The Impact of Soviet Perspective

The reading for today shed light on a population within parts of the Soviet Union who experienced conflicting views on their identities and discrimination due to labelling and prejudice. Two impactful quotes from the piece that have weighed heavily on me were: “Due to its immense popularity among tsarist elites and merchants in imperial Russia‚Äôs urban capitals, so-called Gypsy music filled many Bolsheviks with dread. They regarded the genre as a vile, corrosive, and pseudo-Gypsy element of bourgeois decadence that needed to be destroyed completely” (192) and “They endeavored to strangle the putrid roots of Gypsy art and to unmask the dangerous bourgeois cancer masquerading as traditional Romani folk music” (196). Both of these quotes degrade an entire culture and its existence, even as far as placing a target on this population by comparing them to the old Bourgeoisie. This made an entire population within the Soviet Union be seen as enemies, further perpetuating them to discrimination and prejudice. These unfair disadvantages continue to impact that population’s existence today. Has anyone ever seen a film/tv show in which a member of this population, or a Romani/Roma person, had been portrayed as villainous or hyper-sexual? How did our reading for today shed light on how the Soviet Union manifested these ideas?

One Reply to “The Impact of Soviet Perspective”

  1. I think the questions you pose are interesting ones. As throughout history Gypsies or Romani peoples have had many negative stereotypes put onto them that do not accurately represent their culture. I think a very popular example of this is the depiction of Romani peoples in the novel and the Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Whereas there is conflict about the stereotypes put onto them by the French, yet there is also some hyper-sexualization and promotion of the “exotic”. In the Soviet Union specifically, I think it is important to look back to Imperial Russia where the author discussed on page 193 how nobles exploited Gypsy culture due to excitement about the exotic. Then once the Soviet Union becomes the government, those traits became twisted and seen even more so in a detrimental way to the Romani peoples.

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