To the attention of Ms Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Minister of India
Mr. Marcel Courthiade disinforms India, and distorts the history of the Roma people. The Roma did not leave as slaves in India in the year 1018, but were enrolled in the Turkish armies as ashkeri fighters, under the direction of Roma King Cinghen Berko. I myself come from the Rom Military caste, a caste similar to the Kshatrya caste. Most likely, the Roma left India after the fall of the Byzantine Empire, for that is the only reason I understand the legends I will give below, as well as the Turkish ranks of ashkeri and boluk-bashi that the Roma use for their leaders. Boluk-bashi is equivalent to the rank of captain in the Turkish army. With these buluk-bashi ranks, the Roma leaders entered the Romanian Lands and kept them up to this day.
In two legends recorded by N. Sheitanov from the Bulgarian Gypsies, the name of India and the reason of the departure from it, are presented in the legend of Khan Chingen: „Amen angjas athe amaro xan Čingen sar askerja; thaj ov našaldilo, ame-da nanaj kate džas, ašlam athe.” – „Our Khan Chingen brough us here (to Sofia, Bulgaria) as an army. He disappeared and as we had nowhere to go, we stayed on.” The legend was recorded from the old Gypsy, Raif Pachov in Sofia, in the year 1930. The second legend is about the Chief Berko: „Our chief Berko waged a great battle in India and then he lead us out of that country and brought us here in Bulgaria.” This statement was made by Gypsies of Berkovitsa in 1949.
Dr. N. Sheitanov Gypsies in Bulgaria. Materials on their folklore, language and life, page 17 in Studii Romani, vol. I, Club ’90 Publishers, Sofia, 1994.
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