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)

In this Nov. 14, 2012 photo, Miguel Begin, the chief of operations for the Canada Border Services Agency's Stanstead sector, stands at the Canadian port of entry in Stanstead, Quebec. Canadian immigration officials on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 said a Romanian smuggling ring has been bringing Gypsies into the U.S. through Mexico in order for them to eventually gain asylum in Canada. Over the past year, cars loaded with ethnic Roma asylum seekers have run the border between Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
In this Nov. 14, 2012 photo, Miguel Begin, the chief of operations for the Canada Border Services Agency's Stanstead sector, stands at the Canadian port of entry in Stanstead, Quebec. Canadian immigration officials on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 said a Romanian smuggling ring has been bringing Gypsies into the U.S. through Mexico in order for them to eventually gain asylum in Canada. Over the past year, cars loaded with ethnic Roma asylum seekers have run the border between Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
In this Nov. 14, 2012 photo, Miguel Begin, the chief of operations for the Canada Border Services Agency's Stanstead sector, stands at the Canadian port of entry in Stanstead, Quebec. Canadian immigration officials on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 said a Romanian smuggling ring has been bringing Gypsies into the U.S. through Mexico in order for them to eventually gain asylum in Canada. Over the past year, cars loaded with ethnic Roma asylum seekers have run the border between Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
A member of Romania's ethnic Roma minority arrives at Bucharest airport August 9, 2012. Roma people arrived in Romania after French police raided a makeshift Roma camp, evicting about 200 people as the Socialist government quietly follows the former conservative administration's policy of repatriating illegal immigrants. The evacuation follows a series of police raids this week in Paris and Lyon during which hundreds of undocumented Roma immigrants from eastern Europe were forced from their homes. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION POLITICS)
A member of Romania's ethnic Roma minority arrives at Bucharest airport
A member of Romania's ethnic Roma minority arrives at Bucharest airport August 9, 2012. Roma people arrived in Romania after French police raided a makeshift Roma camp, evicting about 200 people as the Socialist government quietly follows the former conservative administration's policy of repatriating illegal immigrants. The evacuation follows a series of police raids this week in Paris and Lyon during which hundreds of undocumented Roma immigrants from eastern Europe were forced from their homes. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION POLITICS)
French CRS police evacuate families and remove their caravans from an illegal camp housing about 114 Roma, referred to as "Gens du Voyage", in Saint-Priest, near Lyon, Southeastern France, August 28, 2012. The French Interior minister said on Monday he would ask Romania and Bulgaria to do more to integrate their Roma minorities as the new government in Paris grapples with how to handle Roma immigrants in France. REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION POLITICS)
French CRS police evacuate families and remove their caravans from an illegal camp housing about 114 Roma in Saint-Priest
French CRS police evacuate families and remove their caravans from an illegal camp housing about 114 Roma, referred to as "Gens du Voyage", in Saint-Priest, near Lyon, Southeastern France, August 28, 2012. The French Interior minister said on Monday he would ask Romania and Bulgaria to do more to integrate their Roma minorities as the new government in Paris grapples with how to handle Roma immigrants in France. REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION POLITICS)
A Roma child, a refugee from Kosovo, plays with a plastic bottle at the camp Vrela Ribnicka in Podgorica, October 13, 2012. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (MONTENEGRO - Tags: SOCIETY)
A Roma child, a refugee from Kosovo, plays with a plastic bottle at the camp Vrela Ribnicka in Podgorica
A Roma child, a refugee from Kosovo, plays with a plastic bottle at the camp Vrela Ribnicka in Podgorica, October 13, 2012. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (MONTENEGRO - Tags: SOCIETY)
A Roma boy holds his dog in his family's apartment at the Avas apartment block in Miskolc, 180 km (112 miles) east of Budapest October 17, 2012. Spurred by desperate poverty in the nearby countryside, hundreds of destitute Romas moved into local apartment blocks in the last decade. Their presence has caused widespread friction with earlier tenants most of whom are not Roma. Complaining about what they say is a grave deterioration of public safety and insufficient government action to tackle it, the far right Jobbik party announced a big protest march on Wednesday. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY ANIMALS)
A Roma boy holds his dog in his family's apartment at the Avas apartment block in Miskolc
A Roma boy holds his dog in his family's apartment at the Avas apartment block in Miskolc, 180 km (112 miles) east of Budapest October 17, 2012. Spurred by desperate poverty in the nearby countryside, hundreds of destitute Romas moved into local apartment blocks in the last decade. Their presence has caused widespread friction with earlier tenants most of whom are not Roma. Complaining about what they say is a grave deterioration of public safety and insufficient government action to tackle it, the far right Jobbik party announced a big protest march on Wednesday. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY ANIMALS)
A Roma family stands in their apartment at the Avas apartment block in Miskolc, 180 km (112 miles) east of Budapest October 17, 2012. Spurred by desperate poverty in the nearby countryside, hundreds of destitute Romas moved into local apartment blocks in the last decade. Their presence has caused widespread friction with earlier tenants most of whom are not Roma. Complaining about what they say is a grave deterioration of public safety and insufficient government action to tackle it, the far right Jobbik party announced a big protest march on Wednesday. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY)
A Roma family stands in their apartment at the Avas apartment block in Miskolc
A Roma family stands in their apartment at the Avas apartment block in Miskolc, 180 km (112 miles) east of Budapest October 17, 2012. Spurred by desperate poverty in the nearby countryside, hundreds of destitute Romas moved into local apartment blocks in the last decade. Their presence has caused widespread friction with earlier tenants most of whom are not Roma. Complaining about what they say is a grave deterioration of public safety and insufficient government action to tackle it, the far right Jobbik party announced a big protest march on Wednesday. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY)
A Roma family gathers at the balcony of their apartment at the Avas apartment projects in Miskolc, 180 km (112 miles) east of Budapest, October 17, 2012. The city's ex-communist Avas housing projects, home to about 40,000 people, have seen mass immigration of destitute Roma from the countryside, where living conditions are often rustic. Long-time residents have shunned the new Roma occupants, many of whom have large families crammed into tiny flats. Picture taken October 17. To match story HUNGARY-FARRIGHT/ REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST REAL ESTATE BUSINESS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
