We visited with three separate family groups that were part of the Roma, or “Gypsy” ethnic group.  All were working class families, blacksmiths, coppersmiths and farmers.  It was a great opportunity to begin to learn about the Roma and their history. Below is a little additional information on the Romanian Romani peoples.

We also visited a bakery in a small ancient village which is identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and met two egg decorators in the Bucovina region of the country.

The Romani Peoples

The Romani people (gypsies) originate from northern India and their present day language has grammatical characteristics of Indian languages and shares with them a big part of the basic lexicon.  By  2016, the Roma community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian diaspora.

In combination with the Mongol invasion of Europe the first Romani had reached the territory of present-day Romania around the year 1241.  At the beginning of the 14th century, when the Mongols withdrew from Eastern Europe, the Romani who were left were taken as prisoners and slaves.

Until their liberation in 1856, most Roma lived in slavery. They could not leave the property of their owners.  The Roma remain the most socially and economically disadvantaged ethnic group in Romania despite the fact that their proportional representation in Romania population continues to grow.


trades & Farmers