Gypsy ethnic disintegration

Romany cultural collapse
Cultural deterioration of the Gipsies
Cultural decline of the Roma
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.
1. 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.

2. Integration and assimilation into gadjikane society and culture due to settlement has diluted many Romany cultural values and traditions. In fact, the Gypsy ability to adapt to new environments in order to survive has been responsible for the loss of many customs. This phenomenon has been so powerful, that Gypsies are considered to be one of the vehicles through which other folk beliefs and practices have been disseminated and, in some areas where they are settled (e.g. Romania, Hungary), Gypsies have been positive guardians of national customs, dances, and the like, which were disappearing among the peasantry in the second half of the 20th century.

3. Having lost the traditional ways of subsistence, in bad living conditions, and pushed to the margins of the society by the late communist regimes, Gypsies in the Eastern European countries often decline to apathy deepened by alcoholism and resulting to various forms of crime. In such environment, there is little room for tales and legends about the proud nation they used to be. Freely exposed to foreign raw video culture children learn incomparably more about Rambo and Predator, violence and sex, than about wizards and good fairies. Even though there exists an official Romany dictionary and grammar, as well as some Gypsy literature, it is of little use due to widespread under-literacy or illiteracy.

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(J) Problems under consideration