Page: 70-86 Author: ŠEVČÍKOVÁ, S. Key words: Roma fairytales, values of the Roma, family, romipen, self-definition of Roma
The aim of the texts presented is to understand the self-definition of Roma through their values in Roma fairy-tales and to interpret these from the perspective of their potential use by the helping professions in work with the Roma minority. The research goal of the study is posed as follows: What is the self-definition of Roma in Roma fairytales? Self-definition is explored on the basis of naming important Roma values: 1. Romipen – roma-ness, the lot of being a Roma, the Roma law that bears and moulds Roma identity. Then 2. Community, the wider family and “fajta”, which in a distinctive way forms the identity and self-image of members of the Roma minority by its rules for this extended family order. And subsequently, 3. The nuclear family, children and the patriarchal arrangement of the family, which creates the source for the self-definition of the human being. These values were identified in the academic literature and literature by Roma authors and, with these values as a prism, a content analysis of 143 selected Roma fairy-tales in which these values can be found has been carried out. The results of the content analysis point inter alia to the self-definition of Roma as moral people, who admonish themselves not to commit bad actions, and who are aware that the rules of human co-existence apply to all human beings in the world, and as people who should live in peace with their surroundings. The research brought valuable findings that will help us to grasp the Roma perception of Roma identity, the broader family and nuclear family, and enable us to understand and works with the indomitability of this minority by strengthening justified pride in the Roma tradition of communicated values.
The final section of the article includes critical reflections on the understanding of the life situation above all of socially excluded Roma, i.e. the situation “here and now”, offering an existential approach using the concepts of ontological security, or rather insecurity, which the author has identified as key for the current life situation of socially excluded Roma. She argues that the social exclusion of Roma is presently in a modus in which the Roma are unable to trust the majority, and this should be regarded as a challenge to critical self-reflection and work on the indomitability of the socially excluded Roma on the road to the gradual achievement of personal fulfilment and integration into majority society.
Dipl.-Theol. Univ. Stanislava Ševčíková, Ph.D., Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Joštova 10, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org