ALEXANDRU ISTRATE (Ia � i, Romania) ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF THE GYPSIES Two main theories seem to have become dominating in the discussions regarding the problem of ethnic groups lately. , The first theory is the universal one; it states that ethnic differentiation must be considered and understood as the result of the past history characteristics of a certain mentality. Today modem man considers himself to be a citizen of the world. , The second theory is the ethnicist one; it has been defined as promoting a nationalist policy whose main aim is the affirmation of traditional ethnic models and imposing a certain way of life and of thought. The result of this policy has been found to be emphasizing ethnic differences on the level of collective mentality, and accentuation of reciprocal intolerance and conflicts.' 1 Analysis of an ethnic group should account for some factors which represent the basis for any population: language, cultural traditions, folklore, way of living. Why these very factors? .. Angus Fraser, the author of the book about the Gypsies, considers that almost all he knows about the earlier history of the Gypsies comes from linguistics. It has been repeatedly stated that the
Southeastern Europe – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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