domingo, 5 de setembro de 2010
TEc - "Hard travelling" The plight of the Gypsies lately branded as Roma...
There is one common denominator between Roma communities settled in just about every country within Europe - East, Central or West:
Integration into mainstream societies - if ever that should be the goal - has failed for the vast majority.There are, however, minorities within Roma - I would imagine in most countries - who have beaten a different path from their origins and thus succeeded individually.
This seems to indicate that there is nothing intrinsic to Roma people to suggest theirs is a totally shut-in, self-run social group fully impervious to mainstream society.
The persistence, however, of long held views embedded in mainstream society has overwhemingly contributed to carry through down the ages a stigma against Roma that is very hard to remove.
Stereotypes largely prevail only to be confirmed by daily life interactions, with the occasional extreme flare-up grabbing headlines everywhere.
I do not know the extent to which governments have over the years decidedly sought to 'win Roma over' by pursuing broad-ranged public policies specifically targeting them as a minority with own characteristics.Any attempts made have for the most part failed.This has further added to the general notion of 'them' as a hopeless 'them'.Perhaps Canada's mosaic approach to immigrant communities would best fit the Roma if they should indeed be classed as an entirely separate culture social group.
The next unanswered question is whether or not Roma will adhere - or be made to adhere - to that basic tool and requirement of social inclusion and evolution understood as such and taken for granted by every other social group anywhere: academic education.To break the vicious circle that so far placed Roma at the bottom rung of European societies much more needs to get done than merely stating the facts.While acknowledging the complexities the only way forward is in my view to get Roma children to go to school.And stay in school for as long as it takes to at least finish full compulsory education.If the next generation should be better educated than the former - and so on - chances are Roma will improve their lot in a relatively short timespan.
So will the perceptions - real or not - mainstream societies have of 'them'.