- Estimated Roma population: 65,000, including recent immigration from Kosovo; the official returns in the 1971 census showed 7,760 Roma, but by 1991 the figure had reached the more realistic total of 24,895. A province formerly of Yugoslavia and now of Serbia, Voivodina remains part of Serbia, its autonomy having been suspended in 1990 at the same time as a similar proclamation in the province of Kosovo. During World War II, it was occupied by Hungary, which tried to deport many of the Romany population into Serbia proper. Nevertheless, many Roma remained there throughout the wartime period. When Voivodina was reoccupied by Yugoslav forces after the war, the population was manipulated in various ways until the ethnic Hungarian majority became a minority.A number of dialects are spoken, in particular Vlah and Gurbet, though many Roma have Hungarian or Romanian as their mother tongue. The frontier town of Sremska Mitrovica saw an influx of Muslim refugees from Bosnia after 1992, bringing its Romany population up to some 8,000. Further refugees have arrived from Kosovo in later years.In Voivodina, the Roma are not integrated, and most still live in settlements on the outskirts of towns and villages. Anti-Roma graffiti have appeared here, and instances of police brutality have been reported. In November 2005 the United Nations Committee against Torture determined that the Serbian government had violated the International Convention against Torture in the treatment by the Novi Sad police of Danilo DimitrijeviC in 1997. Among other violations, he had been tied to a metal post for three days.Educational levels for Roma are low, as elsewhere in Yugoslavia. In 1996 the cultural organization Matrica Romska was set up in Novi Sad but with a remit to cover all Serbia. Its first president was writer Trifun DimiC. The following year a roundtable on the Standardization of the Romani Language in Yugoslavia was organized in Novi Sad by the Matrica Romska and the Voivodina Society for the Romani Language, one of many attempts in recent years to standardize Romani. The organization Drustvo Voivodina (Voivodina Association) is also working for the advancement of the language, while optional instruction in Romani has been introduced in primary schools in Obrovac and Tovarisevo.Band leader and fiddler Pera Petrovic and his group Rromano Centar live now in Austria, but all come originally from Voivodina.
Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . Donald Kenrick.