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The striving of countries in Central Europe to enter the European Union may offer an unprecedented chance to the continent’s Gypsies (or Roman) to be recognized as a nation, albeit one without a defined territory. And if they were to achieve that they might even seek some kind of formal place?at least a total population outnumbers that of many of the Union’s present and future countries. Some experts put the figure at 4m-plus; some proponents of Gypsy rights go as high as 15m.
Unlike Jews, Gypsies have had no known ancestral land to hark back to. Though their language is related to Hindi, their territorial origins are misty. Romanian peasants held them to be born on the moon. Other Europeans (wrongly) thought them migrant Egyptians, hence the derivative Gypsy. Most probably they were itinerant metal workers and entertainers who drifted west from India in the 7th century.
However, since communism in Central Europe collapsed a decade ago, the notion of Romanestan as a landless nation founded on Gypsy culture has gained ground. The International Romany Union, which says it stands for 10m Gypsies in more than 30 countries, is fostering the idea of “self-rallying”. It is trying to promote a standard and written form of the language; it waves a Gypsy flag (green with a wheel) when it lobbies in such places as the United Bations; and in July it held a congress in Prague, The Czech capital. Where President Vaclav Havel said that Gypsies in his own country and elsewhere should have a better deal.
At the congress a Slovak-born lawyer, Emil Scuka, was elected president of the International Tomany Union. Later this month a group of elected Gypsy politicians, including members of parliament, mayors and local councilors from all over Europe (OSCE), to discuss how to persuade more Gypsies to get involved in politics.
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The International Romany Union is probably the most representative of the outfits that speak for Gypsies, but that is not saying a lot. Of the several hundred delegates who gathered at its congress, few were democratically elected; oddly, none came from Hungary, whose Gypsies are perhaps the world’ best organized, with some 450 Gypsy bodies advising s local councils there. The union did, however, announce its ambition to set up a parliament, but how it would actually be elected was left undecided.
So far, the European Commission is wary of encouraging Gypsies to present themselves as a nation. The might, it is feared, open a Pandora’s box already containing Basques, Corsicans and other awkward peoples. Besides, acknowledging Gypsies as a nation might backfire, just when several countries, particularly Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, are beginning to treat them better, in order to qualify for EU membership. “The EU’ whole premise is s to overcome differences, not to highlight them,” says a nervous Eurocrat.
But the idea that the Gypsies should win some kind of special recognition as Europe’s largest continent wide minority, and one with a terrible history of persecution, is catching on . Gypsies have suffered many pogroms over the centuries. In Romania, the country that still has the largest number of them (more than 1m), in the 19th century they were actually enslaved. Hitler tried to wipe them out, along with the Jews.
“Gypsies deserve some space within European structures,” says Jan Marinus Wiersma, a Dutchman in the European Parliament who suggests that one of the current commissioners should be responsible for Gypsy affairs. Some prominent Gypsies say they should be more directly represented, perhaps with a quota in the European Parliament. That, they argue, might give them a boost. There are moves afoot to help them to get money for, among other things, a Gypsy university.
One big snag is that Europe’s Gypsies are, in fact, extremely heterogeneous. They belong to many different, and often antagonistic, clans and tribes, with no common language or religion, Their self-proclaimed leaders have often proved quarrelsome and corrupt. Still, says, Dimitrina Petrova, head of the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest, 免费英语学习网:www.sogood.cn 版权归原作者所有
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Gypsies’ shared experience of suffering entitles them to talk of one nation; their potential unity, she says, stems from “being regarded as sub-human by most majorities in Europe.”
And they have begun to be a bit more pragmatic. In Slovakia and Bulgaria, for instance, Gypsy political parties are trying to form electoral blocks that could win seats in parliament. In Macedonia, a Gypsy party already has some?and even runs a municipality. Nicholas Gheorge, an expert on Gypsy affairs at the OSCE, reckons that, spread over Central Europe, there are now about 20 Gypsy MPS and mayors, 400-odd local councilors, and a growing number of businessmen and intellectuals.
That is far from saying that they have the people or the cash to forge a nation. But, with the Gypsy question on the EU’s agenda in Central Europe, they are making ground.

  1. The Best Title of this passage is
[A]. Gypsies Want to Form a Nation. [B]. Are They a Nation.
[C]. EU Is Afraid of Their Growth. [C]. They Are a Tribe

  2. Where are the most probable Gypsy territory origins?
[A]. Most probably they drifted west from India in the 7th century.
[B]. They are scattered everywhere in the world.
[C]. Probably, they stemmed from Central Europe.
[D]. They probably came from the International Romany Union.

