Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roma Gypsies (from Aaron)

As already discussed on the blog previously, there is a minority here in Hungary and most European countries that are Roma descent, also called Gypsies, and this race of people come from the Gypsies as we learned about them in school growing up.  Over the last centuries they wander around not really having homes and are nomadic.  Sam and Drew are Roma.  Today they are the poor minority of the Eastern European countries, they live in country villages, and make a good portion of the homeless you see in Debrecen, Budapest or Miskolc.   Lately, they have been greater tensions between the Gypsies and White Hungarians and it is related to economic conditions.  Tensions rise and fall with the economic condition in Hungary.  The tougher times are the more whites lash out at the gypsies for competing for jobs and living on government services. 

Sam and Drew are Gypsy children and no doubt they are the product of poor parents unable to hold work or make a living.   Kimbo and I have witnessed first hand the discrimination against gypsies.  Numerous times, people have looked at them looked at us and said “Gypsy”?  some have smiled but many have rolled their eyes and turned away quickly.  On the playground the other day, the little white kid were calling Sam and Drew “Gyp, Gyp, Gyp.”  The one that sticks with me the most is a lady who knew little English at a wine stand about 10 days ago.  She says, “are they gypsy?”  I said yes, and she made that “nnsstt” sound, “they r no good, ver r u frum?  I said Texas.  She said, “they r gypsy though.”  I said, “they won’t be gypsies when they get to Texas.”  I really didn’t know what else to say and that was it.  This event in particular left me feeling particularly uneasy.  I have oscillated since the beginning between being proud of injecting some diversity into our family and on the other hand, wondering why we are making ourselves vulnerable to racial incidents.  I am amazed that Hungarian people can identify who is a gypsy and who isn’t.  There are Hungarians who are dark complected dark hair that look white but could gypsy.  I don’t know.  After being here a while I think that Roma Gypsy people have a distinct eye color they are very dark / black, whereas dark complected dark haired Hungarians have blue or green eyes.   In my observation and in talking with people over the last 6 weeks.  I would say that this racism is much worse than any in the US.

It makes my heart hurt that they are discriminated against and it only makes me more motivated to raise these 2 boys strong and solid, and teach them to hold their own and contribute to society during their life. 
Sam and Drew, Texans Now

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Aaron! The kids can't help who their parents were and should be given every chance, like what you two are giving them. March on!!