History

The Uzhgorod Roma community is located in capital of Transcarpathian region.
12.000 Roma live in this community and the Uzhgorod district.
More than 40.000 Roma live in Transcarpathian region.

Before the communist regime in Transcarpathian – installed in 1944 – Roma people were occupied with traditional activities. The large majority of Roma were musicians – around 46% of the total. Other professions were ironsmith, shoemaking, tailoring, wood carving.

Because of the communist ideologies, Roma were forced to give up their traditional occupations and were included in the centralized socialist economy. They were restricted to move from one place to another and were forced to stay at one place.
Due to the lack of work in Transcarpathia a lot of Roma had to migrate to Kazakhstan and Siberia, where they were assimilated.

At the present the new borders of the former Soviet Union new possibilities for them to move looking for a job. But because most Roma have lost their traditional roots they can‘t express themselves confidently now.

The lack of written Roma culture was partly compensated by the existence of an oral tradition.
But loosing contact with this tradition will weaken a Roma identity.
The loss of contact is due to several reasons like the former estate policy, shortage of economic support, etc. The loss of traditions means the loss of ethnic identity.
This is also shown in the fact that less and less young Roma people know how to speak their own language (for example in the Beregovo region Roma only speak Hungarian, in V.Berezny only Ukrainian).
The above mentioned factors put Roma people in the position to be endangered to lose their link to their own tradition, which today happens mostly for economical reasons.

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