1. TOGETHER I would begin by making a point I find important. My belief is that, were the school children to study ethnology, too, besides the other subject matters, people would learn from an early age to consider their own culture as a variant in a world of variants. Respect for the culture of another ethnic group is the first step toward the acknowledgement of difference.
In 1990, among the first projects for the permanent exhibitions of the Romanian Peasant's Museum, we planned a room called "Interchanges". It would have been a presentation of "quotations" from the cultures of the ethnic groups that have been and still are living on the territory of Romania. The purpose would have been to demonstrate that the Romanian peasant has not lived by himself in the forests and fields, but mostly among people who speak other languages, and have other cultural coordinates and values. Whole centuries of living together have naturally engendered a wealth of exchanges and influences. The trivial idea suggested by the phrase "this one took things from that one" betrays an unmotivated frustration. Everyone took and everyone gave, that's how it is, no matter where.
We did realize, back then, in 1990, how difficult the project would be. The question of interchanges had long been a taboo subject; comparative research has been given up for half a century; and the museum collection lacks samples of the cultures of some ethnic groups. Eleven years later, in 2001, we resumed the idea of an interethnic exhibition, at the stimulating suggestion of a friend of the museum, who helped us find a way to receive the necessary financial support. There wasn't much time. We started by enriching the collections. We thought of a museologic discourse and museographic project that should speak of what "Together" means. The message we wish to transmit is that the people who created and used the exhibited objects lived together. This is, therefore, an "unfederalized" exhibition, where the objects mingle, just as people did. The ethnic groups represented in the collection as we have compiled it are portrayed in the following images: -----Photo-----
2. THE ROMANY A temporary one-year exhibition within the Museum of the Romanian Peasant; it will eventually set out on an itinerant tour through the country and abroad. This exhibition will inaugurate a hall that, in the years to come, will host exhibitions dedicated to the cultures of the ethnic groups in Romania.
For a presentation of the "Romany" exhibition we have not resorted to images, which would have undoubtedly been a spectacular sight. We have chosen instead two written documents. The one is the text of the presentation panel and its author is Serban Anghelescu. The other is a record of biographical fragments from the life of a gravedigger with thirteen children, by Ciprian Voicila.   The Rromas of Romania. A Historical Account Preliminary note: The ethnonym "Rom" was proposed during the inter-war period by the Gypsy leaders who promoted a redefinition of their ethnic identity. The original meaning is of "Roman" - inhabitant of the Byzantine Empire and inheritor of Romanity. In this text we will pay due respect to the will of those who call themselves "Romany" or "Rromas", but we will also choose a faithful rendition of the quotes in which the word "Gypsy" appears. The 14th century witnessed the emergence of those whom, two centuries later, Cervantes was to call the kings of fields and forests, of mountains and springs: the Rromas. In the Byzantine Empire, they received the name of a dualist sect: Athinganos or Atsinganos. This is the source of the ethnonym "Gypsy" (Rom. "tzigan"). Their migration undoubtedly began in India and followed a route that the linguists were able to establish thanks to the words borrowed by the Rroma idioms. The trajectory of the migratory groups includes Persia, Armenia, the Byzantine Minor Asia, Tracia, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Vallachia, Transylvania, and Moldavia. In the 15th century a written document recorded the presence of the Rromas in Central and Western Europe. The host peoples called the newcomers by different names, relating to their supposed origin: Saracens, Gypsies, Gitanos, Zingars, Zigeuner, Tartars. The new presence of the Rromas in Europe is the final act of the Asian migrations, with a specific difference: this final wave was formed neither of shepherds nor of warriors.