  3. What does the International Romany lobby for?
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[A]. It lobbies for a demand to be accepted by such international organizations as EU and UN.
[B]. It lobbies for a post in any international Romany Union.
[C]. It lobbies for the right as a nation.
[D]. It lobbies for a place in such international organizations as the EU or UN.

  4. Why is the Europe Commission wary of encouraging Gypsies to present themselves as a nation?
[A]. It may open a Pandora’s Box.
[B]. Encouragement may lead to some unexpected results.
[C]. It fears that the Basgnes, Corsicans and other nations seeking separation may raise the same demand.
[D]. Gyspsies’ demand may highlight the difference in the EU.

  5. The big problem lies in the fact that
[A]. Gypsies belong to different and antagonistic clans and tribes without a common language or religion.
[B]. Their leaders prove corrupt.
[C]. Their potential unity stems from “being regarded as sub-human”.
[D]. They are a bit more pragmatic.
Vocabulary

  1. albeit 尽管,虽然
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  2. outnumber 数字上超过

  3. ethnic 少数民族的成员,种族集团的成员

  4. Hindi 印地语

  5. misty 模糊不清的,朦胧的

  6. derivative 衍生的,派生的

  7. itinerant 逻辑的

  8. Romanesten 说吉普塞语的地方
Romanes 吉普塞语
Stan 地方

  9. outfit (口)组织,(协同工作)的集体

  10. local 地方(市,镇,县)政务委员会

  11. wary 谨慎的,机警的

  12. backfire 产生出乎意料或事与愿违的结果

  13. highlight 强调

  14. persecution 迫害

  15. catch on 了解,风行=to become popular
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  16. pogrom 大屠杀,集体迫害

  17. commissioner 委员,调查团团员

  18. quota 定量,配额,限额

  19. snag (尖利突出物,抽丝)潜在的困难

  20. heterogeneous 由不同种类组成的

  21. antagonistic 有效对抗性的,对抗性的

  22. clan 氏族

  23. tribe 部落

  24. pragmatic 务实的,讲究实效的

  25. municipality 城市,镇,区属政府,自治区

  26. Rom 罗姆,即吉普塞人
难句译注

  1. Central Europe 中欧,如本文提及捷克,匈牙利,罗马尼亚等。

  2. European Union 欧盟。

  3. the EUs institutions 欧洲机构,如:European Commission 欧盟委员会,European Council 欧盟理事会, European Parliament 欧洲会议,the Court of Justic 欧洲法院。4m=more than 4 million 四百多万。

  4. Unlike Jews, Gypsies have had no known ancestral land to hark back to. 免费英语学习网:www.sogood.cn 版权归原作者所有
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[结构简析] hark back to =to mention again or remember an earlier subject, event, etc. 吉普塞不知其祖先来自何 方,而犹太人在《圣经》中已阐明了他们的历史。
[参考译文] 吉普塞人和犹太人不同,他们没有可以回想起来的已知的祖居地。

  5. …the notion of Romanestan as a landless nation founded on Gypsy culture has gained ground.
[结构简析] gain ground (on) 接近。
[参考译文] 作为建立在吉普塞文化基础上的无疆地民族应该有一个说吉普塞语的地方。这种想法越来越为 人接受。

  6. the International Romany Union 国际吉普塞人联盟。

  7. Vaclav Harel (1936--) 剧作家和人权运动成员,1990??1992 为捷克斯洛伐克的总统,1993 年后为捷克总 统。

  8. a Slovak-born lawyer 斯洛伐克出生的律师,1992 年捷克斯洛伐克

  9. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe 简称 OSCE,偶中安全合作条约组织,成立于 19
  72。

  10. nation 一词有民族和国家的含义。这里主要指:民族。因为作为国家应有疆土,但吉普塞人有要求成立 国家的想法,欧盟是国家加入地方,不是民族加入。

  11. electoral block 选举集团

  12. The might, it is feared, open a Pandora’s box already containing Basques, Corsicans and other awkward peoples.
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[结构简析] Pandora’s box 潘多拉盒子??喻种种麻烦事。潘多拉是主神宙斯命火神用黏土制成的第一个女 性。宙斯命潘多拉带着一个盒子下凡。潘多拉私自打开盒子,于是里面的疾病,罪恶等各种祸害全部出来,散布 于世。这里潘多拉盒子喻里面已有的各种麻烦的民族,吉普塞
 

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