Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Reader feedback: No easy answer

Re: Roma leaders warn of another exodus, News Shorts, Nov 18-23, Vol 9, No 44

I will be very curious to hear how the Roma assimilate in Britain. Based on [Isabel Fonseca's account of the development of Roma culture] Bury Me Standing, I don't have high hopes, but perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. I think that expecting them to assimilate, at least in the first generation or two, could be a bit naive. Also, it could be difficult to preserve Roma culture when some traditions might be at odds with societal norms. I would like to think there is a place for Roma in UK society (and in Slovak society), but as the world becomes increasingly homogenized, fast-paced, and pro-big business, it's hard to see what that place might be. According to period documents presented in Bury Me Standing, in the not too recent past, the Roma were bought and sold as slaves, and hunted as sport in Central Europe, to name some of the more extreme forms of persecution they suffered.Whenever you enslave people, and ensure that they don't benefit from the fruits of their own labour (not to mention breaking up family units by force), society as a whole suffers the repercussions for generations to come.

Expecting the oppressed minority to adopt the worldview and priorities of the majority over the space of a few generations is a bit unrealistic.

Amy, Baltimore,
USA

Top stories

When the state can’t keep a secret

A selective leak has tarnished President Kiska’s reputation. But he must continue to speak out about corruption.

President Andrej Kiska

Austria launches random checks close to Slovakia’s borders

Refugees are using new smuggling routes, according to the Austrian minister.

Illustrative stock photo

Unemployment rate continues to decline

The still steeper fall in unemployment could be curbed by the type of jobseekers, analysts opine.

Carmakers have already complained about the lack of qualified labour.

Coalition only agrees on how to talk. But what will they talk about?

Budget talks to decide on concrete policies. Danko wants airplanes, Fico wants better pay for nights and weekends.

Danko, Fico, Bugar.