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  Roma/Gypsies and Education in a Multiethnic Community in Romania

    Abstract

    The present article aims at presenting shortly the results and preliminary conclusions of a research undertaken in an ethnically mixed locality in the North-Western region of Romania. The research questions were focused mainly on interethnic relations and on socio-economic topics. The economic activities of the Roma represent the extension of the principal activities of the majority. To see what exactly the activities of the Roma are, we will focus on the relation between Roma and other ethnic groups. We will try to understand what the main characteristics of these relationships are and what the rules of these relationships are, if there are any. Afterwards, we will try to describe and to analyse two of survival strategies of the Roma. At first sight the presence of the institution of godfatherness among the Roma and Gadjo seemed to be just an “innate” characteristics of the historically peaceful multiethnic community, but later this proved to be just the surface. The second strategy, called “the List”, is also a constitutive element of the survival strategies of the Roma, although in this case not the Roma are the initiators of it. Finally, we will focus our attention on the problem of trust which is the connecting element of all informal strategies and through which we will be able to understand better the characteristics of the relation between Roma and non-Roma. The question of education is a crucial one, as the low presence of the Roma population on the formal job-market is partly due to their low educational level. The last chapters discuss the problem of school-attending of the Roma children in the studied community.

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