Gypsies, Roma, Travellers: An Animated History

The history of the Roma people is full of
mix-ups. Even the term “Gypsy” comes from a fairly
imaginative leap some confused chaps made on first meeting
the Roma. The Roma People’s great, great, great, great,
great … great, great ancestors are actually from India
not Egypt. They first set off towards Europe somewhere
between the 10th and 11th centuries. Then they travelled through Persia and Armenia
to the Byzantine Empire of the 1100’s, where they lived in tents and worked their
well-worn trades. But the Byzantines were soon trampled by the
Ottomans and many Roma scarpered west. Though the Ottomans actually proved far better
hosts than the dastardly Europeans… The next few hundred years were a real Roma
roller coaster. What is now Romania welcomed them with open
arms, but these arms soon grew tight around their
guests, and they enslaved them for 500 years. Then, over in Western Europe in the 1400s, the natives were initially thrilled with these
“oh look new ‘Gypsy’ pilgrims”… but they soon changed their tune… And by the 1700s, enlightened Spain thanked
their Roma guests for giving them Flamenco by rounding them all up into forced labour
camps … Muchas gracias. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. They became fully-fledged subjects in the
unusually groovy Russian Empire. And over in Ottoman Turkey, their metal skills
made them pretty handy in the navy. It was around the time America abolished slavery that Romania got its act together and freed
their Roma slaves too. Reluctant to stick around, the Roma journeyed
on, reaching the Americas, South Africa and Australia. When World War I showed its ugly head, the Roma’s skills in horsemanship came in
very handy in what turned out to be the last truly horsey war. Austro-Hungary soon split and some unlucky
Roma found they now lived in Austria, which was then annexed by Nazi Germany where
the Roma were soon being sterilised, experimented on and locked in concentration camps. The Romani word for Holocaust is “Porajmos”
which means “devouring.” Estimates of the Romani death toll range from
a quarter of a million to one and a half million. Survivors had little help or compensation
and those seeking justice were cast off as liars. After the war, the Roma in communist countries
gained a strange equality— the exact same tyranny and censorship
as everyone else. Then the Roma got organized, establishing
the international Romani Union and working today on health, employment and
education. They’ve come a long way, from persecution
and slavery, to be politicians and freedom fighters But will our Roma heroes conquer prejudice
and win their freedom worldwide?

Comments 97

  • thanx laura, nice clip

  • 9,999 views!!!!! Lets see 10,000 views!

  • Whats the song at the end?

  • Great to know… but I think that lots of closed ethnicities are ment to pass. Great Crisis leads only to Global Exodus, where lots of people without a job will travel from their home country, to a new home. That leads to integration and new vallues… people will soon know what is synergy and why they're kids are healthier? Heterosis.

  • Awesome! And great animation, this was really good.

  • yeah but still a lot of them dont want to be integrated in society 🙂

  • This is jokingly imprecise. And I didn't know Americans and Britons each had such distinct pronunciations of "Byzantine".

  • You make them look like a "suffering people".That's becouse you look at the matter from a Westerners eyes, But you've never lived with them!!! But WE, the poeple that have to put up with them every single day…With there vileness, aggression, lawlessness… Do we have a say ?!

  • If you dont want to be persecuted by countries you move into, then get your own goddamn country!

    Also this advert is anti-european "Dastardly" europeans? It paints Europeans as intolerant, but who the hell should tolerate a people that imposes themselves on peoples genorosities and camps out on your back yard.

    I'd say its common sense to be a little angry and intolerant course the politically correct want us to forget our natural instincts so we can be in some fucked up multi-cultural union.

  • Allways entertaining to see those couragous racist internettrolls and their opinions…(who never have talked to or known any roma people) The reason for persecution is never to be blamed on the victims. That is just a easy way out..blame the victim, to justify the crimes committed against a minority…

  • Well, that was pretty and all, but you forgot to mention organised child slavery & forced prostitution by Roma elders. Not to mention all the internal social problems this marginalised community endure….

  • Gipsies you are true Indians from Northern India .You are born for killers ,you never never shall become Europeans,Please ,go back and live in your only true home land,India.Please ,leave us alone.

  • this is supposed to brainwash the youth? you should be ashamed.

  • So that gipsy who tried to steal my wallet did it because Europeans people are bad? 🙁

  • I could not say it better! I'm from Czech… and I can say that you are comletely right! Sad truth…

  • those called "gypsy" are more than one people, they are Tsigani (from Greek Athinganoi), Romani (Indian origin), Tinkers & Travelers (in Ireland) & Domari in West Asia and North Africa. Romani and Domari are related, but Tsigani are indigenous to former Roman Empire though mixed with Romani & Domari groups. Tinkers and Travellers have nothing to do with Romani. I'm working on establishing this theory, message me if you would like to know my logic here.