A Roma family gathers at the balcony of their apartment at the Avas apartment projects in Miskolc
A Roma family gathers at the balcony of their apartment at the Avas apartment projects in Miskolc, 180 km (112 miles) east of Budapest, October 17, 2012. The city's ex-communist Avas housing projects, home to about 40,000 people, have seen mass immigration of destitute Roma from the countryside, where living conditions are often rustic. Long-time residents have shunned the new Roma occupants, many of whom have large families crammed into tiny flats. Picture taken October 17. To match story HUNGARY-FARRIGHT/ REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST REAL ESTATE BUSINESS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
A Roma girl holds her pet dog 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 ANIMALS)
A Roma girl holds her pet dog during the traditional ethnic Roma festival in Costesti
A Roma girl holds her pet dog 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 ANIMALS)
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)
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)
Self proclaimed international king of gypsies Dan Stanescu (2nd L) sits among relatives at a table with a roasted pig on display 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 FOOD)
Self proclaimed international king of gypsies Stanescu sits among relatives at a table with a roasted pig on display during the traditional ethnic Roma festival in Costesti
Self proclaimed international king of gypsies Dan Stanescu (2nd L) sits among relatives at a table with a roasted pig on display 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 FOOD)
Children from Romania families play in front of makeshift shelters housing their families in a camp near the Garonne river in Toulouse, September 11, 2012. Around 130 Roma, referred to as "Gens du Voyage", live in this illegal camp, a low-lying area liable to flooding, without electricity and running water. Picture taken September 11, 2012 . REUTERS/Bruno Martin (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION) ATTENTION EDITORS FRENCH LAW REQUIRES THAT FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS IN FRANCE
Children from Romania families play in front of makeshift shelters in a camp near the Garonne river in Toulouse
Children from Romania families play in front of makeshift shelters housing their families in a camp near the Garonne river in Toulouse, September 11, 2012. Around 130 Roma, referred to as "Gens du Voyage", live in this illegal camp, a low-lying area liable to flooding, without electricity and running water. Picture taken September 11, 2012 . REUTERS/Bruno Martin (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION) ATTENTION EDITORS FRENCH LAW REQUIRES THAT FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS IN FRANCE
A Roma refugee from Kosovo holds an umbrella at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, October 13, 2012. The early parliamentary elections in Montenegro are scheduled Sunday for October 14th. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (MONTENEGRO - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
A Roma refugee from Kosovo holds an umbrella at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica
A Roma refugee from Kosovo holds an umbrella at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, October 13, 2012. The early parliamentary elections in Montenegro are scheduled Sunday for October 14th. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (MONTENEGRO - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Roma refugees from Kosovo play with water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, October 13, 2012. The early parliamentary elections in Montenegro are scheduled for October 14th. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (MONTENEGRO - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Roma refugees from Kosovo play with water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica
Roma refugees from Kosovo play with water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, October 13, 2012. The early parliamentary elections in Montenegro are scheduled for October 14th. REUTERS/Marko Djurica (MONTENEGRO - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Members of Romania's ethnic Roma minority throw flower petals into Dambovita river during a commemoration ceremony next to the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest August 2, 2012. Members of the Roma minority commemorated the 68 years since thousands of ethnic Roma people were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by Nazi Germany during World War II. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY)
Members of Romania's ethnic Roma minority throw flower petals into Dambovita river during a commemoration ceremony next to the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest
Members of Romania's ethnic Roma minority throw flower petals into Dambovita river during a commemoration ceremony next to the Holocaust Memorial in Bucharest August 2, 2012. Members of the Roma minority commemorated the 68 years since thousands of ethnic Roma people were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by Nazi Germany during World War II. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY)
Priest Nicolae Ganga (C), a member of Romania's Roma ethnic minority, baptizes a child during a very rare mass Orthodox baptism ceremony at a church in the Bora neighbourhood in Slobozia, 130 km (81 miles) east of Bucharest November 29, 2012. About 40 Roma ethnic people, aged between one and 57 years, were baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith with Romanians serving as godparents during a very rare mass ceremony in an attempt to strengthen their community ties with the Romanian majority. The Roma people make up the biggest ethnic minority in the European Union, most of them from countries like Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. There are an estimated 10 million across Europe and one in five lives in Romania. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) TEMPLATE OUT
Priest Ganga, a member of Romania's Roma ethnic minority, baptizes a child during a very rare mass Orthodox baptism ceremony at a church in the Bora neighbourhood in Slobozia
Priest Nicolae Ganga (C), a member of Romania's Roma ethnic minority, baptizes a child during a very rare mass Orthodox baptism ceremony at a church in the Bora neighbourhood in Slobozia, 130 km (81 miles) east of Bucharest November 29, 2012. About 40 Roma ethnic people, aged between one and 57 years, were baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith with Romanians serving as godparents during a very rare mass ceremony in an attempt to strengthen their community ties with the Romanian majority. The Roma people make up the biggest ethnic minority in the European Union, most of them from countries like Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. There are an estimated 10 million across Europe and one in five lives in Romania. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) TEMPLATE OUT

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