Europe’s outsiders

Peter Sagar meets the Roma on Tyneside

The Roma emerged from the Punjabi region of India about a thousands years ago and, having reached Europe through Turkey and the Balkans, have been treated as outsiders ever since. Last year I attended a ceremony at Auschwitz to mark the 70th anniversary of the final, dreadful day when the last Roma were murdered there by the Nazis. Some of the speeches dwelt with the past, but many also noted how terrible the discrimination against the Roma in Europe remains today. And it is this discrimination which has led the Roma to our region.

Photography by James Sebright

Photography by James Sebright

It is estimated that there are around 4,000 Roma currently living in the west end of Newcastle, with a few hundred more living in the Bensham area of Gateshead. That’s is a relatively large influx of newcomers. Where have they come from, why are they here and what is their life like on Tyneside?


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #5