HYDERABAD, Sept 24: Noted scholar and linguist Dr N. B. G. Kazi has said that gypsies’ original home is the Rohri-Sukkur area from where they spread out to other countries of the world over centuries. Speaking at a lecture programme on “Gypsies or Sinti”, he said that he had reached the conclusion after a through research that gypsies first migrated from Sindh to the Middle East. In Europe, they came from Egypt thus being called gypsies. The lecture was organised by the Institute of Sindhology in Jamshoro.
The gypsies, the only group of people in Europe having dark skin and hair and their language Romany being similar to Hindi, had promoted folk music across the world.
He said that they travelled from one country to another and adopted customs and culture of their host countries.
“They are known by different names as Roma, Romani, Gypsy, Sinti, Luri, Luli and Kohlis and the main source of their income has always been singing and dancing,” he said.
Iranians call them Luzistan and Arabs have given them the name ‘Zuth’ whereas back in Sindh they go by the names of Jats and Kohlis, he said.
Shedding light on nomads’ wanderings, he said that Shahnama-i-Firdausi recorded that they travelled through Bahrain during 420-38AD and then went to Iran.
Most of East European gypsies arrived there by travelling across Turkey to Balkan countries during 800-1000 AD.
Dr Kazi said that in 1790 Austria made an attempt forcing them to settle down and farm lands but in vain.
After the foundation of German empire in 1871, they came under a close watch for social crimes.
He said the people have a long history of wanderings in Iran, Turkey, Balkan states, Europe, England and North and South America.
They bore the brunt of victimisation by Hitler regime’s SS commander Himmler and details of which could be found in a book “Sinti and Roma” published in Munich in 2001.
Dr Kazi mentioned two renowned gypsies, Zaryab and Aziz Baloch, and said Zaryab was a singer-musician who played guitar during Khalifa Haroon Rasheed’s rein. Aziz Baloch originally belonged to Sehwan.
His father sent him to Spain where he studied and received a doctorate in music.
Sindh University vice-chancellor Mazharul Haq Siddiqui, Prof Ghulam Hussain Khaskheli, Prof Aijaz Qureshi and Shaukat Hussain Shoro were present on the occasion.