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Indian Origin of Gypsies in Europe – Gypsies Were Originally Hindus


Gypsies are a nomadic group spread throughout Europe (mainly in Eastern Europe), North America and South America. Their language, customs, and manners clearly show that they are of Indian origin. This fact is well supported by their physical features. Gypsies were originally Hindus who were driven out of their homeland by invaders.

Original Homeland of Gypsies in India

 It is believed that the original homeland of gypsies was the region around Punjab, Sindh, Rajasthan, Gujarat (Saurashtra) and Malwa (the western part of present-day Madhya Pradesh.

The names of subgroups of gypsies like Sintis, Zatt, Zuarachi sound very much India. 

Invaders Took them to Europe

It is believed that the journey of Gypsies towards Europe began when their homeland was destroyed by Alexander in 326 BC. The subsequent invasion by numerous other religious fanatics and barbarians saw the people of the region migrating westwards towards Europe.

Mahmud Ghazni, a religious fanatic, and barbarian, is believed to have taken, after his conquests of India, a number of people with him and enslaved them. Some of them were freed and they then migrated to Europe. It is believed that these were the ancestors of the present-day gypsies spread across Hungry, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine and other places in Europe. 

Similar to Ancient Indian Languages

The language of the gypsies – Roma – is an Indo-Aryan language derived from Sanskrit and Hindi as is evident from over sixty percent of their words. It has been observed that a dialect spoken in Surat in Gujarat is strikingly similar to the Gypsy language. 

Similar Indian Physical Appearance

The physical features of the gypsies are almost Indian – black hair, large or brown eyes, and dark skin. 

Customs and Manners of Hindus

Many of the customs and manners of the gypsies are similar to those of the Hindus. They believe in the law of karma and have a strong belief that one day they will return to their homeland.

Magic – Music

Gypsies earn their living by fortune telling, magic shows etc, and the women are experts in these arts. They are also acclaimed musicians. Their music and dance are characteristically oriental although influences from lands wherever they went can be discerned.

Bibliography
Konrad, Berovici, 2003. The Story of Gypsies, London: Jonathan Cape
Lal, Chaman, 1962. Gypsies – The Forgotten Children of India – New Delhi: Government of India.
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV – India Heritage Research Foundation – page 414 - 415