There were only about 1000 Roms after the recovery of Czechoslovakia when the war ended. However, within a few years there were 15 000 Roms who immigrated from Slovakia, Balkans: a few German Sinti and Vlach Romanies. Up to this day they have still got family binds with their original European homelands.

They were not perceived as an original ethnic group. They were to assimilate with the majority. On the one hand, Romanies felt these changes are for the better, on the other hand, they could not accept the fact that they should change. This feeling has lasted for centuries. Many of the Moravian Romanies have changed after the tragedies of the war where many of them died. Only more educated individuals were able to assimilate, the others did not find gagio trustworthy enough.

Government focused on their problems with housing, unemployment and school attendance. Among other reasons they went to Bohemia for earnings and better living conditions. One Rom remembers: ”In Bohemia they call me Mr. Baláž. Where we lived before they called us just gypsies and they always addressed us only by our first name.” Some of them came to safe money for a new house they wanted to build ”back home” and wipe gagio’s eyes. This post-war migration had nothing to do with nomadism, it was a historical change, new attitude of Romanies. And also new attitude of the others to Roms. From villagers became inhabitants of towns and cities.
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The interest in their traditional craftsmanship gradually passed away, they were mostly doing manual labour and other work which did not require education and qualification.
Let’s not forget that they did a similar type of work in their homeland, which was the reason why they left it a long time ago… However, they had no choice now!
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Moreover there was an act in Czechoslovakia since 1957 which prohibited nomadizing in the country. Actually they became settlers over one night. They dismounted wheels from their caravans, they pitched their tents and they lost the keystone of romipen.
In spite of dramatic situation after WW II when some of the well-meant changes of the majority and its bureaucracy turned out to be quite awkward, romipen survived. In the previous centuries Romanies lived off the society because they did not have a job to make decent living. And when they got it their attitude to work was rather lax. The principles of pativ and ladž say that bluffing gagio is praiseworthy! That is why they also counted their working hours very well, so that they could get family allowance. They paid so much attention and energy to disability and social pensions. That is why they tried to get so many advantages and supports. And possibly immediately! They could hardly adapt the morals of the majority, at the same time they were gradually loosing their own integrity, the strongest power of romipen, which enabled them to survive for ages.

Suddenly new elements which had nothing to do with romipen appeared: children, which meant everything for Roms, were suddenly put away to children’s homes, prostitution started to spread, which would have been unthinkable before, etc. Romipen suffered.

Governing parties in Central and Eastern Europe did not make the effort to get to know Romanies, their opinions and their understanding of life. Maybe they did, but with a little success. They made them do what they felt was right in the first place. And they spent a lot of financial resources in order to do that. Then they blamed Romanies for the consequent failure. One proverb is very true here: Te maňušes cirden zoraha kijo lačhipen, na pataĺ, jak oda lačhipen. (When a man is pushed by violence to do good, he does not believe it is good anymore.)

New waves of migrating Romanies made things even worse. It lead to devastation of flats, even new buildings. It seemed like the historical scare of Joseph II (Second Herod) was rooted deeply in Roms’ minds: persistent resentment of school attendance, children skipped lessons and some of them did not even start school. Special schools were gradually filled with more and more Romany children with very little knowledge. Their educational process mostly finished with the end of compulsory education.

There was no qualification, only very few Romanies finished obtaining higher education. On the other hand, their birth-rate was much greater than by the majority.

Fortunately Roms found a solution.
The First World Congress of Romanies took place in England in 1971. They agreed on a Romany flag. It comprises of a bottom green stripe which represents nature, blue stripe stands for sky. Red wheel with sixteen fellies is in the middle. The same symbol stands on the flag of India. It symbolizes their old homeland. They have also agreed on a Romany anthem. It is a song of Yugoslav Roms Opre Roma (Rise up, Romanies) arranged by Jarko Jovanovič.
The Congress refused the name gypsy and agreed on the name Rom which means a man.
World Romany Union was set up. Slobodan Berki from Yugoslavia became its leader. They worked out an educational program, unified grammar and a program against racism.

039 The 2nd Congress in Geneva in 1978 agreed on a new name: International Romani Union (Romano maškarthemutno jekhetaňiben). Dr Ján Cibula, a man from Klencov, Slovakia became its leader. Today he lives in Switzerland. 040 The 3rd Congress was in 1981 in Göttingen, Germany. World meeting of Romanies took place two years later in Čandigarta. They were personally welcomed by Indian prime minister Indíra Gándhí.

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At the 4th Congress Dr Rajko Djurič from Yugoslavia was elected a President and Dr Emil Ščuka, native from Štrbam, Slovakia became a general secretary. Romani representatives together with honorary President of the Romani Union and a famous actor Yula Brynner asked for counselling status at U.N.O.

Already in 1979 International Romani Union got the status of a standing observer in Economic and Social Committee, U.N.O. In 1993 they gained B status and became a non-political member of the organization. Prof Ian Hancock represents Roms at meetings in New York. His grandparents came from Hungary.

Can there be any better testimonies of the success of romipen? However, they should not reject knowledge of today’s world and never underestimate the role of education. Paradoxically most of the leaders of Romani activities comes from the former Austria-Hungary, where Joseph II insisted on a compulsory school attendance. Maybe ancestors of these Roms have not called him ”the second Herod”.

And what about their prospects in the 3rd millennium?

Romanies lost their identity with romipen almost completely. And so they can hardly live the life they used to live before as beautiful, proud, uneducated but wise people such as in ”Romanies go to heaven”. It is just not enough in today’s world.
People have to respect others in order to be respected.
Respect is a mutual issue, it is a partnership. One can respect only those who enrich the others and not those who cause troubles.
In the third millennium information is what matters. One can hardly do without education!
You can live and find your home anywhere in the world. But there will always be the same question asked: What can you offer?
(J. F. Kennedy: Do not ask what the state can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for the state!)

And therefore: Study, dear citizens! It doesn't mather which origin and cultural background you are! If you start learning you will discover the world of other cultures yourselves and will understand it better. And then make decisions.