 In 1385, Voyvod Dan I of Vallachia donated the possessions of the Vodita Monastery to the Tismana Monastery. The donation bill mentioned 40 dwellings of "atzigan" slaves and has remained to this day the oldest document that certifies the existence of the Rromas in Romania. Romanian historians have given up the long-promoted hypothesis that related the presence of the Rromas on Romanian territories to the Mongol conquests. According to this theory, the Rromas, slaves of the Tartars, passed under the dominion of the Romanians - a first stratum, formed in the 12th century, to which another stratum, coming from the South of the Danube, was added in the following century. The admitted fact today is that the successive Gypsy waves moving toward Europe, which probably started out in the 9th century, reached our continent independently from the Mongol armies. Whether initially they were slaves or free people, the Gypsies were first documented as slaves when they settled on Romanian territory. Generally speaking, the classification of the slaves abided by the juridical criterion of possession. There were, therefore, function of either laic or religious mastery, slaves of the court, of the boyars, or of the monasteries. The first class, the slaves of the court, nourished the other two by way of donation. The forbidden, yet actually enacted, weddings between slaves of different classes, together with the fugitives from one master to another, further complicate the picture of belongingness. The marriage of free men to monastery female slaves or of free women to monastery male slaves gave birth to new slaves, since the free partners were thereby enslaved and their status was transmitted as such to the offspring. The criterion of mobility in physical space divided the Rromas into sedentary and nomads. Nomadism should not be understood as wandering, as random change of direction, but, on the contrary, as moving along relatively established routes, either national or international, sometimes marked by signs that the initiate knew how to decipher. Finally, the third type of classification is concerned with the criterion of the professions and occupations, as variable in time in space. We should also take note of the double criterion of dwelling and habitation. There were, in the peasant milieu, Rromas inhabiting dwellings at the periphery of the village, tents in between the villages and huts by the forest skirt. What was it, generally speaking, to be a Rroma during the Romanian feudal times? The slaves had fiscal obligations depending on the category of belongingness: related to the court, monastery or to the boyars. The slaves' duties to their masters covered a wide range of occupations, some of which we will mention here, without attempting to use any ordering criteria: they were goldsmiths, blacksmiths, sieve makers, spoon makers, cooks, gardeners, fiddlers, cart drivers, bakers, barbers, tailors, masons, brick makers. It was possible that the Rroma families be separated by their masters. In order to be exempted from their duties, they could choose to become slaves. For instance, the "daughter of Baboi the Gypsy, the Gypsy woman of Gheorghe the Gypsy" was sold to master Mihalache and her freedom exchanged for two mares and their colts, which she owed to Stan the Gypsy. Stan the creditor, himself a slave, had sold away the debtor. The punishments were often toned down by the master's need to keep their slaves. The Rromas' medieval bands were led by an elected judge who solved the cases of internal litigation and collected the taxes. The head (vataf, bulucbasa or bulibasa) appointed as such by the boyar/prince, administrated the regional professional bands, but the superior forms of organization that included the bands was dictated by the state. State control was performed through the agency of Romanian officers called cnezi, vatafi or vornici for the Gypsies.
 In 18th-century Transylvania, the imperial decrees passed by Maria Teresa and Joseph II envisaged a systematic annihilation of the Rroma ethnic identity and the transformation of the members of that ethnic group into "new peasants", "new Hungarians" or "new Banatians". With rare exceptions, the policy of forced assimilation failed.
 Toward the middle of the 19th century, the young Romanians, educated in Central and Western Europe, came to perceive slavery as a social stigma. If the Rromas were living in a primitive, uncivilized state, the fact was due to the primitivism of the state, to an official savagery that isolated the principalities. Synchronization with the civilized states required the abolition of slavery. The laws passed in 1844, 1845, 1847, 1855 and 1856 emancipated the slaves of the villages, monasteries and the personal slaves. As the rhetoric of the time would have it, the militants for liberation cried with joy and shattered the chains of slavery, while the liberated men were shedding streams of tears and were urged, on a poetic note, to revel and rejoice "madly". The primordial equality of divine creation was reestablished. The liberation of the slaves was nevertheless conducive to an unexpected result. If the legislators hoped for a good insertion of the liberated men in the society of the time, the incipient capitalism that was threatening traditional crafts and the refusal of the Rroams to settle down made them migrate first to the neighboring countries, and then to Western European countries. The freedom of movement, granted by law, triggered a vast movement with no return, much beyond the borders of the state.
 In inter-war Romania, the Rromas' traditional ways of life came under the attack of an economic and cultural configuration that demanded either integration or dissolution; yet, there were still groups that remained nomad, and refused to settle down. As a matter of fact, even today, the streets of Bucharest witness the reemergence of unexpected occupations, of an anachronous flavor.  Modulated shouts of Rroma hardware collectors, driving their carts down the streets. Rroma jewelers, the "ring-makers", working silently on the curbs of the periphery.
Inter-war Rroma intellectuals started rival national associations and unions that sought to strengthen their ethnic identity by means of institutions such as the Gypsy University, the Gypsies' Museum, union trades, etc. On the other hand, the same programs included the abolishment of nomadism by means of colonization, which meant the abandonment of an archaic identity. Against these tendencies of integration, the inter-war Romanian racists condemned the equalitarian state policy and demanded ethnic separation, internment of the Gypsies in labor camps, and sterilization, which would lead to the disappearance of the Rroma ethnic group within the course of one generation. Marshal Ion Antonescu ordered the deportment of "undesirable" Rromas to Transnistria. About 25,000 Rromas were to endure beastly life conditions in the places of their exile. Half of them died of hunger and frost.
