Our students Emma and Rasmus visited a fair event called Mahdollisuuksien päivä, where various possibilities to study and work were presented from the Roma people point of view. The fair took place on 2nd of November in Pohjankartano School. There were information desks where various learning institutions and employers told about the possibilities that they have. There was also a presentation about the Romani culture.
Our students felt that they got new information about the Roma people and their roots. ”They are people like anybody else and equal to all of us. The Roma people shouldn’t be treated in a different way just because of their background,” they think.
The Romani minority in Finland
There has been Roma people in Finland since 16th century. Nowadays their social situation is pretty good compared to many other European countries, but it hasn’t always been like this. Roma people have been discriminated, and still there are many things that need improvement.
Romani language gained a minority language status in Finland in 1995. The status guarantees some rights, but issues like accommodation, subsistence and education have been problematic. During last decades, also health education has been important aspect in improving Rome people social status.
The National Roma Forum of Finland (FRF) was established in 2007 to promote and monitor the realization of the Roma people’s basic and civil rights. FRF works against all kinds of racism, anti-gypsisim and discrimination. FRF promotes Roma culture and Romani language, Roma people’s social integration, participation in public life and decision making.
(References: romanomission.fi, magma.fi, romanifoorumi.fi)