The Roma have given our country a valuable heritage and traditions and many personalities, says President Iohannis
The Roma have given our country a valuable heritage and traditions, many personalities in the field of culture, arts and science, who have contributed to asserting their own identity, but also to the “beneficial diversity” of communities and humanity as a whole, President Klaus Iohannis said in his message on the International Roma Day, relayed through presidential adviser Sergiu Nistor.
He also underscored, on Friday, when he attended an event organized by the Romano-Kher National Roma Cultural Centre, in marking the International Roma Day, the need to take steps to guide the young to find “worthy models to follow” among these personalities, and to bring further the traditions and customs of the forerunners “with respect and pride.”
“The civic, social and economic emancipation of the Roma in our country is a common goal of great importance. I welcome and support the efforts of the Roma community in Romania to make known their past and customs, to make their voice heard and their contribution to the development of our society valued. While they remained anonymous in the official history, for a long time, the Roma gave their lives for the fulfillment of our great ideals, in the meantime being victims of violence, hatred and racism,” the message of the head of state also states.
MAE: International Roma Day, an opportunity to reflect on the persistence, worldwide, of racist and discriminatory attitudes
The International Roma Day is an opportunity to reflect on the persistence, worldwide, of racist and discriminatory attitudes, stereotypes, hate speech and instigation of hostile acts or ethnically motivated violence, which disproportionately affects the Roma community, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) shows in a release issued on Friday, on the International Roma Day.
The MAE emphasizes that “Romania has taken important steps to condemn and eliminate all forms of discrimination against Roma, including by adopting comprehensive legislation in the field.”
On this occasion, the Romanian Ministry reaffirms the value of ethnic diversity and cultural and linguistic pluralism for contemporary democratic societies and mentions that the recognition and promotion of the contribution of the Roma community to the definition of European identity are essential in achieving its comprehensive inclusion.
“The MAE will continue to endorse the efforts of other governmental authorities and the civil society in our country in supporting the social integration of the Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity and for their access to equal opportunities and equitable participation in all areas of public life. Romanian diplomacy will continue to defend the fundamental rights of all Romanian citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or other socio-cultural characteristics, so as to ensure their equal, dignified and non-discriminatory treatment,” the same source reads.
In the context of the war in Ukraine and the millions of people leaving the country in search of safety, the MAE recalls the obligation to provide due protection to all refugees, regardless of their ethnicity, according to the provisions of international humanitarian law.
The initiative to mark International Roma Day appeared in 1971, on the occasion of the first International Congress of Roma Everywhere, held in London. The countries in our region, including Romania, have dedicated April 8 to the Roma since 1990.
PM Ciuca: Roma in our country have brought, over time, cultural and economic value in the environments in which they lived
The Roma in our country have brought, over time, cultural and economic value in the environments in which they lived, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said in a message on the occasion of International Roma Day and the Celebration of Romania’s Roma ethnics in Romania’.
“Cultural, through unquestionable artistic talent, especially in the field of music and dance, economic – through skill in craftsmanship. If the granting of freedom, in the middle of the 19th century, was not accompanied by measures to support a standard of living equal to that of other citizens, the effects appeared and have endured,” added Ciuca.
“The mobilization of Roma around the world in defense of their legitimate interests and the responsiveness of states in recent decades have made it possible for our country to mark today two events dedicated to this ethnic group: International Roma Day and the Celebration of Romania’s Roma ethnics in Romania’. With a well-defined cultural profile, but with a millennial hostile history and a dramatic destiny, which has spread them to all continents, the Roma are now the confreres of all of the world’s citizens. As such, they deserve due respect, as well as support for redressing past injustices and removing barriers to access and opportunities. Societies have evolved in the sense of civilization and humanism, they understand values better and on a larger scale, they no longer lack information at any level. Thus, it becomes a duty of honor for them to practice inclusion for any ethnic community that encounters certain difficulties, along with valuing the diversity created by distinct cultures and mentalities,” said Nicolae Ciuca.
The head of the Executive points out that the honest radiography of history and the assumption of the past’s mistakes must be complemented by actions of support and valorization of all the citizens of this country, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender.
“Let us always remember that good is not achieved through rejection or indifference,” Ciuca said.
The Prime Minister also expressed his appreciation for the way in which Roma organizations and volunteers were involved in managing the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
The head of the Executive highlighted the fact that Romania and Europe have contributed substantially, at institutional level, in creating strategies and mechanisms to meet the identity, cultural, economic and social aspirations of the Roma.
President of National Association for Roma: Romanians know little about Roma minority
The Romanian society has taken steps to observe the rights of Roma, but Romanians know very little about this minority, the President of the National Association for Roma, Iulian Paraschiv, said on Friday, at an event organized by the Romano-Kher National Centre for Roma Culture.
“The Romanian society (…) has taken steps to respect the rights of minorities in general and of the Roma in particular. (…) The majority population knows very little about the Roma minority and most things that the population does know about the Roma minority are negative – the Roma do not want to work, they do not send their children to school, they make a mock of us in Europe,” said Iulian Paraschiv, at the debate organized on the International Roma Day.
He pointed out that the Roma minority remains “the most unpopular” in Romania and Europe and that the representatives of the National Association for Roma are making efforts to change this.
Iulian Paraschiv underscored the need for the Roma to unite. “We have had a divided Roma civil society, driven by personal interests for the past 30 years,” said the President of the National Association for Roma.
The manager of the Romano-Kher National Centre for Roma Culture, Mihai Neacsu, said that the Roma need self-esteem.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Government, Istvan Zahoranszki, spoke about promoting the inclusion and social, cultural and economic emancipation of the Roma communities, these measures being “the most effective antidote” against intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion.
“Access to education, jobs, quality medical services are the aspirations of every person, regardless of ethnicity, religious affiliation or gender, so our relationship must be based on solidarity, acceptance, respect, which are basic principles of a healthy society” added Istvan Zahoranszki.
Madalin Voicu, secretary of state with the Ministry of Culture, called on the Roma to lead a normal life.
“Today I have been to two more meetings on the same topic. I always have the impression that someone is trying to caress our head: ‘Poor them, they are so miserable (…)’ We must attach ourselves to a certain behavior, to a certain form of life through which they, regardless of how they are named, will no longer have to reproach us things. (…) Please have a normal life, which will not bother neither us or the Romanians,” said Madalin Voicu.
Last but not least, Maria Trif, deputy secretary general with the Romanian Cultural Institute, sent a message to the president of this institution that April 8 is a recognition of the culture, history and rights of millions of Roma around the world, a time to attract focus on the challenges of discrimination facing this community.