Caught between Two Worlds: the Children from Gypsy and Romanian-Gypsy Families in Wallachia (1800–1860) Cover Image
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Caught between Two Worlds: the Children from Gypsy and Romanian-Gypsy Families in Wallachia (1800–1860)
Caught between Two Worlds: the Children from Gypsy and Romanian-Gypsy Families in Wallachia (1800–1860)

Author(s): Nicoleta Roman
Subject(s): History
Published by: Centrul de Studiere a Populaţiei
Keywords: childhood history; 19th Century; Romanian society; Gypsies; mixed families.

Summary/Abstract: Situated at the margins of society by their origin and status, the Gypsies had always represented a paradox as they send forth both attraction and rejection; sentiments that can be seen and traced not only with a foreigner's attitude, but also with the one of a Romanian. Until the first half of 19th Century, the society gave them a place in the social hierarchy as serfs (princely serfs, boyar serfs and monastery serfs), hardly ever discussing the possibility of a change. But things emerged in a different direction and laws for their emancipation and the improvement of their life conditions started to be on governments' agenda until they became a reality. We intend to follow in our study two main issues in order to re-create their image and childhood. First of all, what was their social status and how this status changed over time? Many of these children were serfs as their fathers and fallowed their families whenever they moved to one place to another. Still, one of their parents was a free person from juridical point of view; they and their parents wanted to expand this situation over them. So, how the family (parents and relatives) and the others (neighbours, authorities etc.) constructed their discourse around the child in order to achieve this goal? Secondly, we intend to see what were the alternatives the society gave them so that they could succeed in life? For, we must not forget they were treated differently both by Gypsies and Romanians alike and only the State and the Church could intervene to determine a change in mentality.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 63-86
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: English