The true travels of the Indian diaspora has been discovered as early as 1,500 years ago, while the latest travel would be using one of the most modern aircraft in the world today.
Genetic scientists have discovered that the Romani, the largest minority in Europe comprising eleven (11) million individuals, migrated from Northern India to Europe fifteen centuries ago. Their ancestry traces back to a single population located in the Indian sub-continent. While they speak very different languages and practice different faiths, they share a common past.
The Romani population now has the size of European countries such as Greece, Portugal and Belgium. They began the diaspora arrived passing through the Balkans and dispersed nine hundred years ago according to the research team. They arrived in the UK back in 1513 as found by the team.
According to Professor David Comas of the Institut de Biologica Evolutiva at Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Spain, “ We are interested in exploring the population history of European Romani because they constitute an important fraction of the European population, but their marginalized situation in many countries also seems to have affected their visibility in scientific studies.”
One of the main drawbacks is the lack of written historical records on their origins and travels of the Romani people. In order to trace this, the team gathered genome wide data from thirteen Romani groups collected across Europe to confirm the Indian origin of the European Romani, which is also consistent with studies of linguistic development. Now this study, the first genome-wide perspective on the origins and demographic history of the Romani people has been tracked. This would provide that these results would have implications for the various scientific disciplines such as human evolution and health sciences.
The findings were seconded by Professor Manfred Kayser from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands in saying, “From a genome wide perspective, Romani people share a common and unique history that consists of two elements – the roots of northwestern India and the admixture with non-Romani Europeans accumulating with different magnitudes during the out of India migration across Europe.”
He added, “Our study clearly illustrates the understanding the Romani’s genetic legacy is necessary to complete the genetic characterization of Europeans as a whole, with implications for various fields, from human evolution to the health sciences.”
Fast forward one and half millennia, an Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner took off from Delhi landing in Kolkata. This was the first flight of the most advanced aircraft currently in service. Furthermore, both pilot and copilot were women. Clearly, the travels differ but the diaspora remains the same.