Like many possible netizens out there, I thought the Romas are from Romania, hees. After some googling, I realized the Romas don’t have a particular country they belong to, such as Canadians are from Canada or Japanese are from Japan; Romas live a nomadic lifestyle and are believed to have originated from present-day Rajasthan, a state of India. Since Romas have been making the headlines, I wanted to learn a bit more about them; why France wants to rid its nation of Romas and why they are so ill-treated in other European countries such as Italy, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, etc. The following excerpt from http://www.a-w-i-p-.com summarizes quite well the intolerance and inhumane treatment of Romas not just in one country, but across Europe.
“They were subjected to ethnic cleansing, abduction of their children and forced labor. England saw them being hanged, France saw them being branded and humiliated, Spain saw their families being separated, Moldavia saw them being enslaved and brutalized. With the onset of WW2, they faced genocide at the hands of the Nazis. Romanies, also known as Porajmos were often killed on sight or taken to concentration camps; the total number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 to 1,500,000. The post-war era gave them little respite. In communist Eastern Europe, they faced assimilation schemes and cultural restrictions. Their language, clothing and music was banned in Bulgaria, their women were sterilized in Czechoslovakia, their children were forcefully taken away in Norway, they were banned entry into the US till 1885 and the list goes on and on. “
After some intense reading on the internet, I actually still do not know the answer as to why this particular ethnic group is so disliked and despised across Europe. Why such xenophobia and intolerance against the Romas? Maybe someone who stumbled by my piece could shed some light, but my conclusion is…they don’t have a country to protect them, so they’re not really citizens of any particular countries, thus they are just being stepped on and thrown around…not in my backyard.