 Early communism produced a Rroma up-sweep, in keeping with the implicit or explicit revolutionary principle of social up turning. The appointment of the marginals in central positions, such as the mayoralty or the repressive apparatus, abode by a carnivalesque sort of logic that the communist authorities were soon to abandon. In towns, there was a dispersal of the Rromas who had been colonized in peripheral areas, but after 1989, the processed is reversed. Recent, post-communist history appears to resume the old polarized, essentially romantic, perception of the Rromas. Ever since the Middle Ages, the Rromas have been regarded as a people or peoples on the borderline between the human and the extra-human. Placed at the margin of the "civilized" societies, the Rromas had easy access to magic and divination. Devoid of social prominence, their power lay in their vocation and skill to communicate with the worlds of the beyond, with the animals and the plants. Even as slaves, they could embody in the eyes of the others absolute freedom, bordering on anomie. Today, the polarity persists in reversed terms: the absolute poverty of some of the Rromas, in contrast with the richness and fabulous power of other Rromas. Obviously, this latter perception qualifies both reality and the myth. We need to maintain the middle ground of normality, in the face of a powerful scenario that constantly associates deficit with excess. Let us remember the fantastic tale of the shaggy and stooping beggar who could carry the world on the tip of her fingers, and we will understand that the European collective imaginary has projected its fears and fascinations onto the Rromas, and has mythified their ethnic race before trying to form a rational image of it, as we claim to do today. Bibliography ACHIM, Viorel, 1998, Tiganii în istoria României (The Gypsies in Romanian History), Bucuresti, Editura Enciclopedica (A fundamental source. Our text is faithful to its structure, information and balanced interpretations).
 BLOCH, J., 1953, Les Tsiganes, Paris.
BLOCK, Martin, Moeurs et coutumes des Tsiganes
BOIA, Aurel, 1938, "Integrarea tiganilor din Iant (Nasaud) în comunitatea româneasca a satului" (Integration of the Rromas of Iant, Nasaud, into the Romanian Community of the Village), in Sociologie româneasca III, nr. 7-9, pp. 351-365.
CHELCEA, Ion, 1944, Tiganii din România. Monografie etnografica (The Gypsies of Romania. Ethnographic Monograph), Bucuresti.   A Regular Romany I am a thoroughbred Romany of Baicoi. Born into a family of Gypsy stove-makers. We own our land and have our own home, we don't loiter here and there. Our forefathers were blacksmiths and horseshoe makers. I cannot speak Gypsy, for there was no one to teach me. Mother did not learn it, and neither did grandmother? I didn't go to school. I only graduated four forms here in Brebu. I could not afford to continue. And whatever I did in my life, I listened to my conscience.
I was born on May 8th 1944 in Baicoi. They put me in the "trenches" and had to walk on all four like a dog. I almost froze to death. They brought me to Brebu, and asked Stanca Ioanii to heal me. And she did, with leaves and potions, so I was able walk again, and still am. My mother, Radu Elena, died in 1977.
When I turned 27, I got married. My wife sees to the household. She does the cleaning and cooking, and everything. After I got married, the children started to pour in. That's how it's supposed to be, isn't it? You need to make children. So we did. Thirteen of them. Their names? Nicoleta, Ion, Emil, Angela Maria, Atena Vasilica, Lacramioara, Elena Gabriela, Gheorghe, Daniel Vasile, Catalina, Mihaela, Isabela, and Adelina Mihaela. Then there are the nephews. Six of them from my eldest daughter, two from Elena Gabriela, three from Angela Maria and four from Atena Vasilica. I'm raising two of them, one of Angela's and one of Vasilica's.
All my children are christened, without exception. When they are six weeks old, you have them christened, there's no way you can avoid that! I took them right to the church. I don't even think of having my children put on shoes. The moment they start to make their first steps, out in the snow! That's a healthy child. I don't want to hear of cuddling and wrapping in coats and furs. Out in the street, barefooted! I thank God none of my kids was ever ill. I had enough trouble myself, enough suffering, my children needn't know of it. When my last nephew was born, I took her out naked and with bare feet. Come on, kiddy, I said, let me show you something outside. I took her out and put her in the snow. I kept an eye on the watch and let her there for five minutes. It's cold out here, grandpa! All right, now you go inside. But not near the stove. Get in bed and stay there. You should see them now, running through cold water, and nothing to fear!
