Roma minority in Romania

Roma minority in Romania

The Roma ("Roma" in Romany; "Romi", "Rromi" or "Ţigani" in Romanian) constitute one of the major minorities in Romania. According to the 2002 census, they number 535,250 people or 2.5% of the total population, being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians. [2002 census data, based on [ Population by ethnicity] , gives a total of 535,250 Roma in Romania. This figure is disputed by other sources, because at the local level, many Roma declare a different ethnicity (Romanian, but also Hungarian in Transylvania and Turkish in Dobruja) for fear of discrimination. Many are not recorded at all, since they do not have ID cards [] .]


In Romany, the native language of the Roma, the word for people is (phonemically) /roma/ or /ʀoma/ depending on dialect (/rom/ or /ʀom/ in the singular). Starting from the 1990s, the word has also been used in the Romanian language. There are two spellings of the word in Romanian: "rom" (plural "romi"), and "rrom" (plural "rromi"). The first spelling is preferred by the majority of Roma NGOs. [ro icon cite web |url= |title= Istoria şi Cultura Minorităţii Rroma |work=Istoria şi Cultura Rromilor] The two forms reflect the fact that for some speakers of Romany there are two different "r-like" phonemes: /r/ and /ʀ/ [Matras, Yaron (2002). "Romani: A Linguistic Introduction", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-512-63165-3.] . In the government-sponsored (Courthiade) writing system /ʀ/ is spelt "rr". The final "i" in "rromi" is the Romanian plural. Irrespective of spelling, the word is a loan word in Romanian and as such might be pronounced according to either the original or Romanian rules [ E.g. "weekend", now in common use, is pronounced as in English, not according to Romanian rules] .

The traditional and colloquial Romanian name for Roma, also widely used by the press, is "ţigani" (cognate with Hungarian "cigány", Greek "ατσίγγανοι" (atsinganoi), French "gitans", Spanish "gitanos", Portuguese "ciganos", Dutch "zigeuner", German "zigan") The term is considered derogatory by Roma NGOs. [ [] To be or not to be gypsy]

ee also

*National Agency for the Roma, an agency of the Romanian government dealing with Roma affairs
*List of towns in Romania by Roma population
*2006 Ferentari riot


External links

* [ Romanians and Gypsies - Two Worlds Apart]

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