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Project: Unemployed Vagabond

What's the documentary about?

Norwegian national TV recently broadcast a documentary called "Please, please, please" about, well... that's my first problem: What is this documentary really about?

In the online description and related article, it's about Romanians, i.e. citizens of the European country Romania. However, the contents of the article, the introduction in the documentary itself as well as the closing, the host speaks about the Romani people.

Government officials interviewed are very clear about them speaking of Romanians (Norwegian "rumener"), even when the journalist keep turning it into something about the Romani people (Norwegian "romfolk" or "romanifolk"). One police officer emphasizes that we really are talking about Romanian citizens, even though this is still an unfair use of terms, since there are also many Romanian citizens in Norway that are not beggars.

In the related article to the documentary, it begins with Romanians, while the journalist keeps discussing Romani people.

Some will claim that the specific Romanian citizens who come to Norway as vagabond beggars are, indeed, Romani people, the documentary keeps jumping back and forth between the two so often, that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish the two. It is this kind of documentary that supports the Romanian government's claim that the Romani people must change name.

As such, the documentary brings up a specific social issue, pretending that the same social issue belongs to only a specific group of people of which we are confused about whether we should refer to them for their nationality or ethnicity - and closing with words about similar "issues" within the same ethnicity in Norway.

So what was it about again?
"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."

The documentary spends a lot of time referencing an ethnicity and/or nationality, both of which bring unjustice to others within the same ethnicity or nationality. This injustice was recognized by a police officer, who seemed to lack a good term for the people in question at less than ten syllables. Spending so much time of the documentary focusing which term to use, and ignoring other groups of people doing the same thing, takes attention and energy away from the acual issue at hand.

So here's what it really is about:

1) The economic and social situation in someone's home is experienced to be so bad, that
2) the person leaves home and family to a strange country with no prior arrangements for employment,
3) with the only hope to be able to beg for money on the street,
4) where they also sleep,
5) send some of their earning back to their family, and
6) residents of the new country see beggars as a problem, even when it is legal.

The last issue spawns the documentary meant to highlight the first five issues.  So I wish to take a closer look at remaining issues. But that must wait till another article.

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