Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Roma (Gypsies) and Genetic Admixtures

Roma (aka Romai aka Gypsies) are in the news as a wave of fears of child stealing sweeps Europe.  Children with common European features, unlike their parents who have more Central Asian features, are being seized by European governments only to find out that the children are in fact Roma and not Greek, Irish, or whatever the local ethnicity is.

Some are wondering how can this be.  The answer is simple: admixtures.  Roma have not stayed genetically "pure" and have intermixed to varying degrees with local populations.  The mixed off-spring grow up in Roma society and are easily culturally assimilated in though they carry different genetic profiles which will later pop up in later generations.  This is how Jews can still be one overarching grouping while having such a range of features from Germany to Yemen and beyond.

GNXP of Discover Magazine has more on genetic admixtures.  (Hat tip: TDAXP)

1 comment:

Dina said...

The recent news about this in Europe has had a nice side effect of making us Israelis aware that we have several thousand Gypsies in the country, including a community in the Old City of Jerusalem.

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