Romani and Roma culture

The study of Romani and Roma culture combines linguistics and the study of the culture and history of the Roma community.

Central research subjects include Roma migration in Europe, the European Roma policy and the spiritual participation of Roma. As regards the Romani language, the research focus is on contemporary Romani dialects and their roots.

According to different estimates, there are 4 to 14 million Roma in Europe. The proportionally largest concentration of Roma is found in south-eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, but also Slovakia, Moldova and Hungary. There are approximately 13,000 to 14,000 Finnish Roma, or Kale (both in Finland and Sweden). Roma are one of the largest minorities in the EU.

According to the most conservative estimates, there are some 3.5 million speakers of Romani in Europe and 0.5 million in the rest of the world, but the actual number is most likely between 10 and 20 million.

Approximately half of the Finnish Roma have satisfactory skills in Romani. Fluent Finnish Romani is spoken only by one-third of the local Roma population, which makes the language endangered in Finland. Romani is, however, protected by law: the Constitution of Finland guarantees the Sámi, Roma and other minorities the right to maintain and develop their native language and culture.

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