Remembering Florin Cioaba: 'King of the Roma'

The World

The funeral procession of self-appointed Roma king Florin Cioaba passes downtown Sibiu, 190 km (118 miles) northwest of Bucharest August 23, 2013. Before the funeral procession left his home, representatives of the International Romani Union crowned Cioaba's two sons, Dorin and Daniel, as international king of Roma and king of Roma in Romania, respectively. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti (ROMANIA - Tags: SOCIETY OBITUARY) - RTX12UGX


For our Geo Quiz we'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the death of a king. Florin Cioaba called himself "King of Gypsies all over the world." He was buried Friday in his home town of Sibiu in central Romania. Cioaba died of a heart attack over the weekend while on holiday in Turkey. Some 2000 mourners gathered along a four mile route to pay their last respects as his body moved along–in what was rumored to be an air-conditioned coffin. The king wasn't just famous for his self-declared status. In 2003, he sparked a major controversy in Romania when he tried to marry off his 12-year-old daughter. After the outcry, he worked to end the tradition of child brides in the Roma community. He helped modernize Roma traditions, while still preserving the community's identity. He's also remembered for fighting for better conditions for Roma who face prejudice across Europe. The Cioaba dynasty doesn't end with him. A crown council–made up of members of the family–has named his oldest son the "International King of Roma." Cioaba's son said that the crown council and his family will continue his father's projects just as his father would have wished. The younger son, by the way, got the title "King of Romanian Roma." Cioaba's funeral took place today in Sibiu. The city is in the heart of Transylvania, the historic region in central Romania. So Transylvania in the Carpathian Mountains is the answer to the Geo Quiz today.