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Defining The Gypsy Issue Correctly

04 Apr 2009 - 00:00

A German author recently published a study which lists all the wrong the Romanian society inflicts upon its Gypsy population.

It is not the first time a foreigner comes to Romania and finds it guilty for deeds his or her own country is found guilty of by the international community. The German author goes that far as to state that Romania is to blame for abiding by the policy of deportation of Gypsies to Germany's death camps, which was enforced upon it by the regime in Berlin.

It is high time, however, for a list of the wrong the Gypsies inflict upon the majority population in Romania. For, while we do have a Gypsy population and a Gypsy problem to solve, we also have, for instance, an Armenian population and no Armenian problem to solve.

The key phrase is, therefore, integration to the majority population lifestyle - or not.

The problems the Gypsies have in Romania does not result from an innate discriminatory attitude Romanians have, as the German author claims, but from the innate inability of Gypsies to integrate.

One cannot solve a problem unless it properly identifies it.
I recall being seated at a wedding party next to a Gypsy man dressed in a smart white suit. When he accidentally spilled coffee on his trousers, I exclaimed: "Oh, what a pity to have smeared your trousers!" But, he said "not at all, this is not dirt, it is coffee ..."

There, in a nutshell, stayed the collision of two different takes on what dirt is made of.

One can notice the same different take from the pitiful status social dwellings were brought to by their Gypsy inhabitants. What was the Romanian state giving them houses to do: clean their rooms and empty their night pots?

After 1990 a lot on nongovernmental organizations with shady sources of income took upon themselves to elevate the status of Gypsies in Romania, strictly monitoring the Romanians' behavior towards the Gypsies.

While the real issue is to monitor the behavior of Gypsies towards the majority population, who resist the cultural integration to the majority population, where ever that majority may be located in Europe.

  Translated by Anca Păduraru
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