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How gypsies work

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The word “gypsy” often connotes images of fortune tellers, caravans and beggars. Their portrayal in literature, film and popular culture is generally unflattering, depicting the people as roving bands of ne’r do wells who lie, steal and cheat — and play the violin beautifully.

A swirl of confusion about who these people truly are still abounds, fueling the xenophobia and hostility often directed toward them. Even the term “gypsy” is an enduring misnomer, derived from the mistaken notion that they emigrated to Europe from Egypt. Today, gypsies are officially referred to as the Roma, tipping the hat toward their foster home of Romania. So is Romania really where the Roma originated?

Full article at HowStuffWorks.com.

Total aggregation of HowStuffWorks.com.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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  • Greg Dill

    All Roma can trace their origins either from Persia and/or India depending upon what tribes they are from. The Roma (Meckar tribe) here in Albania where we serve as missionaries originate from the Punjab district of India. They were brought up to Europe as slaves during the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century AD. Although Romania has the highest percentage of Roma overall, Albania has the highest percentage of the Meckar tribe in the world.

    It’s a misnomer that ALL Roma are beggars, cheaters, thieves, robbers, or dependent upon government welfare. We know very many Roma in our neighborhood who work very hard from sunup to sundown 7 days a week. I also know of many other Roma who want people to come in to educate them and teach them how to do business trades. Most Roma are no longer nomadic and they know they must work to make a living and to exist.

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