Work on texts
The texts in this section document the real situations that most students experienced in the last half-year. Texts bind to different experiences, mostly non-standard, in a new environment with which pupils were confronted at home or abroad .
These texts are "experiential" texts based on own experiences of students and students can comment these texts on the basis of their own experiences.
All experiences and impressions are tied with Roma, with their position in society, with a view of the society on Roma, to receive or not admitting Roma into the majority.
At the level of individual and collective have students as young Roma a possibility to affirm and determine themselves. Not just by looking and by the influence of environment, but especially by their own thinking pupils can identify and determine their own self - image and their place in the world.
To fullfill this goal a self-reflection in relation to theirslef, to their immediate surroundings and their community is necessary.
Work on texts have also another goal – a imrpovement of writing skills and language skills of students, but precious will be also a record of their own statements in the form which they used and which we can, after a slight adjustment, present to the public in a way which will be accessible, understandable and attractive to the widest possible public of the Roma youth.
(texts are excluded from coverages published in section Photo - calendar and Journey to Olympia).
February - March 2015
How to solve the truancy? Is there a "Roma" truancy ?
Positive discrimination. Yes, No?
When pupils chronically, again and again fall asleep and don`t come to school , shattering all possible legislative coercive and repressive means, the best way to get them to school is to sit in a car, go to the village, pull pupils out of bed and bring them to school.
Last time this happened last year, about half past nine on the morning we had to wake up about 7 sleeping pupils in the village Stráne pod Tatrami, and about ten o`clock they were sitting in the pews. The whole event took place in humorous, prank spirit, we took some photos, but the threat that these photos may be on the bulletin board was not fulfilled. Local citizens enthusiastically participated on action and observed the action.
A similar event we repeated a few weeks later in Rakúsy, because " sleeping objects" in the late morning is always enough everywhere.
These actions were successful, at least temporarily, the attendance has improved, everything happened in a good mood, apparently, no one wanted to be the center of attention in pajamas. Only one parent threatened to court for violation of privacy, but it was in a rush of emotions, and they abated as quickly as they appeared.
On the parent conferences we discussed mentioned problem in the presence of all students. How to get sleeping pupils to school? The standard response: "We don`t, other parents don`t care about their children, but we care" doesn`t solve the problem. We know that cancellation of grants for students and reporting to social authorities isn`t a panacea. But the proposal to repeat similar interventions haven`t met with enthusiasm. Parents didn`t comment, and a student who doesn`t belong to sleepers said that i tis an interferance in his private life, that it is a disgrace. Apparently, others agreed with him quietly.
It seems that we finally have some, almost "material" palpable lever which can change the situation. The image, projection of "I" towards the public is one of the fundamental perceptions that determine attitudes and behavior on public and relations with the environment. I fall asleep, I'm ashamed of it, but I don`t want a change, rather I hide it "under the carpet" or in the sand like an ostrich who is hiding from danger that way.
What about it? Still unanswered question of how to pull students out of bed when their parents don`t have to? And other communities, family, neighbors, even less.
A month later, when we had to go to important school event, the two fell asleep again. More specifically, the two girls. While we could call to them, we called neighbors, family, parents ... they all slept. Although it wasn `t early morning, it was a normal working day, the school already began. But they haven `t even a sense of wrongdoing, or that something is not right ?!
We are in the village. We feel there very good, but obviously not everything here is in order. Hygiene, coexistence, education. Why we pretend that everything is ok, when it`s not truth? Positive discrimination means that we don`t want to see reality as it is? We can help someone when we suppress the bare facts? How to solve the dilemma? Admit a certain shortcomings and do nothing to remove them? Cope with (own) shortcomings by acceptance as a part of the identity in this environment? Is this the Roma identity?
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
To look truth in the eyes
"That awful feeling when you shop and shop assistants always watch you behind you shop assistants look as if you wanted to steal something ... "
How many times have we heard or read this sentence expressing all the suffering and humiliation that Roma must stand, when people automatically look on Roma as on thieves, as on these bad people...
Today, after the training with ensemble, while I was waiting for my wife Helena before Lidl. Suddenly I see a young boy running around me. He was kind of familiar to me, I thought he was our student, but I didn`t know him, because he flew like greased lightning. He was very fast, he had to be so fast for some reason I thought and he had some canvas bag in his hand which had to interfere him. Well, he probably wasn`t a recreational sportsman, although he apperently loves sports, at least more than a security guard, who ran after him, but only a while, probably he wasn`t strong enough....
I wonder if pople in Lidl looked on this boy as on a potential thieve. Probably not. Otherwise he wouldn`t be able to steal and escape the security guard.
What about it?
More oversees on all, even on those who never steal and who will not steal, but all look on them as on thieves, because others like them steal and will steal again and again...
Anyway, it`s useless to complain that someone is looking somehow strange to someone. But rather we look on ours, Roma, what they do, if they are going to steal something or no. And do something with it. Otherwise everyone will look on us, on Roma, as on thieves!
October 30, 2014
Image of Roma in the public eye
Directly under the Eiffel tower a cabman offers his services. When he sees us, he started to speak in Romanian:
"Hey, you Gypsies, Tower is not for you, go away... "
He says this with a self-confidence, but it was clear that in his eyes is inconceivable that the Roma can be ordinary tourists.
Issa (also from Romania) without hesitation responds :
"You, you are working and we, we are here just to walk. So shut up and work!".
On the Esplanade, just before a group of salesmen of little Eiffel towers, their boss, tall African walks to Roma and said to them :
"Go away, don`t spoil our deal!" He was sure that we organized gang of pickpockets...
Cabbie, the Romanian, who said under the Eiffel tower that tourism isn`t for Gypsies has its own opinion about Roma, because he is from Romania and there - in Romania – live many Roma people... But a simple black man from equatorial Africa who peddle turrets under the Eiffel tower have something against Roma...Why? Most likely he has no idea who are the Roma ... He only knows that young Roma people, often children, spoils the deal when they steal things from unsuspecting tourists as a flock of magpies and lure away his clientele. Therefore, when he sees them, he goes to them and says that they should quickly go away...
Where is the error, in the African, in Romanians, in the French... ?
What about it ...?
The only answer: SCHOOL !!!
Yes or no?