The Romani

Homeless in Europe

Romani woman, photographed by Tomasz Tomaszewski

First of all “Romanian” and “Romani” are not the same so don’t mistake them as synonyms and secondly the word “Gypsy” in relation to the Romani is a derogatory slur. However in many western colonies the term Gypsy came into popular use as a marketing ploy, a romantic notion and a description for those reluctant to conform although the origin remains a derogatory.


The Romani are Europe’s largest minority group and it’s generally accepted that they migrated from northwest India some 1,500 years ago. Over this period they have mixed with local populations and despite many tragedies and attempts at extermination, their numbers today

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A young girl’s story of being kidnapped (R)

Thousands of girls disappear every year

Nina was walking home, having enjoyed her day at school and she felt delighted with her school companions and the warm sunny afternoon. When they came to her street, she said goodbye to her friends and thoughtfully turned her mind back to the school lesson of the day as she walked the 200 m to her house unaware of the two men behind her until she was grabbed.

Her world went dark, she was bundled into a vehicle, her mouth, hands and feet bound with tape so she couldn’t move, and her head covered with some rough and scratchy cloth which at the moment

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Romanian Nightlife

It’s all here, especially in Bucharest

Like other Eastern European countries, marginalised and sometimes the only employment for women is in the sex industry, and their biggest customers are German men who flock to the border region towns.

You’ll find everything from trendy bars to Irish pubs, lounge clubs and jazz clubs and the odd steamy strip show. There’s a wild club/party scene where pretty Romanian girls will give delightful lap dances and in a more private setting you can get the most erotic of erotic massages.

It seems like there are more brothels, massage parlours and sex shops in Romania than elsewhere in Eastern Europe and you could be forgiven for thinking Bucharest was a major sex capital.


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A land time forgot

Biertan is one of the most important Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania. Image courtesy of Romanian Travel

Romania lies between Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and the Black sea. It has a population of around 23 million and is renowned for its mountains, forests, quaint historic towns with medieval, Transylvanian and Gothic architecture.

In some ways, Romania is the country that Europe has left behind and perhaps its because Romania and the region of Transylvania is where the Dracula legend arises from.

It is a land of contrasts with high mountains, rustic villages that seem more part of the mediaeval era than the modern. Than this, you’ll also find great works

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Listed as one of the world’s seven continents

The famous wooden bridge in Lucerne Switzerland Photo by Fe Hopgood

It includes all countries west of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River and the Caspian Sea. This world region a driving force in modern civilization. The lands of Europe have been fought over throughout history and today have emerged into the ‘European Union’ (EU) of countries which for the traveller and resident alike, allows for easier travel. While most countries are members of the European Union, some are not.

Historically the borders of Europe’s nations have shifted with invasions and conquests most notably those of Rome some 2000 years ago and the fist and second world wars. The population

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