  • Well, Stalin created a country for the gypsies. It was called something like: The Republic of Gypsy or something like that. The country was near Urals Mountains and Siberia. After Stalin died, they shut down the project.

  • Really liked this,educational and creative

  • So why did the Roma travelled west in the first place?

  • we are not from india for gods sake our language is different 

  • Roma have never said that they came from India until some Gadje in the 20th century c.e. told them that they have studied and that "science" establishes that they are Indians!

  • Beautifull work !

  • gypsy mean all gypsies kinds like roma sinti and others so see who has a big bullshit lie and we are jews lost tribe so he something true that we are travellers and this event jews was 2 after when they lost there land from romans so yeah this is true what we are

  • I am a gypsy (rom) from the muchvaya tribe, its interesting that our culture is finally being recognized and we are being called rom finally, cool video. Sa eh gadray si deeley.

  • I am going to cheer for the Roma people. Any place I can donate money for the Roma? 

  • Nice video, I enjoyed the animations.

  • Nice video, I enjoyed the animations.

  • the UK & Irish travelers are difrent type of gipsys they are not tan they have no dark hair or brown eyes ..wich means they didnt came from the same place we did ..

  • George Soros=Open Society Fundations. 

  • @Imro Filo my husband is English Rom and has dark hair, eyes and skin.

  • North India = Punjabis

  • @ imro filo UK and Irish travelers are not Roma people. They have adopted a culture similar to ours. But there is blonde and blue eyed real Roma people swell. 🙂

  • I believe its something like south parks"blame canada"Some polititians agenda to put a blame on some group of people spread allover europe.To cause chaos. i grew up in communist hungary everybody had to work and gypsies did work as everybody else.I worked with them .If you get no work no money of course you steal you have to feed your family.Gypsies are non violent fun loving people.They will never start your war its your elite society just to create an agenda starts shit up.It shows who the real gypsies in their music its the best in the world violin cries just like the gypsy people for love and peace.You want to change things go after your politicians,lawyers realestate guys .Your rich snub elite society who play games with peoples heads.War chaos is always money in their pockets Until  they run your world small people going to fight each other.WAKE UP

  • love how the video quickly dismisses the only political structure that ever aknowledged the roma as equal citizens and not as an inferior race.. which is both scientifically and historically rather unethical, dear Open Society Foundation….

  • In Romania we call them tzigani…..the word is from greek atigan…it meens do not touch.first mension in our hystory obout gipsy was in 14 centery when prince Dan of Valachia donate to a monastery some gipsy slave family.they was slave until 18 century.any question?

  • Really wish they used the word "Romanies" instead of Roma because it would include all Gypsies like Sinti, Romanichal, Gitanos, etc, not just just Roma.

  • SPANISH PEOPLE ARE ROMANI!!! the north indians are the only ones with a small nose and ears. This is a asian trait that is passed on. Arabs have a larger nose and thick hair.

  • Gypsy communities that had moved towards the British islands encountered another itinerant and persecuted group in these lands, the so-called Irish Travellers or Minkiers. The historical origins of this nomadic group are far from clear several assumptions have been made. Early theories argued that Travellers might be descended from Irish landlords, who lost their properties and were made homeless by the invasion perpetuated by the English leader Oliver Cromwell (Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1973). Another study (Riain, 2000), claimed that the existence of itinerant households in Ireland dates back to the V century BC. On the other hand, much debate has been concentrated extensively on the hypothesis that Gypsy and Traveller are the same, possess the same genealogy and any cultural difference should be explained just by identity corruption (McGary, 2010). Murphy et al. (1999), report an extensive genetic study, undertaken in 1999 to compare Travellers’ genetic heritage to the genetic heritage of the Irish non-Traveller population. The results favoured the indigenous hypothesis although they opened avenues for further studies.

  • Romanies were never traditionally Christian. They came much later. I know both Jewish and Hindu people and though we do have a few similarities with Jewish customs, there are many, many more similarities with Hindu. So many words are almost the same in Hindi too.

  • Awesome video! Thank you for posting this up. 🙂

  • Its sad gypsies were slaved, persecuted, tortured and killed by nazis. For many years they have been the most oppressed minority in the world … They lost the way of living as civilized people because of authorities europeans who falsely gave them false elusions and end up with trying to kill or slave them … And europeans wonder why they cant adapt to their society! When racism still exist towards them..

  • Im rom

  • Some people need no introduction, trust me.

  • Apparently the travellers came about in the early Christian era in Ireland when Some Druidic groups joined with other outlaws or wolvesheads and began to travel Ireland, this is one report of the origin .

