Friday, 9 October 2009

Caught Between Two Big Brains

Well! Controversy! Did you see a programme a few weeks back on Roma Gypsy children in Spain and Italy allegedly being trained to a life of crime – petty thieving? It went on to show apparent adult Roma in Romania boasting their wealth and large houses.

A Professor I know who is a leading authority, has dismissed this: ‘The whole thing was about as plausible as Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakhstan,” he told me. “A tiny minority of thieves, easily caught, photographed, and voluble about their methods - it's usually called attention-seeking behaviour.’

But a Romany journalist, with whom I am acquainted online, who could be fairly described as an activist in support of his people, says in his blog O NEVO DROM about the programme: ‘While this program has come under attack, some rather severe, from several quarters, especially from academics in the field of Romani Studies in the West, including Romani People amongst them, and also some Romani activists, it is time that we, the Rom, the Romani People, firstly admitted to ourselves and amongst ourselves that this problem exists and then admitted it also to the outside world; and secondly that we, as a People, did something about stopping this practice.’

Such a difference of opinion from both exceedingly knowledgeable people. I watched the programme again last night and am still sitting on the fence.

1 comment:

  1. it's true many of them turn to criminal activities because they don't know any better and they give a bad name to their people and the countries they come from. in eastern europe you have either dirt poor gypsies or filthy rich gypsies who by the way do nothing to help their poorer counterparts, and how they get that rich I still don't know. but both are uneducated mostly because they don't see the point in getting an education, I agree with the romani journalist they need to acknowledge their problems first and stop denying there's anything wrong
    they represent 6 million people in a sea of 400 million east europeans I don't think it's hard to adapt