Austria/Germany Day 6

In today’s morning session, Michael Stewart gave us a wonderful lecture about time of the Gypsies. He drew our attention to Romany communities in Hungary and Romania by presenting 8 questions. We were expected to enter the website called and encouraged to answer these questions anonymously.

For example, one of these questions is shown as below:

1. Whick of the following statement s is false? Romani language is a:

a. Creole

b. Indic language

c. Grammatically balkanic language

d. Not spoken in its country of origin

During the academic tutorial, our navigator Maria put forward 4 questions, and encouraged us to do a deep discussion. Firstly, we talked about whether Gypsies can be integrated into society. We looked at each other and most of us shook our heads, said no… Because they have different values from ours and there is no doubt that they value their community more. Secondly, we were informed that they don’t go to school because they don’t understand value society. In this situation, should we force them to be educated? One of our group member said we should not force anyone to do anything. I cannot agree more with her fantastic answer! Next, we were asked to think about if they were regulated by rules, should these rules be same or different? It’s a tricky question. Someone suggested that could keep some identity, but…Finally, we learnt that Gypsies don’t pay tax. The reason for this is they do not understand hierarchy, they don’t understand status and are not willing to give money to them. They believe in their community. In terms of our own opinion towards this behavior, we thought it was unfair.

At the end of tutorial, Maria showed us 2 short videos about Gypsies living in Northern Hungary and Germany respectively. In videos, I was astonished by their living condition, which was extremely poor.

Studying through today’s lecture and tutorial, now, I have a better understanding of Gypsies!

By Mengxia Xu


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