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Ionuț Petaca

Ionuț is a third year student at the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​and Literatures, Rromani-Hindi section.

Studying the Rromani language has already become a tradition in Ionuț’s family, so this motivated him more to choose this specialization in college, especially since Ionuț had also great results in Rromani language contests in high school and middle school.

Ionuț has an “extraordinary” relationship with his colleagues, as he calls it, maybe also because he identifies with them through common values ​​and interests, but also because he feels among his own people. More than that, he had the opportunity to see the dialectal diversity of the Romani language through the connection with his Roma colleagues who came from different Roma branches. On the other hand, however, he felt distance and superiority from the other colleagues in the faculty, this meaning that rejection and discrimination are also present at the academic level.

At the same time, Ionuț is  a Romani language teacher in his community. It has not always been easy to persuade parents to enroll their children in Romani classes, also because, unfortunately, the negative image of society about Roma ends up influencing Roma parents too, who end up not regarding Romanian language, history and culture as something valuable that must be studied in school. But Ionuț did not give up and invited the parents in school for Roman demonstration classes, just so that they could see with their own eyes how many wonderful things they can learn and the benefits that learning Roma language, history and culture can bring to the educational and personal development of their children. Related to this aspect, Ionuț also emphasizes the importance of the teacher who knows the Romani language, especially in classes with young children who know the Romani language from home, better than the Romanian language, and thus the teacher can understand them, can approach them and can create a relationship with them.

Ionut also gets involved in the social life of the community, keeping in touch with Roma associations at the local level, but also with the authorities, even organizing events, such as those for the celebration of International Roma Day.

Ionut always assumed his ethnic identity in school and was respected for this, both by his colleagues and by his teachers. He understood that it is important to identify with what you are and to assume this also publicly. Maybe that is why his teacher approached him in a particular way and managed to understand him and be a real support. She was open with him and he gained confidence in approach her. We can see from this example how important is a teacher who also assumes the role of mentor and tries to support students more extensively, even outside the subjects they teach.

At the same time, Ionuț is also enrolled in the Sports Faculty where he learned that teamwork is very important and that everyone’s contribution is essential, regardless of social status, the way you look or the ethnicity you belong to.

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