Wednesday, February 2, 2011

AP: Romania could change the official name of its minority from Roma to Gypsy

BUCHAREST, Romania - Two Parliament committees in Romania have voted to change the official name of a minority ethnic group from Roma to Gypsy.

The reason the legislators gave for Wednesday's vote is that Gypsy is a more widely used name for the group and that Roma is too close to the name Romania.

But the votes have angered Roma civic groups, who say the word Gypsy has long carried negative connotations such as poor, uneducated and rootless.

About 25,000 Roma were deported from Romania during World War II at a time when governments called them Gypsies. But their official name was later changed to Roma.

Romania has an estimated 1.5 million Roma, but the official figure says there are 500,000.

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