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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.

Origins

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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Taken

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.

But

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