Strange Connections- Roma and the Jatts

Roma is the name of a Gypsy tribe of eastern Europe. They are nomadic people. They have their own distinct language, culture and folklore. What have they got to do with the Jatts of Punjab?

A few days ago, my brother was driving through San Francisco and when he stopped at a traffic light, another car with two guys in it stopped beside him and one of the guys asked him in a loud voice: "Wanna sell your car?" My brother nodded and then both parties met in a nearby parking to finalize the deal. My brother was amazing that both these guys are looking like Jatts but apparently they were not as their accent showed. He asked them about their homeland and they said they are from eastern Europe and from Roma tribe. A long time ago Punjabi University Patiala published a book on the Roma people and their story of origin in Punjab and later migration to Eurasia in about 1050 A. D. He told them that we are related to each other in a curious way. Then the guys asked him what the eyes are called in your language. He said, "Akkhan", and they told that in our language they say "Akkan". My brother said that what is word for hair, they told him, "Baal". In Punjabi, it is "Waal".

Then googled it for further information and found that upon linguistic and genetic studies, it is now established that they have the same race as of Jatts.

Further evidence is suggested by their lifestyle. They are very lively people. They love dancing and singing and telling stories. They value virginity very much in matters of marriage. All these values are also esteemed in Punjab.

Russian writer Gorky has written a story named "Makar Chudra". It is about a Gypsy young man who fell in love with a girl named "Rada". Upon rejected, he felt that it is useless to live and he killed the girl before killing himself. It is a strange and beautiful story which transgresses the limits of morality, but shows violent nature of all true love. I don't know if it is about Roma people or not but it is about Russian Gypsies.

Once an old Punjabi man told my brother that he has lived in Iraq and on one occasion he went to the Kurdish region. When he told them that I am from Punjab, they became very happy and they treated him with greatest respect and when they departed from each other they gave him a Blanket. It was a common practice in old Punjab to give a Blanket or a Khes to a special gift. Kurds also believe that their ancestral land is Punjab.

We are living in a strange world. We don't know who is our relative and who is not. Perhaps we are all connected to one another.

Here is a video of Roma Music:


  1. Roma lokaan di bhasha bare Bhasha Vibhag Punjab ne vi if dictionary vargi koi compilation chhapi si. Main kai vari ohna de depot ch pai dekhi(par kharidi nai :-)), jadon oh sector 17 ch hunda si, koi 12/15 k saal pehla di gal hai. Hun shayad eh daftar sector 32 ch chala gya hai. Patiala ohna da head office hai, othe shayad eh kitab hove. Badi purani publication hai.
    Darasal gal eh hai prabhsharan ke zindagi badi vachittar hai. Ehni vichittar ke samajh nai aundi ke kidhar nu ture banda...hunda ohi hai jo bahutian dishaavaan di kashish da fal hai, o eh ke pahunchida kite vi nai.

    Hazaaron khwahishen aisi....

  2. *there is nothing called 'race'

  3. *there is nothing called 'race'

    -what do u mean by that exactly? We all know what a race is. How can you say that there is no race? Do u mean to say that genetics of indian subcontinent has nothing in common and that genetics of peoples like mongoloids and caucasian have no distinction amongst themselves?
    You are(like many people) just trying to sound politically correct. Talking of races and identifying them does not mean one is 'racist'! If one would care to take it further one might say that there is no difference between a cat and a tiger.

  4. Recent genetic researches have shown that all humans are descendants of a single african mother. So, we can say that there is no race. What we call race is only a closeness of kinship.
    Question of race is a very crucial one. And in Punjab, stakes are really high on this question. It is our responsibility that we use this term with extreme caution. One of my friends even objected on using the term Jatt. Although to use a certain word does not mean that one is racist.

    What I want to suggest is that race is not a given but is socially constructed. It is a mere effect of power. One is not born a dalit or a jatt, but is made so by exxisting power structures which include social, political, cultural and ecclesiastical power.

  5. My idea of race is based upon the common genetic features of a 'people' like facial features, hair, height body structure etc. I believe these things are not social constructs at all. These have been inculcated into a people majorly by their historical living in a particular geography and environment.
    The modern day controversy over the 'race' issue is centered more on the usage of this idea for social injustice and power struggle. But as far as identifying an ethnic group is concerned i see no wrong in it. A mother also gives names to all her children.

  6. *Nanbudh ji, What I meant had already been explained by Prabhsharanbir Singh, but let me clarify.
    Today we all know that the (genetic) difference within any given 'race' is greater than the difference between any two 'races.'
    The refusal to acknowledge imperialistic constructions such as race, mongloid, negroid, etc is not an attempt to erase this difference, but an effort to acknowledge it instead. In determining, de-scribing, human beings/ peoples/communities, as 'races'- "mongloids", "negroids", etc- it is percisely difference (differance itself) that gets concealed. This was the primary objective of the imperial regimes/universities that coined these terms: to Conceptualize the lived experience of life in terms of dualistic hierarchies, either/ORs, binaries oppositions that annul its painful and dangerous otherness/difference. Because it is much easier to control/ Govern a people when they can be KNOWN- i.e. can be Subsumed under a category, erased under a word- "we know them better than they know themselves" has been the underlying argument of all modern European colonizations, incl. IRAQ today.
    In using these terms, in acknowledging their legitimacy, we re-enforce, re-enact this imperialism. And as 'post'-colonial subjects living in the First-world, after 911, we are all too aware that racism doesn't have to be an open, political affair, or even a conscious one. In fact the most dangerous racism/ imperialism are the ones that live beneath our reflective consciousness, that are transmitted to us through history/society/culture, without our permission. It would be better to approach such concept-words as race, as egoic illusions, and be extremely careful not to trust them naively.
    The word 'Race' is not comparable to a name b/c a name cannot be translated /conceptualized like a word. The naming of her child by a mother, is the absolute other of conceptual categorization.

  7. بے خودی بے سبب نہیں غالب
    کچھ تو ہے جس کی پردہ داری ہے

    be khudee be-sabab nahin ghalib,
    kuchh to hai jis ki pardah-dari hai

    Self-lessness is not without cause, Ghalib,
    there is something, of which it is the veiling
    (* Self-less-ness is not an unselfishness)

    I must point out, my 'name' is Amandeep Singh!!
    -b/c not everyone is as perceptive as you guys:)

  8. Khudaa ke vaaste pardaa na kaabe se uThaa zaalim
    Kahii.n aisaa na ho yaa.N bhii vahii kaafir sanam nikale

    for gods sake dont remove that veil from Kaaba, o ruthless beloved
    maybe the same infidel lover appears there as well

    -Mirza Ghalib

  9. who told you to paste such a anti-religious couplet of ghalib....


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