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12/01/2008

An American Romani teenager - school essay on fear

There's a flip side to everything, I suppose. My own view is that cultures can always adapt - as long as it's done from the inside, not forced on people by outsiders. While so many fight to preserve the right for Romani culture to be celebrated, some people may also feel trapped by parts of it which aren't moving forward with the times. There's a lot of debate in the USA about the pros (education) and cons (cultural contamination) of Romani teenagers staying in schools. George Eli is making a film about his people, and this is the school essay that his son Alex sent to him:

Fear to me would mean that you are frightened of something. I know that when I feel nervous, depressed, not focused, and sad, these feeling often mean that I am really frightened of something. When I was a child, my greatest fear revolved around heights. Usually high things that moved fast, like rollercoasters. When I had to go on one I really didn’t want to. After many tries I finally succeeded. How did I ever do this? I did this by talking myself into it because I didn’t want to be teased by my friends. What causes me to fear is still like a rollercoaster which is my future and my life.
            My life is pretty different from a typical teenaged boy. Why you might ask? Well mostly because of my culture. My life really is like an arranged life. It’s been picked out for me in a way. I really want to choose for myself, but it looks like to me I’m not going to. To me, I feel like I have no choice. This is frightening. It's frightening to me because, how would you feel, thinking that you only have one choice, knowing that there’s so much more out there but when really you think about it you know you only have one choice. The choice is predetermined. Who I marry, what I do for work, and how I live my life are told to me and that is scary. 

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