German Sinti and Roma demand minority rights

15 May 1998

In early April, the chairman of the Central Commission of the German Sinti and Roma, Mr Romani Rose, demanded that the German government and the governments of individual German states recognise German Romani as a minority language in Germany. Danish, Frisian, Sorbian and Low German (Plattdeutsch) are presently recognised as minority languages in Germany. There are reportedly 150,000 German Sinti and Roma who speak German and German Romani as a mother tongue. Mr Rose told the press that German Romani is different from the language of the Eastern European Sinti and Roma and has a history of 600 years. In a similar development, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported that International Romani Union President Rajko Djurić had demanded on April 8 that Germany recognise Sinti and Roma as a national minority, according to the example set by countries such as Austria, Slovenia, Finland and Macedonia.

(Romnews, Der Spiegel)

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