Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Roma gypsies are descended from dalits or low caste untouchables who left north-west India over 1,000 years ago
The findings lead the researchers to believe that the Roma gypsies began their migration from India as early as the 11th century, after being promised a promotion in caste status to fight in a war in what is now Punjab. Historical studies have also suggested migrations beginning as early as between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. Later moves westwards may have been prompted by the rise of Islam in the Indian sub-continent from which the Hindu Roma sought to flee. The fall of Hindu kingdoms in what is today Pakistan increased the exodus to Europe and North Africa, the research team believes. The findings add further evidence to linguistic studies and Roma folklore. Roma language is related to Sanskrit and even their name is understood to be derived from Doma, which means man. Pronounced with the tongue curling off the roof of the mouth for the d, in Europe Doma became Roma.