2014 | 2 | 225-236
Article title

Kultura czy kultury? Różnorodność Romów w Polsce

Title variants
The intrinsic diversity of the Roma in Poland
Languages of publication
For centuries Roma have lived in various political and economic environments, as well as in environments that are culturally diverse. They are a minority group in every place in which they are present. That is why their socio-economic circumstances have always depended and still depends on the majority context. The status of this minority group results also in the fact that the culture of Romani groups – communities so culturally different from the majority groups amongst which they live – is in danger of dispersion or even disappearance in the majority context. Furthermore, existing as a minority within particular societies has influenced and still strongly influences the great diversity of the Roma as far as language, way of life, customs, professions and religion are concerned. And because of this diversity it is inappropriate to talk about one primal or exemplary Romani culture, but rather, about cultures of the Roma communities. There are no universal riteria that would be useful in describing the diversity of all of the Roma. Their presence in a given country is linked to adaptive processes of the majority society. It is the majority that creates the conditions and space to which minorities need to adapt somehow. The results of the adaptive processes also vary and depend on an external context. The attitude of given populations towards minorities and the current political and economic situation of a given country in which the Roma settled had and still have significant influence on the abovementioned processes. The way of life of different Romani groups also holds great importance, because a sedentary way of life (typical for most European Roma) and external influences especially on culture and models of lifestyle have also furthered the adaptive processes. Cultural diversity among the Roma is present not only among groups living in different countries. It needs to be emphasized that Roma who have lived in one country for centuries are not a homogenous group in terms of their culture. Previous migration processes and a sedentary or nomadic way of life have had a great influence on this internal diversity. In Poland, with four distinguishable Romani groups, such diversity occurs between Carpathian Roma (Bergitka Roma, Polish Highlander Roma) and traditionally nomadic groups: Polska Roma, Lovara, and Kelderari. This article is based mainly on available sources and dissertations on the subject. However, it also refers to field research regarding the use of European Union funds for the Roma community in Poland, which was conducted by the author in 2010 and 2011.
Physical description
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Document Type
Publication order reference
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