I married my woman when she was fifteen. She already had a child. She's got a kid, Gicuta, people said. Fine, I said, I'll raise her. She had a five-month daughter. I raised her and at some point a relative of my wife's from Valea Doftanei came to me and said, will you let her help me in the field, Gicuta? I can do that, of course I can, but don't keep her till I have to come and take her back, or you're in big trouble! I spoke with my wife. It's your decision, I said, she's your daughter. But you'll be crying after her. And that's how it was. A month passed, two months, three, four, five, a whole year. The girl was not coming back. Woman, I said, what will you do about the girl? What can we do, she said, I'll go and fetch her. Don't be silly, I said, you don't even know how to write your name, I'll go, OK? On Friday I got my salary. I told them I wanted the Saturday off, and I went.
I left on Friday evening, after I'd got my money. I arrived in Bucharest. I had to wait until two in the morning, when the train to Calarasi was scheduled. It was already four in the morning when I arrived in Calarasi. Now what? There was no bus or anything? I asked the stationmaster where Ostrov was. Good Lord, he said, there's no bus until seven in the morning. Where do I wait till seven? It's better I go on foot. I made sure I had my papers on me and a lady showed me the road that went straight to Ostrov. You go down to the river and wait for the ferry, she said.
It was 8:20 when I reached the place and made it just in time for the ferry. I was starving. There were fishmongers on the bank and I went to one of them and asked how much the fish was. He said he had to weigh the pieces on a scale. Very well, I said. Fifteen pennies a piece. Will you have cornbread and garlic sauce with it? I'll have everything you give me to eat, and here's the money. So I ate. Tell me, what do I do to get on the other bank? No big deal, he said, there's a ferry that carries people and cars. After I ate I went there. I could see the cars driving in on both sides. I was right in the middle, sitting on some kind of bench, together with some other people. The boatman came and asked for the money. How much is it? One leu. The ferry set sail and the moment we crossed the border I saw military men. ID! I took out the papers, here you are. Is there any transportation to Farm no. 6? None, he said, you have to walk. Or else you wait for these trucks that go to load the grapes. It's no use waiting, I said, so I set out on foot. 35 kilometers. I was still on the road when it got really dark. I was in the middle of the field, there were no more houses on either side of the road. Where do I sleep, now? Fields and vineyards to the left and to the right, as far as the eye could see. Since I've come so far, what can I do, I'll rest a bit on the side of the road. I had two loaves of bread in my bag, I cut about four bunches of grapes with my knife and started eating. A keeper passed by. What's your business, man? No business, I said, it's night and I can't go further, I'll just stay here and rest till daybreak. OK, but watch the badgers. Lord, I said, at least I have my lantern. I took out the lantern and my cigarettes. I lit a cigarette. Another keeper passed by. What's up? I'm just smoking a cigarette and resting. Watch the badgers. I'm fine, I said, I'm not afraid. Watch the cigarette too, you don't want to set the field on fire. I'm not such a fool, I said, I'll be OK. I smoked my cigarette. I looked to the right, I looked to the left, and turned the lantern on. I could hear no rustling. I fell asleep. I slept for an hour or two. A noise startled me and I got up. It was three in the morning and I thought I saw a truck light. Actually it was the boat, heading for Constanta. At twenty to five, I decided to move. I reached the road and waved at one of those trucks. I'm not going there, the truck driver said, I'm going to Farm no. 10. Which way do I go, then? See that church? I do. Well, when you reach that church, you turn right and walk to that vineyard hill. So I did. At twelve I was there. And then? There was no one there to ask for directions, everyone was out in the fields. I reached the farmyard. There was an old keeper. Good day, I said. Good day. Tell me, are there any people from Prahova around here? Well, there is one with them. But you can only speak with him tonight, he's too far away. You can walk till six o'clock and might not even get there.
I went to the barracks and entered the dorm. The man's wife was there. When she saw me, she said, good gracious, Gica! I could expect death sooner than ever to see you around here. Woman, I said, have I not told your husband not to keep my daughter too long? Nothing to do, Gicuta, he's short of money. He took every penny from your daughter and bought a horse? I won't hear of it, he took my child. I give him the money and have my kid back. Or else I go to the cashier and freeze all their money. I went out? Just in time to talk with t