There are over 12 million Roma (Gypsies) across Europe. With over 600,000 in Romania, they are the largest ethnic minority in the country. The Roma people are settled in villages on the outskirts of normal Romanian society.
Since their arrival into Europe, the Roma people have suffered endless persecution. Through the 19th century, many were held captive through slavery. Several countries forbade their native tongue. During World War II, an estimated 600,000 were massacred as part of the Final Solution.
The Roma boast a long and rich heritage of music and art. Their practices are influenced by their Hindu roots from India as well as their perspective host countries. In Romania it is common to see women adorned with beautiful, dazzling dresses and jewelry.
Many Roma remain cut off and isolated from mainstream society, to this day. Struggling to receive basic rights such as equal opportunity to education and work, many are left with bleak futures and little hope.