Romany girls in a telephone box showing a postcard of traditional horse drawn wagons. Appleby horse fair. Cumbria, England June 1998..Roma Gypsies left Rajasthan in India a thousand years ago, in the ninth and tenth centuries. They were pushed west by the Ottoman Muslim Empire as it moved through Persia towards the frontiers of Europe. They entered Europe in the foutrteenth century and were slaves in Romania and Moldavia until the mid 1850s. There are about 15 million Roma gypries in the world, about 12 million who live in Europe. they are Europe's largest ethnic minority. They have rich traditions and culture, their own language. They are renowned for their prowess in music and dance; they are also skilled craftsman, metal roofmakers, silver and goldsmiths. Their traveling and nomadic lifestyle which grew from a necessity to find work, and because they were often moved on from one place to the next, has given them both a liberty but also marks them as different and they are often feared by sedentary peoples, who label and scapegoat them. They are hardy survivors and live in the brunt of racism and prejudice, often marginalised, living in poverty, without proper human rights afforded to them..