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Romani people in France

roma people in france, romani people in france 1889
Romani people in France, generally known in spoken French as "gitans", "tsiganes" or "manouches", are an ethnic group which originated in Northern India The exact numbers of Romani people in France are not known, with estimates varying from 20,000 to 400,000 At least 12,000 Romani are estimated to live in unofficial urban camps throughout the country, with French authorities often attempting to close down these encampments In 2009, the French government sent more than 10,000 foreign Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria2


  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Population
  • 3 Repatriations
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The Romani people originate from Northern India,345678 presumably from the northwestern Indian states Rajasthan910 and Punjab9

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 routines11

More exactly, Romani shares the basic lexicon with Hindi and Punjabi It shares many phonetic features with Marwari, while its grammar is closest to Bengali12

Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group4513 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 Roma14


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", who often have familial ties in Germany and Italy
  • "Gitans", who trace their familial ties to Romani people in Spain15

The term "Romanichel" is considered pejorative,citation needed and "Bohémien" is outdated The French National Gendarmerie tends to refer to "MENS" "Minorités Ethniques Non-Sédentarisées",citation needed an administrative term meaning "Travelling Ethnic Minorities" This term is not considered neutral or correct, 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 Bulgaria2

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 countries16


Main article: Deportation of Roma migrants from France

In 2010 and 2011, the French government organized repatriation flights to send Romani back 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 had each signed declarations that they would never return to France17 On 9 August, the city of Marseille in southern France forcibly evicted 100 Romani people from their makeshift camp near Porte d'Aix, giving them 24 hours to leave18 A chartered flight carrying approximately 150 Romani to Romania left the Lyon area on 20 September19 France’s goal for 2011 was to deport 30,000 Romani to their home country20 As of 2012, France sent about 8,000 Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria in 2011, after dismantling camps illegal under French laws where they were living on the outskirts of cities The actions prompted controversy and calls for greater inclusion of Romani people21

See alsoedit

  • 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


  1. ^ "Situation of Roma in France at crisis proportions - report" EurActiv Retrieved 2015-09-27 
  2. ^ a b "Q&A: France Roma expulsions" BBC News 19 August 2010 Retrieved 22 August 2010 
  3. ^ 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’
  4. ^ a b Mendizabal, Isabel; et al 6 December 2012 "Reconstructing the Population History of European Romani from Genome-wide Data" Current Biology 22: 2342–2349 PMID 23219723 doi:101016/jcub201210039 Retrieved 12 December 2012 
  5. ^ a b Sindya N Bhanoo 11 December 2012 "Genomic Study Traces Roma to Northern India" New York Times 
  6. ^ Current Biology
  7. ^ K Meira Goldberg; Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum; Michelle Heffner Hayes 2015 Flamenco on the Global Stage: Historical, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives ISBN 9780786494705 
  8. ^ Simon Broughton; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo 1999 World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East ISBN 9781858286358 
  9. ^ a b 1
  10. ^ 2
  11. ^ 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 
  12. ^ 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 
  13. ^ "5 Intriguing Facts About the Roma" Live Science 
  14. ^ 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, PMC 3509117 , PMID 23209554, doi:101371/journalpone0048477 
  15. ^ Liégeois, Jean-Pierre Roma, tsiganes, voyageurs Council of Europe, 1994
  16. ^ "European Roma Rights Centre ERRC v France" PDF Coeint Retrieved 2015-09-27 
  17. ^ "France resumes deportations of Roma people from Romania" Czech Press Agency Romeacz 13 April 2010 Retrieved 25 November 2011 
  18. ^ Ira, Kumaran 11 August 2011 "Marseille mayor orders mass expulsion of Roma camp" World Socialist Web Site International Committee of the Fourth International ICFI Retrieved 25 November 2011 
  19. ^ "France: One Year On, New Abuses against Roma" Human Rights Watch 28 September 2011 Retrieved 25 November 2011 
  20. ^ Bran, Mirel 12 October 2011 "France's Immigration Chief Revisits the Roma Expulsion Issue, in Romania" Le Monde Worldcrunch Retrieved 25 November 2011 
  21. ^ Marian Chiriac 2013-05-03 "France, EU, Seek Action on Roma from Romania" Balkan Insight Retrieved 2015-09-27 

External linksedit

  • Media related to Roma people in France at Wikimedia Commons

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