Quotes from the work

Quotes from inside the french team in a big dutch company.

"remets tes chaussures, on est pas chez les roumains ici" (french manager to an agent)
("put back your shoes, we are not among the Romanians here")
Here "Romanians" has the meaning of Gypsies.

This sentence tell a lot, first thing that this manager is a complete asshole but more important it tells us how deeply rooted racism against gypsies is in French culture. I assume it is the same in other european cultures. I will always remember this Romanian truck driver (not gypsy), witch took me when hitchhiking, explaining me how great it was when Nicolae Ceaucescu (communist dictator of Romania) undertook a campaign of sterilization of Romanians gipsy women. But let's go back to France, a country I know better. If this manager had said "we are not among the Africans" it would have been fortunately seen as outrageous by anyone but things are different for Gypsies. We even don't see it as racism and this how you know how deeply rooted it is, when racist ideas are seen as an evidence, as a platitude.

As usual, this racism come with a complete ignorance of the subject. How know in France anything about the Yéniches, a group of travelers that you can especially find in Alsace (east of France) and witch speak their own language made of german dialects, romani and Yiddish? How know in France that the Gitans from Perpignan are some of the last catalan speakers in France? And then, how know that in this so-called "developed country" Gypsy slums exist, you can see them for example when you arrive in Paris by train. The French state totally fail to supply them with even the more basic services.

For french speakers: you can take a look on this interesting video reporting about a gypsy camp in France:

Then you can take a look on this video: http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=1bQmT1EM0Eg a musical battle between gypsy and klezmer musics. It come from a movie that I highly recommend, The train of life from Radu Mihăileanu.

I have other quotes but this is enough for today;)


sitarane's picture


Thanks René, this is the most senseful stuff that I have read on this site for long. And that is said on the subject in general.