The life of Roma gypsies

Self proclaimed international king of gypsies Stanescu gestures with his golden plated mobile phone in hand during the traditional ethnic Roma festival in Costesti

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The Roma are descendants of nomads who moved out of what is now India 800 years ago. They speak a distinct language, a variation of Hindi. They have been forcibly resettled through the ages and were put in concentration camps during World War II. More than 1 million Roma are believed to be living in Romania, a country of about 22 million. There is widespread prejudice against Roma, who are often unemployed and lack formal education because they do not always send their children to school. Because of poverty and prejudice, Roma often travel to Italy, Spain, France and Britain, where they beg, busk, live off welfare benefits or get involved in petty crime, according to authorities in those countries. (AP)

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