Why did Indian, Lebanese, British or Italian people settle in Bucharest? Where do they spend their time? How did they hallmark the city? The students of the Anthropology Master and Visual Studies and Society Masters within SNSPA went on site looking for new minorities in Bucharest. The results of their research will be available at large in this autumn but until then let’s find out their impressions on their first visits on site.
Most people from Western Europe who come to Bucharest are expats, coming for definite periods of time for a job. They are also the most individualistic, they interact especially with Bucharest inhabitants and don’t look for fellow countrymen in order to spend time together. Many times, they don’t even meet other member of their community. On the other hand, the minorities from third countries, such as Turks or Chinese, are more united and they even become isolated.
The students who carry out the anthropological research didn’t know what awaited them. From the preliminary research in front of the computer, they found out that mass-media tends to promote the same old stereotypes or narrow the scope at business level. The ways they reached their subjects were different: “left” and “right”, Facebook, Tinder, parents, events etc. And this is what they experienced:
Dana Bergheș, research assistant, Turkish community: “All persons I met made a strong impression on me, their stories became also mine, just like posters I glued on every wall in my room in adolescence”.
Cristina Irian, research assistant, Italian community: “In general they live in their community, their culture but this doesn’t mean that they place barriers between them and natives. Somehow you need to have access to the language they speak and know and feel their environment, culture and educational system which they represent in order to actually have a dialogue”.
Liviu Dimulescu, research assistant, French community: “In Bucharest, like everywhere in Romania, French are present in much higher number than I could have guessed. They are very aware of the advantages of living in a country like Romania (better standard of living as a French, lower crime rate) and they use the opportunities created by Bucharest, such as a more relaxed attitude towards legislation and bureaucracy (in comparison to France), fact that I wouldn’t have guessed. They are friendly and happy for these reasons and they see Romania as a real alternative place to live in.”
Jasmina Al-Qaisi, research assistant, Indian community: “We tried to cover a much broader spectrum, so we went as much as possible to the extremes. Nowhere was difficult to go into. We even had the surprise to be recommended and welcomed with a lot of hospitality. What was excellent and unexpected was to receive answers from persons passionate about India. A small part of India is in every place in which you can find an object that bears its meanings. This is how we discovered India in the most unexpected places. And we came back.”
The project “The new minorities in Bucharest county” is based on the anthropological research of eight groups of minorities: Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Lebanese, Moldavian, French, Italian and British. At the end of the research phase, we will publish a study which will show the cultural impact of the groups of minorities settled in Bucharest in the last 20 years.