Minorities in the Mainstream: Preserving Roma Cultural Identity in Hungary Through Radio “C”
The term, “gypsy,” often conjures up images of tinkers, panhandlers, fortune-tellers, musicians and dancers; it also suggests a lack of responsibility, ethics, fidelity and stability. For those diasporan populations whose heritage is drawn from cultures known as “traveling” or “nomadic,” these stereotypes are incomplete, prejudicial, and ultimately, discriminatory. Their challenge is to live the life they were born into, as well as to achieve some sense of credibility and sustainability within mainstream society. Mass media can contribute significantly to cultural sustainability, as evidenced with the creation of Hungary’s Radio C in 2001. By exploring the brief history of this “noble experiment” in Budapest--including both its successes and challenges--other nomadic cultures might be better able to determine which media can best fit their specific needs and goals as well as how to program their needs within a specific medium.
Keywords: Radio, Roma, Culture, Sustainability
Dr. Marilyn J. Matelski
Professor, Communication Department, Boston College