Throughout the centuries, different types of institutional policies towards Roma impede their development and emancipation. Variety of policies were ranged from forbidding the Roma language to persecutions as well as mass evictions and revival of anti-Roma racism in the latest of our time. All these practices and policies primarily had an ultimate aim to extinguish the Roma cultures or fix them in accordance to the needs of the majoritarian societies. In the last three decades, the existing mainstream institutions endorsed a model of assimilation for integrating the minorities through the system of education and promotion of the state culture as a convergence between minorities and the majority.
However, Roma survived and during the years developed a “strategy of survival” often through hiding or denial of their identity. Up until a recent period, Roma have been defined by non-Roma from different perspectives. As the Romani scholar Ian Hancock (2002) once said that when a community loses a sense of its own history, when you cannot tell people where you came from, it's open season for outsiders to construct and define your identity. Or in the case of Roma as Mihai Surdu claims “Roma have been subjected to a variety of scientific practices such as counting, classifying, demographic predictions, mapping, photographing, and DNA profiling” he also adds that “all these practices are part and parcel of a trained vision that itself needs to be observed.” In this regard, we are witnessing a undignified representation of Roma cultural values in academic research which in the last decade managed to (re)construct from a distorted interpretations, being far from the Roma reality, yet, strong enough to “define” who Roma are, what Romani identity is.