This week was quite full of experiences. Our task was to do a treasure hunt in the Roma communities close to Ramnicu Valcea.
We went to the two communities that we were more familiar with, Goranu and Colonia Nuci.
We had some questions for them. We had to try and communicate with the people in the village. At times it was hard because there was a language barrier.we didn't speak Romanian and they didn't speak English. But somehow we managed to get some of the answer we needed.
We found out that the first family moved to the village 20 years ago and has stayed ever since. And that around 5 Roma families are currently living in Goranu. They work as traders as you can see in the picture above. It shows a typical market day in the village. Some of them also work as truck drivers, crossing the whole country and going outside of Romania also.
The house of Helena, the girl that explained most of the traditions and gave a very honest response to our questions.
No they are not fighting ;)
Our little guide in Goranu
It was very hard to discover some of the traditions and cultural customs. The girls are married very early, and most of these marriages are arranged by the parents.
They were worried about the lack of jobs and about the violence in the village. When asked about what were the biggest problems those we the answers, along with the discrimination.
We also asked what were the biggest issues regarding education. Again discrimination was one of the biggest problems.
Writing the typical Roma Recipes
We asked Helena to write us 3 typical Roma recipes. She gave us Sarmale, which is pork meat with cabbage; pork in the spit, that's well pork in the spit; and crema de Zahar, sugar cream with caramelized sugar on top. Sounds very good.
It's hard to understand what moves these communities, how they operate and why they always keep to themselves. Is it really discrimination or they actually want to preserve their culture and traditions? We believe it's a bit of both. Like in all societies there are some that would like to be completely integrated in the Romanian community and other that don't.
It's hard sometimes to accept some of their traditions and label them as such. Where I come from arranged marriages are a thing of the middle ages, nevertheless for them is completely normal.
The payment given by the grooms family to obtain the bride for us western countries is called women objectification and trafficking, but for them it's tradition.
The place of the women in the Roma society is also something that in occidental countries is seen as a breach in women rights, but in their community is the norm.
I know these are all hard questions to discuss, but we did came to this project to try and address them.
Give us some feedback, what do you think about this topic.
We'll be waiting!!