God in Roma is Del but Romanies rather call him in a kinder way Deloro, Good God.

When Deloro was creating man, he took clay, kneaded a figure out of it and put it into the kiln. He got a snatch of sleep and when he woke up he was panic-stricken: "Oh, oh, I burnt him! I created a black man! Never mind, next time I must not oversleep!”

He took another piece of clay, kneaded a different little man and this time he took him right away of the kiln. Still, he was not satisfied: "Oh, he is not accomplished! He is as white as a sheet!”

For the third time Deloro took his time, he did not oversleep and was on guard. When he took the body out of the kiln, he was delighted: "What a nice little man I have baked! He is neither black nor white. I have created Rom, the best man!"

There are reasons why Romanies can be proud of their romipen, their Romany identity. Romipen equals honour and without honour, there would be no romipen.
Where did Romanies actually come from? Where is their cradle?
For long centuries mankind had been mistaken. Romanies were thought to come from Greece or Egypt. It was Štefan Vályi from Komárno, student of theology in Leyden, Holland, who hit the nail on the head. In Leyden he met three Indian students of medicine and he understood some of the words when they were speaking. He made notes of about thousand words and after having come back home he compared them with the language of Romanies.
In 1763 he turned the knowledge of that time upside down by finding out that Romanies come from Panjab and Rajasthan!
Foto-India

Foto.India
Panjab
Rajasthan
They set forward at the turn of 1st and 2nd millennium in search of better living. In Indian caste system they figured on the last position. The Brahmins comprised priests, wise men and teachers, the Kshatriyas were represented by kings and warriors, and farmers, cattlemen, artisans and merchants belonged to the Vaishyas. Romanies, the Shudras, could not educate themselves, read, listen to the wise, attend religious festivities nor touch anybody belonging the higher caste. They were only allowed to serve and work. Their life was no fun.
Romanies did not descend from one common tribe, they began to loose work opportunities and low demand for their goods forced them to start looking for a new outfit.
Famine might have been another possible reason for their leave.
And once they set forward, they took it with a vengeance!

Nowadays, the most Romanies especialty in Central Europe don't know where their roots are. They can hardly believe that their parents or grandparents lived in huts or travelled. And still they consider themselves to be "the children of the moment".They have a different value system. Up till now they have problems coming on time to work or to school. They have never recognised time regime and day schedule: They do not have breakfast, lunch or dinner at a regular time and they do not plan anything in advance. When they decide to see their relatives, they set on for a visit whenever they like even if the place is far away.
They are the children of a day, a concrete moment or hour they live in. It is actually easy and they are happy
! But what about the people around them?
It could useful for every Rom to discover again his about his origin, remember romipen forgotten long time ago and the pride of their tribal and ethnic cognizance.
Ko na džanel, na achalol = He who does not know cannot understand.
However, Romanies do not sometimes understand even themselves and there are brawls within them. The maxim Roma Sam (= we all are Romanies) should be applied not only to the majority but above all to Romanies themselves.
It is a nice feeling to obey the law my ancestors worked out and that is why I respect it. It is worth rediscovering tribal traditions. One day the majority can consider Romanies to be people that can be proud of many things. But there are also non-Romany laws and society norms that should be respected as well.
Just to know and understand that enormous and difficult way Romanies went through is an uneasy task to do! Not to be ashamed of your own history but on the contrary, trying to develop the positive aspects of romipen! This is offer and opportunity at the same time.
Every understanding gagio (= Non-Romany) must admire what Romanies accomplished.

Only when you think how incredible their journey was!



There are many historical examples of people migrating, conquering new territories, often with the aid of arms. This practice was common especially before the migration of Romanies.
A few centuries later Genghiskhan showed this practice with blood and tears.
Romanies set westwards as well but with no arms. They were kind and they knew how to win over various peoples as they passed hundreds and thousands of kilometres. They were good diplomats although many times they had to run away from punishments. Let’ s look at the map and think for a moment: so many mountains, deserts, wide rivers! There were no aeroplanes, nor powerful engines. It took them decades to search for new homes which they actually never found.
On their journeys children were born, elders were dying. It was crucial to survive severe winters in the mountains as well as heats in areas where water can hardly be found even today. Often they had to face lions and other beasts.
And Romanies managed it. They really did!
They must have gone astray, searched and groped along their journey.
But one thing is for sure: they would not have survived and succeeded to come so far if they had not been bound so closely one to each other. And therefore the cornerstone of romipen is MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY.

