For many centuries, Romany existed only as a spoken language. The greatest treasures of Romany folklore were preserved in oral form only. (These are fairy-tales, songs, proverbs, riddles, etc.)
Nowadays, this form of preserving the cultural heritage is rare. Mass media has replaced more traditional pastimes. Fortunately, Romany heritage is being preserved in literature and other arts. Romany culture is celebrated at numerous local and international festivals.
Although musical notation is not a traditional way of recording the music of Romanies, their songs are famous, and so is their dancing, which usually incorporates adopted forms of dance from the majority cultures into a traditional style.
Numerous theatre groups have been founded and become famous in the course of the twentieth century (e.g., Phralipe from the former Yugoslavia, Romen from Russia, Romathan from Slovakia). Their ensembles have successfully performed both Romany as well as adopted plays all over the world.
The world-famous film director Tony Gatlif is of Romany origin. Some films by Emir Kusturica have been shot almost entirely with Romany actors speaking in Romany. The animated film director Katarina Lillquist is currently making films based on traditional Romany folk-tales.
Romany blacksmiths, woodcarvers, and other craftsmen are internationally recognized for their fine artistic work.
- Amico Rom (International"Gypsy Friend" Arts Competition) http://web.tiscali.it/concorsoamicorom/index.htm
- Gypsy Culture http://perso.wanadoo.fr/cultures.tsiganes/cultures_tsiganes/index.htm
- Gypsy Music (General overview) http://www.rootsworld.com/rw/feature/gypsy1.html
- Gypsy Music Overview http://www.geocities.com/Paris/5121/culture.htm