Breaking stereotypes- Romanians

Romanian Festival of Toronto, 2004

Romanian Festival of Toronto, 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you live in Europe, you know Romanians do not have a good reputation. At least in the media. They are shown as thieves, murderers and every little negative thing that happens in relation to them is put with big letters in the papers.

Moreover, they are often confused with Romani gypsies, due to probably the similarity of their names. If there is any news relating to a honest, working Romanian, he or she is shown usually working in a low paid job, such as a cleaner, babysitter or in the construction or waitressing area of work.

Even more than that, whenever they are mentioned in the media, the photos related to the article show people( most of the pictures show Romani gypsy) living in poor conditions, such as tents.

However, if you look for positive coverage of Romanians in the European media, you will not find any.

This is the  typical of media stereotyping (just like Muslims, Africans and other social categories are shown), to show a category exaggerated, sketched, from a negative point of view. More than that, the stories are often presented  from one side of view, and rarely researched from different angles.

Here are some of the newspaper titles

1.Romanian gangs are ‘flooding London with pickpockets, prostitutes and beggars’ ahead of Olympic Games

2.Shanty town on a suburban London street: Romaniansscrape a living amid squalor of dump

3.We’re on our way to Britain: A year from now up to 29m Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to settle in Britain and claim benefits. And these gypsies in the slums of Sofia can hardly wait…

4.The Roma gipsy beggars of Park Lane: 30 Romanians camp out with soiled duvets and cardboard boxes in exclusive London street

5.Fury as Romanians who stole £50,000 church lead escape prison sentences

One of the titles of this articles claims also a ridiculous fact- the fact that 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians might move in the UK. So, they claim the population of two whole countries will get up, leave their houses and everything and move, leave two countries desert, in a time where there is no war or danger for them to move. The harm in this type of articles is that they provoke racism, hatred and perhaps even violent reactions.

In conclusion, this is how Romanians are shown in the media

1. Thieves

2. Immigrants who steal jobs

3. Poor and uneducated

However, if you do a bit of research you will find out that

1. Most of them are normal every day people, who enjoy their lives, like me and you.

If you think about any population of any country, you have to assume there are a certain number of honest hard working people, just like there will be a number of dishonest people. However, they can’t be all thieves and liars, can they?

2. Immigration is not a new fact.

In fact if you look into history, immigration was found to be as old as 70.000 years ago. People always immigrated in order to look for better lives, due to economical reasons, climate change and political reasons. Not only people from poor countries migrate, but also people from  highly developed countries migrate to study, for work, travel or experience new cultures.

3. Most Romanian immigrants have graduated from highschool and universities ( see this link for reference), though they will still choose lower paid jobs compared to the locals.

In conclusion, I would recommend to no get on the bandwagon of bad media and to try to search for more information, give people more credit and believe there is plenty of good in all people, no matter of race, nationality or gender.

Here’s a video about Romania, made by a British guy.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bbeatriicee
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 21:10:58

    After reading & hearing a lot of negative comments , as a Romanian in England , thank you for looking beyond the surface . Great post !

    Reply

    • Happy Telegram
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 21:02:58

      Thank you for your comment bbeatriicee! I am trying to look beyond what the media says. I feel nowadays media is truly racist and discriminatory and I am surprised most people see it as normal! They really encourage hate against innocent people. It is what we could call bullying.

      Reply

  2. xbox2121
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 16:10:21

    Ok I have to admit this is the first WordPress blog I have seen without a like button, why is that ?

    Reply

    • Happy Telegram
      Nov 21, 2013 @ 17:56:18

      Oh, I’ve made some technical changes in the past and I’ve must have not realised that I took it off by mistake. Usually I got my posts liked from the Reader I guess. Thank you for telling me. I will look into it!

      Reply

      • xbox2121
        Nov 22, 2013 @ 13:44:54

        I was using the reader and if you like it on the reader and click through to the site like you are supposed to your like button still didn’t show up. I don’t see how it is possible you are getting any likes at all since you made those changes, you might want to look at your stats page ?

      • Happy Telegram
        Nov 24, 2013 @ 21:34:36

        Thanks for telling me. I think I managed to solve the problem. I think…

  3. Trackback: French Muslim travels the world to combat stereotypes on Islam | happytelegram

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