  • I have Jewish and To many background My Great grandmother was. Irish and pretty sure Irish Romany, I have Gift of the "Sight" from both sides of my family. I will amend the top line Romany not to many. I am proud of both Her Surname was Sullivan

  • good video

  • if y'all have time this is worth a watch .. all 6 parts …as near the 'truth' as possible .. for a culture with no written history of their own

  • Proud to be a roma idk why lol

  • this clip is full of misinformation.

  • Opre Roma!! Long live to Roma and their traditions!

  • Recherches sur l'histoire des Tsiganes

  • Thank you for legitimization my people through this video. This helps further validate us as an ethnic group and culture in the eyes and minds of ignorant Americans and racists alike. Our history and culture must be shared. I'm sick of how essentializing portrayal of my people can be. (Also, I'm an actual Rom, not a Traveller. I was born in Hungary, but I was adopted by White Americans, hence the Irish last name.)

  • I wouldn't have any thing against Gypsies if they weren't evil. In these vib they are innocent but in the real world they are devils….not al of course.

  • Does not change the factors that the majority of people within those groups are Thieves, Robbers, Pick Pocket's, Kidnappers, and more.

  • Thanks for this, love learning about different peoples and the Roma don't get enough positive coverage

  • This video is well intended, but pretty bad in my mind. It not only ignored the heterogenous nature of Roma (e.g. Sinti usually speak a version of Romanes that is not mutually intelligable with Romanes variants from further east), but also mostly linked them to Romania and presented them as nothing but victims in Europe and especially World War II. It ignored the many Roma fighting on the Eastern Front on at first both sides (until Himmler made up his mind in 1942) and later only on the Soviet side. Also the Roma are not exclusively of Indian descent, that should be clear from the pure look of many Roma.

  • The romani people came from India but they don't look alike Indians. '-' at least not for me.

  • I belong to the Scandinavian Gypsy/Romani people. They are named Tater. The word Tater comes from Tartaros, which is Greek for hell, so here they where known as "the children from hell" according to extreme right-winged people. We dont have any form of religion, as the church and governments forced the children of the Tater people and put them in christian homes. Tho today we do not hate on any form of religion, we still keep a fair distance to it (at least my whole family line did).
    Tho we have not been travelers for the last 150-200 years, and had started to settle down in the early 1800, my father's family still faced a lot of hate from the people around. My Tater family name is Palm, but it was lost as the generations went by. We are faire skinned, with blue eyes and cole black hair (I sadly didnt get the hair gene as my mother's side is not romani but of another minority)

  • and now they're trying to slave us here in America for working and trying to make a living

  • Why these people left India?I assume even in India their social status was of lowest level.

  • The Americans didn't abolish slavery the British did

  • if Europe is so terrible for the gypsies and the middle east is so great then the solution is to round every last one of them up and send them to the middle east. That way they can live without fear from the evil Europeans.

  • Two years ago when the RomaTaxi driver in Bucharest almost understood my conversation with my wife in the native tongue of Rajasthan, a north western state, I decided to spend time on this and find out how..
    According to records Roma left India around 1050. They were the tired soldiers of the army of great Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan who fought 17 wars with Mahmood gajnavi. All Roma belong to warrior tribes.
    They did not want to fight and some went west and some went down to south India where they still are in their red and yellow colour clothes and huge moustache.
    On the way,Roma took words from Persian (like bibi for Kaki) and many other tongues including Greek( drost for road). They somehow lost their last names of fine Rajput warrior tribes . Roma may try to find surnames like Sisodia, Chauhan, Shekhawat, Nainavat etc. But they kept first Indian names until 19th century like Bihari and his daughter Panna of Romania, both great musicians.
    Today Roma use many of the words from Rajasthani, Hindi and of Sanskrit origin. Few are ek do trin yak nak bal angusth bersh diwas sassu sussro saalo Sali chora chori cior(chor) gia sov kammes thalle upral purano maal and so on. Romani words are from pre Muslim era in India and hence pure Sanskrit lik hiv for snow or ice.Please go to the following in Youtube to see more.
    “Romani an Indo Aryan Language” and “Roma girl from Kosovo finds her roots in India”
    All Roma had moustache which was necessary for Rajput warriors. Purity codes of Roma are still practiced in India like a lady not entering the kitchen during few days of the month. Roma break the plate if animal licks it. My mother used to give them to beggars.
    Roma had also carried our proverbs like” while choosing a daughter in law believe your ears more than eyes” meaning reputation of the girls family was more important than her beauty. Would native Europeans choose a daughter in law?
    Roma eventually lost their religion but Sara kali of southern France has favourite Rajput deity of Goddess kali. The deity is immersed in water body like we do in Rajasthan.
    “ Dr. HancockDr. Ian Hancock: Keynote Address at Romani Studies Conference, UC Berkeley

    There should be no doubt that Roma are our lost pral and Pena. Hats off to them to keep the language and culture alive even after 50 generations while we melt away in two generations. Any Roma may communicate with me on [email protected] I am a 65 years old factory owner from Hyderabad, India originating from Rajasthan where Roma come from.

