Posted by: adrianbalan | August 29, 2009

Romania, Roma, Racism and Madonna

First refferences of Roma people appear in Romanian teritory around 15 cetury. A big part of them were slaves in Romania before the abolition on the slavery between 1833 and 1854( the movement movement to abolish slavery was a gradual process with first important movements at the end of the 18th century, which ended in England and France around 1848, and in US in 1865).

And this wdnesdqy (26 august 2009) Madonna had a concert in Bucarest. 60000 people assisted. And she tried to launch a tolerance message . The crowd responded in a shamefull way … they booooed her. Why ? They her message as a reproach … as she was accusing them of being racist. Well, just a part of the crowd responded by boooing …. let’s say 20%. But this is enough. Because this is the answer of somebody who doesn’t accept criticism and his guilt.

As a Romanian I know very well what’s happening in romania. At least 10 to  20% don’t like Romas. Why ? There are multiple answers, some more motivated (“i’ve been robbed 2 times by romas”), but the vast majority just because they have been thought by their parents or their friends that Romas are more often prone to stealing and robery.

I happend to see some otherwise very educated and usually nice persons who manifested straghtforward adversty towards Romas. Imagine that i have friends with high moral standards, except for the Roms. I asked them, how they can be fair in most cases, but totaly hate the roms. And they said they know it’s not right, but that tehy cannont help it : they had been educated from young age  to think that and they don’t want , or cannot change.

So a part of the romanians are racist toward Romas. And they don’t accept that. And the are offended that they are called racists.

Well, there is an important  part of the romanians which are nont racist(i hope that more than 90%. But this part never stand out, they won’t boo when acused of racism, so you’ll never notice them.

I hope that better education will get this 90% to 100% … and soon.



  1. Yes, i’m one from many others who had booed Madonna at his concert, and i was part of 10% from the crowd who act promptly at his declaration, the others felt the same thing but they was more polite. This is the Romanian way of character, we are too damn’ polite, instead to leave her alone by herself to sing without any audience. Who the hell she think she are ? Mother Teresa? She doesn’t live here with us in Romania, where gipsies are thriving… Ofcourse are many poor gipsies in this country, but also exist poor Romanians who doesn’t steel, who doesn’t beg. The problem with the gipsies is that they are aloud, they cry all the time about extremism, about racism. As we all know, in other parts of Europe the gipsies are burned if they rape or steal. In this country they are put to jail, where they belong and where they stay for a short period of time, then they run in other country and scream about discrimination. There was no gipsies at the concert, they enjoy another kind of music called “manele”, a mixt between bollywood music with oriental rythm. If she is so concerned about gipsy’s life, why don’t she just adopt (adopt = buy) some gipsy children and take them with her in Europe. They will spoil her sensible image for good.
    I will throw away my audio CD with Madonna, and probably it will be picked up from garbage from a gipsy and he will put it at the rear mirror from his stealing car.

    • Well … I just accepted this comment to give an example of a romanian who doesn’t accept that is a rasist … even though this one is. Sorry 😦

      • well done! no Romanian will admit that we live in a racist, egocentric society with an overdosis stupidity! alina

  2. Hello Adrian–I just wanted to say I appreciated your blog very much. My wife and I are American but we lived in Romania for two years, between 2006 and 2008, and we were frequently appalled not only by many Romanian’s overt racism toward Roma but also the denial that they themselves were being racist. Indeed, among some Romanians racism seemed to be an accepted truth rather than a shameful opinion. I remember people constantly telling me that “Gypsies” were Romania’s misfortune and the probable reason why Romanians have a bad reputation throughout Europe. However, as an outsider to the Romanian culture, I would say that the problem isn’t merely the presence of the Roma or the inclination of some Roma to steal, but the racist attitudes some Romanians harbor toward the Roma :these attitudes more than anything else make tourists uneasy.
    Of course we sadly acknowledge that America or any place else is not innocent when it comes to racism. And I wanted to say that during our stay in Romania, we also met several very warm and hospitable Romanians without hate or ill will to others who, to me, represent the true spirit of Romania. Lastly, we love Romania culture and food, and though we acknowledge that Romania has had a difficult past, we believe Romania can positively change public opinion throughout Europe by expressing this seemingly innate kindness while living side by side with Roma.

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