April 19, 2009

What is the Most Important Aspect?

The people.

I have not mentioned on two particular groups I feel deserve some note:

I don't have much information on them, and any help would be great!

The Romanians and the Roma.

The Romanians are the largest cultural population in Transylvania. They have a wonderful culture and values. They have for the most part lived there for many centuries, though the general view in the West is that Transylvania was not populated until the 1960's. The Romanian population was always there.

During the Hungarian rule there was a strong push to destroy this unique culture. After the unification with Romania, the role was reversed, and people were encouraged to celebrate their culture.

As for the Roma, there is not much to be said in the West (by the West I mean North America) much of what does come out is not helpful in understanding their culture and heritage. I wish that there was some books that show them in a light that allows people to see them as a valuable part to Romania.

My search about Transylvania continues...


alex.tomaselli said...

This is an interesting subject, the differences between Romanians and Roma. I am an Italian-German-Romanian, with my family coming from both sides of the southern border of Transylvania; my english could be not very exact, but I'm aware about the Europian history. Here they are two sources of confusion: first, is the similarity between the name "Romanian", that comes from the capital of the Roman Empire, Roma (Rome), and "Roma", as naming the complex of gypsy populations, that is just a coincidence. In fact, in the Romani language (the Gypsy idiom), the word begins with a different sound than "r" and is written "rr": Rroma. Romanians are neolatin people, same as Italians, French people, Spanish people, etc. The Gypsy-Roma are completely different ethnic group, related to Indians (from India). The Romanians are a typical sedentary european population. There language comes directly from Latin. They live mainly in Romania and the Moldova Republic, but also in other countries, as Ucraine, Greece or Serbia. On the other side, the Gypsy-Roma are traditionally nomad, they came from northern India and parts of Pakistan and part of them begun a sedentary life, especially in the 20th century. Romani (Gypsy language) is a idom from the Indian-Aryan group of Indo-european tongues, that makes it far away related with English, German or French. Instead, Romanian belongs to the Latin group of Indo-european languages, having also words from Germano-Slavic or Celtic idioms. That's why Romanian has maybe more than 80% of words more or less related to English.
The second source of confusion comes from the fact that a large number of gypsies (rroma) obtained romanian citizenship, esp. during Ceausescu's dictatorship. That's why, when is about thievery and/or homicide committed by the gypsies, which became a daily item in european news, the journalists unfortunatelly name them "romanians", not making any distinction between romanian citizens and the romanian ethnic group.

alex.tomaselli said...

1960? this has to be explained. Maybe it's a mistake.