There is an alarming extent of deterioration in the social and cultural life of the Slovak and Czech Gypsies, mainly resulting from the insensitive communist policy of forced assimilation and suppression of everything ethnic. It involves phenomena such as poor living conditions in illegal satellite village settlements, dependence on social security system (since unemployment often locally reaches 100%), widespread illiteracy and mental deficiency, frequent intermarriage, general loss of traditional customs and skills, alcoholism and drug abuse, as well as very real criminal patterns that include illegal loaning, pocket-picking, theft, robberies, prostitution, physical attacks and murders.
Customs and beliefs, so as language and songs, all of culture and social structure, can survive only by reiteration. If that is forbidden and prevented, culture starts dying, especially where it is nor supported by artefacts and written records. In fact, it is surprising that something of the Gypsy culture is left after the forty years of forced assimilation under the communist regimes in Eastern European countries. Only the spatial and psychological distance from the majority, otherwise detrimental, had a positive conservation effect here.