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Romani People in the Republic of Macedonia
Romani people in the Republic of Macedonia
Macedonian Romani children (around 1900)
53,879 (2002 census) 80,000 to 260,000 (Unofficial estimations)
According to the last census from 2002, there were 53 879 people counted as Romani in the Republic of Macedonia, or 2.66% of the population. Another 3 843 people have been counted as "Egyptians" (0.2%). Altogether, 2.85% Romani and Egyptians have been registered in Macedonia.
Other sources claim the number to be between 80 000 and 260 000 Roma in Macedonia or approximately 4 to 12% of the total population.
The municipality of ?uto Orizari is the only municipality in the world with a Romani majority and the only municipality where Romani is an official language. Due to the demographics, both Romani and Macedonian are official in ?uto Orizari, the municipality being officially bilingual. The mayor of the municipality, Kurto Dudush, is an ethnic Roma.
The Republic of Macedonia is the region's leader in respecting the rights of the Romani people. It is the first country in the region with a minister of Romani ethnicity and also has a lot of Romani in high government positions. However, there is still a lot to be done concerning the education and integration of the Romani.
The linguistic evidence has indisputably shown that roots of Romani language lie in India: the language has grammatical characteristics of Indian languages and shares with them a big part of the basic lexicon, for example, body parts or daily routines.
More exactly, Romani shares the basic lexicon with Hindi and Punjabi. It shares many phonetic features with Marwari, while its grammar is closest to Bengali.
Genetic findings in 2012 suggest the Romani originated in northwestern India and migrated as a group.
According to a genetic study in 2012, the ancestors of present scheduled tribes and scheduled caste populations of northernIndia, traditionally referred to collectively as the ?oma, are the likely ancestral populations of the modern European Roma.
^Hancock 2002, p. xx: 'While a nine century removal from India has diluted Indian biological connection to the extent that for some Romanian groups, it may be hardly representative today, Sarren (1976:72) concluded that we still remain together, genetically, Asian rather than European'
^Hübschmannová, Milena (1995). "Roma?i ?hib - rom?tina: N?kolik základních informací o romském jazyku". Bulletin Muzea romské kultury. Brno: Muzeum romské kultury (4/1995). Zatímco romská lexika je blií hind?tin?, marvár?tin?, pand?áb?tin? atd., v gramatické sfé?e nacházíme mnoho shod s východoindickým jazykem, s bengál?tinou.