  • I am from Romania no gypsy

  • Is Michael Caine narrating? I've read that he has some Romany blood.

  • Fuck you Soros! Long live the Roma people!

  • Please don't attach Romani history with India, you might offend western historian's.

  • the comment section is full of dumb Europeans

  • Wait so Roma people are mixed ??

  • I’m a Roma gypsie but my family are from Egypt and Italy?

  • Where does the name Romani come from?

  • Still, despite my positive comment a year ago, this vidoe still has a few problems. "Gypsies" are Roma and other Romani. It's a slur for us and it's our word. No other grew has the right to call themselves "Gypsies". Also, Free-Spirits, Wanderers and Travellers have nothing to do with us. The Irish & Scottish Travellers do not share our South Asian, Central Asian, Cucasian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European heritage. They are just pre-Celtic White Europeans who appropriated very vague and offensive parts of their cultures, while making up their own crap and spreading more lies about us and our origins.

  • I find a lot all your comments very amusing stupid actually the blind leading the blind both of you will fall in a ditch LOL example one of you tells another Roma means man or human not true at all mom news means human being another man said Roma are a mix race another man says to him they are 100% Indian but he also gave percentages of how much the Roma in Europe are mixed came up with lots and lots of bullshit I never heard nothing more stupid in my entire life Roma are a pure race rarely marry outside of there race and they did not originate in or from India but that's too much to go into here and now the point is the blind leading the blind? You know what happens

  • Great video.

  • I recently found out that my family may well be descedents of the Roma. Reports say that my great grandmother was dropped off at an orphanage by 'gypsys' where her culture and language were beaten out of her by nuns. I only found this out after she died, and after several ancestry dna tests we were able to trace my ancestors travels from India throughout Asia and into Europe where they eventually wound up in England.

  • What did you say, that Romanians enslaved them? When did this happened because Romanian people never did that. Stop saying that.

  • There are some travellers at my fav park and they’re most likely to be aggressive

  • shoutout to all my gypys people xxx uk

  • 10-12 mill given by Council of Europe never cites its sources. I hope they all go to Germany and be integrated, because we in Bulgaria failed to do so.

  • Will the one that still and make a bad name for themselves stop ? How come they were enslved, locked everywhere they went?
    Don't get me wrong, all my respect for those that aligned with normal society, but others are just on the wrong side of the law more often than not. Plus they make a bad name for the countries from which they immigrate…

  • I am gypsy and this video is full of lies. Roms are not gypsies…Roms are the intouchables of India, from Punjab… while us gypsies we are the descendants of the ancient samaritans of Israel that were taken in cautivery by the assyrians and later by the persians..Gypsies we are often white skin, dark hairs, hazel eyes, we are not dark skin like the roms. For centuries the roms have stolen our identity but they know very well that they are not gypsies !! Stop repeating the same lies! Roms are not gypsies !!! Both are two different ethnic groups with different histories and different DNA !

  • Well currently there is "the extinction policy" going on in the netherlands forcing them to be seperated thus making the culture die out… but its not racist because of how they are portrayed in the news(get it)

    The extinction policy was removed in 2015 and decleared inhuman but the thing is… nobody gives a shit! And it is still going on even though it is "removed".

  • etnical,thei are indian mix with Pakistan!!

  • I think the roma people are interesting people so sad for the prejudice being indian myself their just like us distant relatives

  • Gypsies are shit

  • roma people working? nice joke

  • Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2019 at 12:14 AM
    From: "Grattan Puxon"
    To: [email protected], "jASON CROTEAU"
    Subject: Fwd: Fw:wabanaki mikmaq abeneki Roma eviction info Massachusetts / Canada / Maine / Portugal fishermen
    Hi Jason,
    Have to put it this way because of what we're doing to
    build a Roma Nation Mandate.

    Persons of mixed Romani and other [Mikmaq etc] can if they
    are interested be included as Voters.

    Each will need to say so and provide an email address.

    Having said this, we need just as much to have alliances
    with people, especially those fighting land issues. We were
    allied to First Nation organizations and flew their flag during
    the ten year Siege of Dale Farm [which involved a riot police
    assault using Tasers in 2011]

    Brexit has caused us to postpone the 11th Congress.
    chair DT

    Good luck in your campaign

  • Read the funny real life story of my life with the Gypsies.

  • Romany is not Romanian don't get us mixed up and there isn't no solid evidence to say we were ever called Roma

  • good explanation

  • Fucking subhuman animals who should burn to death.

  • Gypsies should go back to fucking India because nobody wants them in east Europe

  • 1:10….

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