What is a Gypsy?
Learn more about gypsies
Many think of a gypsy as a dark-skinned, dark-haired person who
travels from place to place with no fixed home, picking up seasonal
work and telling people their fortunes. There is a lot more to
this romantic, mysterious and interesting group of people than
you may think.|
The story of the gypsies started more than 1500 years ago when a large
nomadic population of North India left India for the West. After 500
more years, they reached Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey),
where they were allowed to settle. From Turkey, many continued throughout
Europe, and you can find them in most European countries, and even North America and
The gypsies are considered an ethnic group and they have their own culture
and traditions. Their language is Romany. Many are still nomadic, but after
centuries of persecution and a restless life on the roads, most have now
established roots. There are almost 14 million gypsies in Europe, and they
are considered to be Europe's largest ethnic minority.
The word gypsy is used in many ways. Some people use the word "gypsy" to
describe or define a person who is free-spirited, nomadic, and living an
unconventional way of life. People who move from place to place for
employment are also sometimes referred to as gypsies. Even a chorus line
member in a theater production
may be called a gypsy.