DW documentary on Romanian children beggars  

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#atatsaputut: As busy as one gets, occasionally there is the old "something wrong on the internets" feeling, and that was triggered by this Deutsche Welle free documentary about Romanian Roma kids begging on the streets of Paris as well as in the Parisian Metro (subway / tube) and how the French and Romanian authorities are dealing with it. Ca de obicei, versiunea in romana a acestui articol pe FataCarte.

It's not a lot, but “atat s-a putut”.


screenshot of DW documentary with translation of 5 girls subtitled as 5 friendsBefore discussing what upsets me, I tried to look at any echoes of this issue in the larger press and added them below. I should look up the other 58 articles I wrote under the “romi” label/category, so that I don’t vent the same frustration repeatedly. I also need to do some kind of summary of this documentary, as I’m not sure that there is a Romanian translation and if there is, whether it’s accurate. This will take a long time, so rather than do all that, I will just dump my first impressions and thoughts and finish this article later – maybe with your help?

That’s really my first serious objection: within the first minute of the documentary, a witness (who is a Romanian Roma minor) testimony is subtitled as “Five friends” when what she is saying in Romanian is “5 feti” which means “5 girls” (with Moldovan pronunciation). One could argue that the translation makes sense in the context, but isn’t the viewer robbed of the truth?

That gets worse as the documentary progresses. There are significant portions where recordings between the gang “bosses” or parents are played and the language they speak is not Romanian – I am guessing that they are in the Roma / Gypsy language, which is completely different than Romanian (or maybe I no longer understand Romanian)? These portions are not identified as such, but are subtitled. This further confuses the average viewer, who doesn’t make a difference between Roma and Romanian to begin with. Moreover, if the Romanian translation (which I could check) is flawed, how can we know that the Roma –> English translation is accurate?

There is a recording of the interactions between Romanian and French “authorities”, where the Romanian party inquires about the incarceration of the Gypsy minors, and the French side responds through a flawlessly French-speaking woman subtitled with a Romanian name. She says that the French side is aware that they are breaking the Convention in incarcerating a minor but it was the best they could do. The answer is met with heavy silence on the Romanian side. Additionally, in the interactions between Romanian “authorities” and their French counterparts (cbc-fonc, cmdy-fonc) there seems to be a significant obsequiousness displayed by the former – it reminds me of what the narrator calls the “shame” shown by the Jews waiting in embassy lobbies for a visa in Transit (imdb, wiki).

The perennial problem with antiziganist discrimination in Romania and elsewhere

I have argued before here on paying kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to school so I won’t rehash that argument, but it’s a good answer to the question “how can we best help them” – see also how several bloggers answered in the tlon files. I’ve also written about differences, changing Romania’s name and more recently, the Saxony Police discriminatory letter.

In case you forgot or didn’t know, back in 2010 Prigoana tried to pass a law to change Roma’s name into “Gypsy” / “Zigeuner” / Tigan in Romania (see also Wikipedia) but it didn’t pass (ft-baseden) and Traian Basescu’s (of “Tiganca imputita” fame) dithering is remarkable:

Many politicians have also made some offensive statements against the Roma people, such as the president of that time Traian Băsescu, who, in 2007, called a Roma woman "stinky Gypsy". Later in 2020, during a TV show, Băsescu expressed objections about the use of the term "Roma" instead of "Gypsy", which according to him was "artificially created during the 90s" and "produces confusion with Romanians living abroad". He added that the Roma people created a bad image of Romania, and that the "(criminal) Gypsy groups need to understand that they cannot be tolerated with their way of life. Following these affirmations, the CNCD fined him.

In the meantime, a law against antiziganist discrimination was passed on January 4, 2021 (mf-romii, g4-legea, hn-inchisoare).

*(*This article is unfinished – it was scheduled to appear in the hope that it will be finished before, but since this message is here and until it is removed, the article is to be considered work in progress*)*.

Sources / More info: qui-eunwbgrs, pj-17scams, lcl-bgngprs, fr24-rmwhobeg, bbc-fromacdwn, dp-potrachem, oup-migration, cbc-fonc, cmdy-fonc, wiki-fonc, ft-baseden, protv-tigani, mf-romii, g4-legea, hn-inchisoare

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Saturday, February 20, 2021 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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