Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gypsys also belong here

In the local Bergen newspaper Bergens Tidene there was an article about the US critique of how gypsys are treated in Europe. The Romani prople in Europe have problems with habitat, jobs and schools, and they are risking their lives. This worries the US.

The article tell about a Romano man that was shot and killed outside his house in Hungary, the sole reason being his descendant. In another village fire bombs were thrown into the house of a young family, and the son and the young son were shot down when they ran out of the house. Something similar happened in the Czech Republic where the family of a two year old girl burned inside.

Six people were shot in Hungary before the police managed to arrest four men. A member of the government characterized them as "racist mass murderers". This systematic oppression and abuse happens in calm European villages, and in some areas it is so grave that the UN, Amnesty International and the US are warning European governments.

The US just released a report where they criticise that European Romani often live in deep poverty and illiteracy, and the discrimination prevents them from getting habitat, jobs and education. The report has also noted that in Hungary and other Eastern European countries Roman kids are often placed in special schools that are designed for mentally retarded. Italian government wants to clear their streets by creating special camps for them outside of the city of Rome, but this deprives the Romans from a home. A UN minister visited one of the Italian camps and forgot for a moment that she was in one of the richest countries in the world, because it looked like a scene from the poorest countries in the world.

I see similar problems in Norway. There have not been as serious attacks in Norway, that I know of, but there is a clear cap between the Norwegian inhabitants and the growing Romani population. The cultural differences are clearly big. The most contact I have with them in Bergen is passing old ladies begging for money or men playing the lambada on harmonicas on Torvallmenningen. What is being done for their integration? Their culture must be respected and they must be given a totally different space in our society than that which they have today. Their cultural expression cannot be excluded. We have now an opportunity to take a historic step in how to accept this group of people. This can be of so much learning for other cities and countries.


Post a Comment

Copyright © Suchness
Blogger Theme by BloggerThemes Design by