The Romani culture has been a target of many societies to remove their existence throughout history. To acknowledge the recent uproar about the customary practice to marry at the age of twelve or thirteen, one will need to answer the question as to why? The history of these people must be looked at and researched. The Romani culture and customs have been around since the 5th century. Even through the perils that awaited the Romani has held on to their language and their beliefs. No other culture other than the Jews have been through the ugliness of the human race. Romani society is a strong ethnic race and unless they are persecuted again they will develop and may come to its changes only to be accepted by the society they are in.
Romani Gypsies Marrying as Minors
The young female Romani is used at times to be bargain chip to help with an upward mobility for a family and strengthen the society, but why? To understand why Romani marry at an young age one must delve into the past of the Romani history.
Romani history can be traced back all the way to the Middle Ages. The Gypsies were basically slaves for much of its past. In the middle of the 19th century, the Romani gypsies were given a chance to be emancipated the only problem is that the other societies then did not acknowledge a free gypsy (Viorel, 2004). Prior to the nineteenth century, the Romani gypsies were ran off the lands making them nomadic. Recently it has been found that the Romani originated somewhere in the outskirts of India. The civilization stared to migrate out of India in the 5th century; the most important migration was during the 11th century after the occupation of the Muslim in India. These finding were found through the dialects detected in modern European Romani dialects. There were words found in the vocabulary of languages found in Persian, Kurdish, and Greek. The Romani can be traced as far as their travels by going westward across Iran into the Asia Minor then into Greece where they spent about 100 years and then to their final destination all over Europe. In the 16th Century the Romani they have spread from Russia to Spain.
The Romani were at first well received but their unfamiliar customs and closed society caused a bit of friction. While the Romani was in Spain they were received by the Muslim rule, however that soon changed with the Christian implantation of Spain in 1492 (Viorel, 2004). Between 1499 and 1783 the Spanish Government soon enacted laws against the Romani culture. Then in France the Romani were expelled from Paris, then 1563 they were commanded to leave England or killed (Viorel, 2004). To add more to pain and anguish of these people they became slaves to Hungarian and Romanian nobles in the 15h century and did not end until 1855 (Viorel, 2004). It was not bad everywhere for the Romani. For instance in Russia they were treated well by czarist between 1547-1917 but they were still treated like improvised peasants (Viorel, 2004). The Romani found that if the converted into Islam in the Balkans they were given certain privileges. This was the start of how this civilization learned to camouflage and fit in to a society.
The 20th century in Europe discrimination ran rampart for the Romani. World War II (1939-1945) as many maybe more perished in Nazi concentration camps. Sadly during the post war era Romani were force to integrate into society, losing their language of the their native tongue, their custom and culture. Since the fall of communism there has been a rise of anti-Romani sentiment, even in Europe there is also a pressure for the Romani to remove their nomadic way of life (Viorel, 2004). The Romani for example in France are restricted access to campsites.
The Romani have presently decided to become political and have established cultural movements to establish their rights and preserve their