International Romani Day on April 8 celebrates Romani or Roma culture around the world.
We were originally traveling court musicians in the Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Sindh regions of what is now northern India and Pakistan. We are still there.
In the Middle Ages, many of us migrated west and settled in Turkey, southern France, Spain and across Europe. In the 1800s, many of us moved to the United States and Brazil.
The British thought we came from Egypt and called us “Gypsy,” but that name is now considered a racial slur.
We have largely held onto our culture, even as we migrated around the world. For this we suffered a lot during the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi Holocaust.
Spanish Flamenco is Romani Culture
In Spain, our culture mixed with Iberian, Jewish, Muslim and Moorish culture into Flamenco. You can recognize us in the flame-like hand movements and melodic cries of Flamenco.
International Romani Day
International Romani Day was established in Serock, Poland in 1990 during the World Romani Congress of the International Romani Union.