« MULTICULTURALISM, A RISK FOR IDENTITY: A CHALLENGE FACED BY THE ROMA. »
One of Catherine Raffait text to the photo exhibition « ROOTS – BE ROM HARBOUR » presented on 24, 25 and 26 April 2015 Seissan Gers in the Midi-Pyrénées, France, in the festival » Welcome in Tziganie « ,
13 April 2015
The photographs in the exhibition are here http://www.etre-rom-au-havre.com/expo-racines
Multiculturalism, a risk for identity: a challenge faced by the Roma. For any migrant culture remains the last bastion of identity guard. The challenge is the inclusion in the new country but the risk that assimilation and the loss of its specificity. Language remains for children double culture stronghold behind which to defend it. This is the most immediate element in contact with the culture of the host country, in the life of every day as they face the host society but especially to school if they can access and inclusion in the majority culture. Then the danger of the loss of cultural identity is more a risk to children because Roma culture, identity, memory is primarily spread by oral in the family, the clan and school in the host country risk them away. The child Rroma as a migrant child or an immigrant who will then horehound at the risk of his identity imbalance between culture acquired and transmitted culture (1).
We must distinguish the child born in the country of migrants from that which carries more culture parents of his country which he keeps nationality which thus will face the difficulties of trilingual school failure factor.
The remaining Romani first language follows the language of the country of origin and that of the destination country where rooting is uncertain because of integration difficulties. The language will disappear being that of the country that has no purpose, it will be gradually replaced by the » new country » (2).
Specificity in the case of the Roma is visible through the vehicle and rromani which is the vehicle of this identity that is enriched on the road to exile guarantor of memory by listening to old , storytellers, women, transmission that occurs, which serious and fixed. More identity is engraved over it is free from rubbing and learn from that of others, proof in the trace in the Roma Rromani all the languages of the countries they crossed it without losing their identity.
The erasure of culture is a result of assimilation and the requirement of those in power, and pressure was applied to restrict the active use of rromani in some countries. By music from another manifestation of their culture and they have more permeated the cultures of the countries they crossed that the opposite (and flamenco).
The child or the newcomer, who is part of the new country will therefore have to act of resistance if he will not have to put parentheses behind a screen culture to be accepted without the need for the invisibility that time was the only solution to fit for Roma if discrimination forces them to hide. But unlike other migrants whose migration is between two countries, Roma nomadism forced for reasons of survival, and with no own territory usually millennium to acquire the culture of several host countries without losing their identity remains supranational.
The challenge is all the more important that the Roma in the absence of territory, borders have when they emigrate, the transmission to preserve their identity. Their memory was written long as by gadge and they urgently need to somehow make themselves masters so that it neither deflected nor destroyed nor forgotten as she almost be in Nazism.
The Roma are actors and standing by their expression and the younger generation accompanied by elders campaigning for recognition of their identity. Vigilance against the risk of assimilation or invisibility is particularly important for sedentary and migrants.
Their resistance that has endured for centuries the attempted annihilation such as grading they have suffered, leading to the creation of the Rroma World Congress, which became the International Rromani Union, April 8, 1971 in London, where they choose as their emblem a blue and green flag with a red color wheel and an anthem, « Romani anthem » .
The move establishes the anniversary date of the conference, April 8, as a national day that will be celebrated every year by all the Roma communities in the world. States and beyond territory by requiring their identity because it is not guaranteed in a given space, to be absolutely transmitted beyond the borders to be saved.
As reflected expectancy Nicolae Gheorghe: « I would hope the emergence of a culture at the European level of the Roma, the foundation of which would be a diverse population Roma throughout Europe, each of which would have the confidence that gives citizenship status and, Furthermore, the possibility of living in a big Rroma community that would benefit from municipal services and access to different levels of self-determination. »
(1) « Multiculturalism, a risk for identity: a challenge faced by the Roma. » Knowing how to manage this subordinate position relative to the tongue is a fundamental problem for all minorities. This is how the language can be a real battlefield, a place of oppression, but also of resistance » wrote Toni Morison.
(2) Nicolae Gheorghe, a sociologist and activist intellectual Rroma (1946-2013) sociologist global specialist in Roma issues.
(3) « Multiculturalism, a risk for identity: a challenge faced by the Roma. » Another important factor in the world of the extinction of minority languages is also education, minorities often have to choose between their own language and the language of the majority of the use of various strains, economic particular, advantages. Of course the question is whether the choice should always be asked in this way, or if the relevant cultural values and economic benefits of the majority language can somehow connect » Paul Kubáník.