Xoraxané Romá - Orientation

Identification. The Xoraxané Romá are a heterogeneous Gypsy group, found in the south of former and current Yugoslavia, particularly in those regions that once belonged to the Ottoman Empire. In order to escape the economic crisis in southern Yugoslavia, they began, like many Yugoslavs, to emigrate to Western Europe in the 1960s (and have continued to do so up to the present day). The Xoraxané described here migrated from the Yugoslavian region of Kosovo and arrived in Italy at the end of the 1960s.

Location and Demography. The Xoraxané Romá in Italy today are nomads and tend to set up camp on the outskirts of large and medium towns. They travel widely throughout Italy and are today found in virtually all regions, including Sicily and Sardinia. Because many families traveled back and forth between Yugoslavia and Italy prior to the Yugoslav civil war, their numerical presence in Italy is extremely variable and very difficult to calculate. One can estimate a population numbering between 5,000 and 10,000, though no census has ever been made.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Xoraxané Romá speak a Gypsy dialect, which has been considerably influenced lexically by the languages of the region of origin (i.e., Serbian and Albanian). The Gurbeti, who arrived in Yugoslavia from Romania at the beginning of the nineteenth century, speak a Gypsy dialect, called "Vlax" by gypsiologists, with strong Serbian and Albanian influences. The Xoraxané also speak Serbian and Albanian fluently, and also a mangled Italian.

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