There is a fairly large nation, which has no state of its own, the Gypsies. They live all over the planet. Everyone knows about these picturesque people, they do not look like ordinary inhabitants. April 8 marks the International Day of Roma.

At the same time, the date is quite historical – it was on this day in 1871 that the First World Roma Congress was held in London. Communities representing 30 states were represented at it. Then the gypsies declared themselves a nation without territory, approved their own anthem and a single flag.

Gypsies are so unusual people that the lack of information about it generates myths, mostly negative. I must say that these stereotypes live not only in Russia, but also in other countries of the world.


Gypsies live mainly in Central and Eastern Europe.

In the Western part of Europe, it is considered that Roma live mainly in the Balkans and further east. It even went so far that some residents of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, as well as Hungarians and Romanians, are directly called gypsies. In fact, it sounds like an insult. The figures say that most of the gypsies live not in this region, but in the United States – about a million people. The second largest number is Brazil, there are at least 600 Gypsies. Only behind them are Romania and Bulgaria. But the Gypsies are not at all the majority of the population, 500 and 300 thousand, respectively. In Russia, at the 2010 census, about 220,000 people called themselves gypsies.

Gypsies are a nomadic people.

This is a very ancient myth that is firmly rooted in the brains of Europeans. Gypsies are represented by the people, whose house is a tent. Even children all over the world are the gypsies who will be called the most nomadic people. However, for several centuries, natural mass migrations of gypsies have not been observed. Moving can contribute, perhaps, to war. And this myth appeared in the Middle Ages, when the Roma really roamed. Since then, the legend has been passed on from generation to generation.

There are many children in Roma families.

This myth has a similar origin with the story of constant nomadism. About a hundred years ago the gypsies were really prolific. But it is worth remembering how many children our great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers had. Most often not less than three. In those days such a norm was normal and not only for gypsies. Now gypsies give birth, like most other peoples. The rule is one or two children in the family. Naturally, there are also families with many children, but this happens with any people.

Gypsies steal children.

Often even parents scare their children. Babies are taught that gypsies take away those who misbehave. This is quite an ancient myth. And his explanation is simple. The fact is that the Roma themselves are born sometimes and not quite the classic black and curly children. There are here and svetlenkie, no different from the usual Slav or European. This gave rise to gossip and gossip. It happens that for some reason the child is adopted by distant relatives-gypsies. Naturally, babies are not much like their “parents”. Such discrepancies and generate whisperings, suspicions and rumors.

Gypsies are ruled by barons.

People quite logically suggest that if the Roma do not have a rigid state structure or its counterpart, it means that they are someone who rules. This role was assigned to certain authoritative men, barons who have power. It is also quite an ancient myth. It is connected with the fact that in ancient times, if necessary to solve important cases with the authorities (legal aspects, interaction with the police), the tabor nominated a representative, the baron, for this. He was the most authoritative person. But in any other situation, the leader is simply not needed, and the main issues are solved by the Roma with the help of general meetings. Today there are no more barons in the classical sense. But Europeans still believe that some authoritative person controls all the Roma. Today it is simply irrelevant. After all, gypsies are socialized in the society of the country where they live.They obey the state, like any ordinary citizen. It does not do without marginals, but is it possible to judge all the people by it?


Gypsies all over the world have a single culture.

This myth is confirmed by the saying “Gypsy – he is in Africa of the Gypsies”. However, such a statement is not entirely accurate. Indeed, there is a single gypsy language belonging to the Indo-European group, but the gypsies themselves are different in different places. Even the language itself has many dialects and branches, depending on geography. And culture can hardly be considered one. After all, it is influenced by the religion of the country where the Roma live. For example, Russian gypsies are Orthodox, and Crimean ones are already Muslims. Croatian gypsies are Catholics, and Palestinian ones are again Muslims. It is generally accepted that wherever a gypsy is, he will still seek a connection with his relatives. In fact, this people can not be called a single one. Within the borders of one state, common features and connections are still observed, but there is no international community.

Gypsies do not serve in the army.

It is quite logical to assume that if this people do not have their own state, what is the point of protecting someone else’s? It sounds rational, and in the army itself, it’s really not that easy to find a gypsy. They call themselves the peace-loving people. However, it should be understood that there are not so many gypsies – 10 million in the whole world, and in Russia there are only 200 thousand. How many of them are men of draft age? History, however, proves that gypsies very much serve. A typical example is their location in the active units of the army of Napoleon. At the same time, a myth appeared about the pacifism of the Roma – the French representatives of the people were fraternizing with the Spanish. Other examples that debunk the myth are the presence of Gypsies in the army of the Ottoman Empire, in the French army of Louis XIV. But the mass aspiration to kill this people was not exactly observed.

Gypsies are engaged solely in theft, divination and sale of drugs.

This statement did not come from scratch. Earlier gypsies really stole, but simply because they banally lacked food. Dislike of the gypsies prevented them from adapting to the local population and live peacefully. So there was essentially the only way out, a similar situation with drugs. But is it only the gypsies who sell them? Every family has its freaks. The predilection for guessing has a long-standing roots. And here in the basis lies the desire to earn. But since gypsies are happy to guess, people began to think that they all know how to do it. Myth was cultivated by Europeans themselves – unlike other gypsies, they attributed supernatural opportunities. The very resourceful representatives of the people immediately used this stereotype.

All the gypsies can play the guitars.

Works of the XIX century show the Gypsies as musicians in red shirts with guitars, and even with bears. The whim of the landlords of that time gave birth to a modern myth. But to believe him, anyway, that to believe that black people all read all the polls and play basketball, and the Brazilians – play football. The addiction to guitars among the gypsies is no more than that of the Russians. Hungarian Gypsies generally prefer the guitar to the violin.

Gypsies live in closed communities.

This is also an ancient, strong and international myth. According to him, all the gypsies stand for each other and live very closely. In such communities it is impossible to hide something from each other. Previously, it really was. But this statement has lost its truth for more than a decade. Although it sometimes happens that several Romani families live nearby. But this is due only to the mentality and common interests. Some kind of communal system for the Roma has long been gone, and in developed countries, they have already forgotten about this.

There is the first and only gypsy theater – Roman.

In 1931, this theater appeared, but calling it the first and only one is still dishonest. As early as 1887-1889 he worked as a gypsy choir led by Nikolai Shishkin.The troupe performed in theaters, staged operettas. Such a story was unprofitable for the Bolsheviks, who attributed themselves to the rise of the people from the darkness. And in the world today there are at least three gypsy theaters, not counting the numerous studios.


At the time of the Inquisition, Gypsies were mass-burned at the stake.

This myth is several centuries old. Researchers wrote that gypsies were almost the most affected in those dark times – they were burned for fortune-telling and fortune telling. Some people so want to see this people forever persecuted and offended. However, studying the sentences of Spanish courts, it can be found that in sorcery only fewer than a couple of dozen Roma were charged. And this for several centuries! But executed in the country by the Inquisition were 20-30 thousand people. A similar situation in other countries. If you start studying documents, it turns out that either the Gypsies were judged, or they were released at all. In the same Germany, about one hundred thousand witches were executed according to the Karolinsky Code, but according to his articles fortunetellers were not responsible if they were accused only of predicting fate.

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