Another movie we watched recently was “Time of the Gypsies”. This one’s a Yugoslavian movie based on the gypsies or romanis as they are also called. What amazed me was how much some of their words sounded like Hindi. It was hard to identify most of the words within the sentences but every now and then there’d be a distinct one between long enough pauses and the subtitle confirmed the meaning to be the same as my mind expected. For example, their counting went yek, dui, trin, something, pansh…and then their was a time where a girl said something very similar to “aank, muh, naak, sab” and the subtitle read “eyes, mouth, nose, everything”. There were also other words that I no longer remember.
At first, I thought the connection might be through Urdu. But my interest was piqued, so I searched and learned of their connection to the Indian people; relearned actually, since I now remember having discovered this earlier in relation to some genealogy reading I was doing at the time when I participated in the National Geographic Genographic project. Only this time it made more of an impression on me because I just wasn’t expecting a Hindi connection in a Yugoslavian movie. And Romani didn’t sound anything like a Latin derivative which we’ve long known to have connections with Sanskrit.
Here’s an interesting link about the language connection: http://www.journeyfolki.org.uk/HistoryCulture/HistoryLanguage/tabid/681/Default.aspx?PageContentMode=1 and another about the genealogical one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people