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

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

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.[10]

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.[11]

Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group.[5][6][12] 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.[13]

Migration to the USA[edit]

Distribution of Romani Americans according to the 2000 census and other resources interpreted by the U.S. English Foundation[citation needed]

The Romanichal, the first Romani group to arrive in North America in large numbers, came to America from the British Isles around 1850. Eastern European Romani, the ancestors of most of the Romani population in the United States today, began immigrating to the United States on a large scale over the latter half of the century, following their liberation from slavery in Romania. This wave of Romani immigration comprised Romani-speaking peoples like the Kalderash, Machvaya, Lovari and Churari, as well as ethnically Romani groups that had integrated more within the Central and Eastern European societies, such as the Boyash (Ludari) of Romania and the Bashalde of Slovakia.[14] Romani immigration, like all Central and Eastern European migration, was severely limited during the Soviet era in Central and Eastern Europe, but picked up again in the 1990s after the fall of the Eastern Bloc.

Groups[edit]

  • Ludar: Hailing from North of the Balkans, Hungary, and the Banat, the Ludari, also known as Rudari, Boyash, or Banyash, are a subculture of Romani who arrived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[15]
  • Hungarian-Slovak Romani: The Romani of Northern Hungary largely settled in industrial cities of the Northern United States near the turn of the century. Among Romani from these areas were Olah, Romungre, and Bashalde immigrants. They were noted for their musical traditions and popularized Romani music in the United States by performing in cafes, night clubs and restaurants. Their prevalence in show business made Hungarian-Slovak Romani the most visible of the Romani groups arriving in America at the turn of the century and helped to shape the modern American idea of a Romani.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Webley, Kayla (October 13, 2010). "Hounded in Europe, Roma in the U.S. Keep a Low Profile". Time Magazine. 
  2. ^ Berry, Lynn (February 19, 1995). "Business - Gypsies Trying To Change Stereotyped Image -- Some Practice Their Ancient Culture Secretly". Seattle Times. 
  3. ^ Kates, Glenn; Gergely, Valer (April 7, 2011). "For Roma, Life in US Has Challenges: People commonly known as 'Gypsies' face stereotyping, discrimination". Voice of America. 
  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; et al. (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. ^ a b c K. Meira Goldberg; Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum; Michelle Heffner Hayes. "Flamenco on the Global Stage: Historical, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives". Books.google.ca. p. 50. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  9. ^ a b Simon Broughton; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo. "World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East". Books.google.ca. p. 147. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  10. ^ 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 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "5 Intriguing Facts About the Roma". Live Science. 
  13. ^ Rai, N; Chaubey, G; Tamang, R; Pathak, AK; Singh, VK (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 
  14. ^ ""Gypsies" in the United States". Migrations in History. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  15. ^ a b "Gypsy and Traveler Culture in America". Gypsy Lore Society. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Albert Thomas Sinclair (1917). George Fraser Black, ed. American Gypsies. New York Public Library. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  • Albert Thomas Sinclair (1915). George Fraser Black, ed. An American-Romani Vocabulary (reprint ed.). New York public library. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 

External links[edit]