Estonian gypsies

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The permanent settlement of gypsies was established in Estonia in XVII century. The latter was favoured by their persecution in Sweden, thus they migrated to Estonia as the periphery of the state. More gypsies arrived to Estonia in XIX century and especially at the beginning of XX century, mostly from Latvia. The community of gypsies has been special in Laiuse parish who had come to Estonia from Sweden and Finland.

These gypsies were also called Estonian gipsies. During WW II the current gipsy community perished. During the German occupation most of them were executed, some were taken to the working camps to abroad where they never returned from. After the war new gypsies arrived from Estonia to Russia.

 At the moment more than a thousand gypsies live in Estonia. Some of them speak gypsy language and pursue to live according to the more or less traditional lifestyles.

On the photo: gypsy romantics day in Laiuse stronghold in 2002.


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