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An accordion, a school bag, a school

      These words remind us of a TV commercial that made an appeal for the acceptance of Gypsies in schools. There are policies initiated by UNICEF to do away with all forms of discrimination. But unless we change our mentality first, the laws and reglementations of our country cannot solve the problem. It is not the fine imposed from abroad that should make us give up intolerance, but the fact that we are all human beings regardless the color of our skin or the culture we belong to. Instead of paying attention to these details we often say hurtful things to others without considering the fact that behind our words there are people that have feelings, get hurt and react, trying to get out of the vicious circle we throw them in, with our mentality. We sometimes forget that Gypsies have suffered at our side during the slave era, that they have endured the horror of the Holocaust together with the Jews and now they have to struggle again to be treated like human beings and fit in society. The Gypsy children are the most affected by this situation. The moment they are born they become the victims of our prejudices. And as if this is not enough they are daily reminded what they are and what some of their people do. Why should we add up more burden to the souls of the Gypsy children already troubled by poverty and other problems with our stereotypes of thought which may have serious repercussions on the child's development. They become secluded and give up school emphasizing thus people's preconceived ideas. This could be the reason for which UNICEF research in Romania shows that the average number of Gypsy children that go to school is beneath the average of all Romanian children that receive an education. But together we can make a difference. We can try to be more flexible when we relate to those we consider different to us. We can try to do away with prejudices. Even to those regarding the Gypsy palaces. After all, architecture is a matter of taste and tradition while origin has been paid by many generations of Gypsies who had nothing to wear, sleep and who lived in tents. In conclusion, we should consider the fact that their behavior could be a consequence of so many years of persecutions… that still occur nowadays.

 

Andrei Vornicu, Bucuresti

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