Gypsy Roma Traveller Leeds
The permanent site of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Communities
Introducing the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 - 2015
The following is taken from a presentation by Dr. Katalin Levai the Hungarian Coordinator of the Decade Programme.
The implementation of the Decade of Roma Integration programme is a common objective and it is in our common interest in support of the process of changing attitudes, combating prejudices and emphasizing acceptance and understanding.
The Roma originally came from the Indian subcontinent, which they left about a thousand years ago. They entered Europe in the 13th Century. When they arrived in Europe they were thought to be from Egypt and were called Egyptians, which is where the word "Gypsy" comes from.
The wheel-shaped, sixteen-spoked chakra, was adopted as the international Romani symbol at the first Romani conference in 1971 held in London.
There are now substantial Roma/Gypsy populations across the world.
Romani culture is diverse with many traditions and all groups have their own individual beliefs and customs. There is no universal culture, but there are attributes common to all Roma, including: loyalty to family; standards and rules; and adaptability to changing conditions.
In April 2005 the European Parliament adopted a ‘Resolution on the Situation of Roma in the European Union’, which is a milestone in the recognition of Roma rights concerns as a matter of the highest political concern in Europe. The resolution notes a range of concerns regarding their fundamental human rights and calls on all agencies to act without delay to correct the ongoing Roma rights crisis.
There have been many famous Roma/Gypsies that have a great impact in all areas of human endeavour. Find out more on this website dedicated to highlighting these achievements.
The following characteristics apply to the many Roma groups and communities around the world:
The Romani language has many spoken dialects, but is of Indo-Aryan origin. The root language of Romani is ancient Punjabi with loan words borrowed from the many countries the migrations of the Roma have taken them. The spoken Romani language is varied, but all dialects contain some common words in use by all Roma.
There have been many large-scale, state-sponsored persecutions, or pogroms, against the Roma throughout European history. The Nazi terror of World War II is the most infamous and is responsible for the deaths of up to 1 million Roma in the Porrajmos (in Romani meaning the Devouring).
See the History Section of this website to read more on persecution throughout time.
Many Roma have recently arrived in the UK as refugees or asylum seekers from Eastern Europe, fleeing violence following the collapse of communist governments. Many have faced extreme prejudice and hostility here and many have been imprisoned and deported.
Throughout Europe Roma have been marginalised and their basic human rights have been abused. The Romani people remain the least integrated and the most persecuted people of Europe.
There is an attempt to re-dress the balance and raise awareness through A Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 - 2015, which 10 countries have agreed to participate in. Unfortunately no Western European country is presently involved and it would be a great step for the UK to take this positive initiative and join with its European partners in this vital work.
The First World Romani Congress was held in London in 1971. There were important decisions taken:
* Nazi SS Officers dressed in black
For more details see this web page
Listen to the anthem on YouTube
The Gypsy Council is involved in a wide spectrum of support and liaison work, supporting Gypsy families in planning applications and their fight for decent legal places to live. Read more about the organisation and maybe consider joining.
This is a collection of Romany Children's Writing and Artwork.
The creations on this page come from a book that compiles work from its first five years. We've included the original language as well!
A web page presenting some famous people who are/were Roma or have/ had Romany ancestry.
According the topics on
Send your questions, inquiries, proposals to Valery Novoselsky, with the word "IDEA" in the "Subject" line.
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