The True Origin of Roma and Sinti

The True Origin of Roma and Sinti

Many myths have been elaborated about the origin of that mysterious people present in every western country called by different names, usually known as Gypsies, Gitanos, Cigány, etc., whose correct ethnonym is Rom (or better Rhom) for most groups and Sinti for others. We will not expose here the universally recognized legends, but the last and most widespread myth that is still believed to be true: their alleged Indo-European ethnicity.

That Roma people reached Europe after a long journey that then began somewhere in India is a fact which does not imply that they came from their original homeland. Everybody must come from some place where his/her ancestors lived before, perhaps having arrived there from some other country. 

The whole hypothesis regarding their alleged Indo-European ethnicity is founded on a sole thing: the Romany language. Such theory does not take account of other more important cultural facts and evidences that show that Roma have nothing in common with Indian peoples besides some linguistic elements. If we have to take seriously any hypothesis that considers only language to determine a people's origin, then we must assume that almost all North-Africans came from Arabia, that Ashkenazim Jews are a German tribe, that Sephardic Jews were Spaniards belonging to a religious minority but not a different people, and so on. Black American people do not even know what language their ancestors spoke, consequently they must be English. Definitely, language alone is not a sufficient basis to establish ethnic background, and all the other determinant facts are against the Indian origin of Roma - including also some clues in the Romany language itself. The most relevant elements that persist in any people since the most remote past are of spiritual nature, that are manifested in their inner feelings, typical behaviours, subconscious memory, namely, their atavic heritage. 

In this essay, I begin by exposing the myth before presenting the facts and the consequent hypothesis about the true origin of Roma.

Many efforts have been done by scholars with the purpose of proving the Indian origin of Roma, and all of them failed one after another in providing convincing evidences. Some accounts taken as references, like the stories written by Firdawsi, are now discredited. Any people allegedly related to Roma, namely Dom, Luri, Gaduliya Lohar, Lambadi, Banjara, etc. have indeed no connection at all with Roma, and not even common origins. The only apparent similarity is the nomadic life and professions typical of any nomadic tribe, of any ethnic extraction. All these idle results are the natural consequence of a research done according to wrong patterns: they ignore the essence of Roma's culture, that is, the spiritual heritage, which is incompatible with any Indian people.

Lumijakhere Rroma