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

Self proclaimed international king of gypsies Dan Stanescu gestures with his golden plated mobile phone in hand during the traditional ethnic Roma festival in Costesti, 210 km (128 miles) west of Bucharest, September 8, 2012. Following their tradition, thousands of Roma from all over Romania, which has Europe's largest Roma community, gather every year to celebrate the birthday of St. Mary, to make wedding arrangements for their sons and daughters and to show off their wealth. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)

The life of Roma gypsies

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)