Home >> ISPMN Publishing >> Working papers >> ‘When Someone Came and Started to Sing, the Others Sang Too, Accompanying Him on the Violin’ – Living and Working Conditions in the Onetime Roma Colony in Oradea and Its Liquidation in the 1970s
  ‘When Someone Came and Started to Sing, the Others Sang Too, Accompanying Him on the Violin’ – Living and Working Conditions in the Onetime Roma Colony in Oradea and Its Liquidation in the 1970s

    Roma in the Romanian state socialism are a rare subject in present-day Romany studies. Thus, to fill in the blank, this paper recalls and analyses an important moment in the recent past: living and workingconditions in a onetime Roma colony in Oradea as well as its liquidation by the communist policies of urbanization in 1977 and 1978. In doing so, I try to investigate whether the widely shared scholarly belief on the relatively high living standards of the Roma during socialism does stay for this particular case. As empirical data show, winding up the Roma colony and forcing its inhabitants to move into blocks of flats did not significantly improve housing conditions of the group; nevertheless, it destroyed their previously existing socio-cultural environment and cut them off from a series of resources. In opposition to the official discourse of communism, living standards after the removal were not raised but lowered, which - in lack of coherent urbanization policies in the post-socialism - turned the place into an urban ghetto by the 2000s.  

    Download