Experts in linguistics believe that Romanies originally belonged to Indian group of Doms, who lived in the state Bihar, later in Panjab and Rajasthan. However, a hungarian student Štefan Váli came with a lot of other hypotheses. Possibly the original group was Gadulia Lohar, which is still nomadizing in Rajasthan and Gujarat. They are mostly smiths or they trade beasts of draught. Romanies were still active in doing these activities yet in the 20th century. European representatives of this ethnic group of Romanies would rather see their origin in the community of Banjar, people who nowadays live in Rajasthan and Panjab. They nomadized and traded beasts of draught.
No matter how the history went, they took off from their old home country ”Báro than” in more waves. And evidently even before the first millennium, though in smaller groups. First hand was Persia where they spent at least one century. There is a reference to them in a famous Persian epic Šáh-náme (The Book of Kings).
Three basic language groups were formed:
Syriac Doms (dom means ”man” in Sanskrit)

Loms who set on across Armenia to the north (and whose passage throughout the Caucasus is admirable)
and Roms who headed to Europe.

Wherever they appeared, they were able to preserve the basis of their language – romaňi čhib. This fact also shows the pride of romipen. They were very clever at integrating words from other languages they needed, too. Based on research of various dialects linguists were able to determine when and which way they migrated. The number of words from other languages indicates the period for which they stayed in different countries. By the way, yet recently many Romany groups were referred to according to the place of their long-term stay: Vlašike Roma, Ungrike Roma, Rumengri, Rúska Roma, etc.
But one thing at a time! We talked about Persia which enriched Romany language with words such as ”verdan” or ”vurdon” = caravan, ”vudar” = door, ”grast” = horse, ”zor” = power, and many more. Then it was Byzantium where Romanies stayed for two or maybe three centuries. The interesting fact is that they entered Byzantine empire at the period of its flourishing, when Basil II Bulgaroctonos (Slayer of Bulgars) was the emperor of the country at the turn of the 1st millennium and Byzantium enjoyed very significant position as far as international relationships.
Romanies gradually lost their interest in this area after a few quarrels and even battles with Bulgarians, Polovtzy, Petzenechs and others. They disappeared. Their ability to foretell bad times is another aspect typical of romipen, and history proved it. For who runs away, wins !
The stay in Byzantium influenced Romanies enormously. Their language is most enriched by Greek and Balkan languages. It was in Byzantium where they got their name from. This name accompanied them for centuries. In about 1068 in monastery Iberon on the Mount Athos George the Little wrote ”The Life of St. Georg Antonit”, his teacher. In this work he tells a story that happened on the court of Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomach. In 1050 he sent for a group of ”wizards” to Constantinople (today's Istanbul) to kill wild beasts in his hunting grounds by the means of magic. This is the oldest mention of Romanies in Europe and the monk called them ”Atsingani”. Here are the examples in other languages:

Italian - Zingaro
French -Tsiganes
German - Zigeuner
Slavonic languages - Cigáni
Latin - Cingerus
Rumanian - Tigan
Hungarian - Czigány

That is how the first historical mistake concerning Romanies came into existence and the others followed together with various myths.

With their name Romanies penetrated along Danube to central Europe already in the 12th and 13th century. However, many of them stayed in Pelopónnisos and Crete. In this area Romany Barony (Feudum Acinganorum) could be found. In Corfu it lasted from 1386 till the 18th century. Romanies had to pay taxes to the governor of the island on regular basis, either money or poultry.

Let’s see how the situation looked like in other parts of Europe. It is believed that the first one to bring Romanies to Hungary was king Andrew II on his return from crusades.

Foto-repro
Přemysl Otakar II, Golden and Iron Czech king mentions in one of his letters also Gingars that he captured in one of his victorious battles over Béla IV by Kressenbrunn. Were they Romanies? They have always kept away from arms.
Reference from 1242 when under the rule of king Wenceslas I a few hundreds of strangers came and asked for bread with the words ”kartas bog” seems to be more probable.
They were called ”kartas” and in 1314 old Czech Dalimil’s chronicle refers to them as “pagan kartas”.
In 1322 Jan Kunch, reeve of Spišská Nová Ves in Slovakia mentioned another group of Romanies who came to Europe from some other places. Reputedly they wandered through woods which belonged to the Mariáss family. Impassability of their wandering as well as the fact that they have never had a problem with language barrier is worth our appreciation. And again, another thing romipen can be proud of.
At the beginning of the 15th century a great migration of the old Romany fathers started throughout the whole Europe – king Sindel and vojvoda (commander) Panuel, Michal, Ondrej.