Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 13:51:41 -0500
From: Bill
Subject: roma


And the story is the same in Romania, Czech and Slovak Republic. In the Czech Republic they built a wall down the middle of the street to keep the the Roma away from the good Czechs. Reminds you of Alabama in the 1950s.

Budapest Sun

Roma Department Counter Prejudices

LJUBLJANA, Sep 6, 2000 -- (Budapest Sun) The Ministry of Education is considering withdrawing textbooks that are claimed to house racist information regarding the Roma community in Hungary.

One book claims that many Roma, "were unable to and did not even want to adapt to a civilized European way of life," and, "the life of Romany is marked by crime".

Education Ministry official Lajos Aary-Tamás said, "The Ministry might scrap such books from the official list of schools if they prove to be prejudiced."

Material deemed to be racist is to be given to experts and Roma organizations for examination. One such book was published two years ago and the Ministry is worried that the literature perpetrates the prejudices against Roma that have currently been cited in Hungary.

The Education Ministry is aware that the Hungarian public is ill informed and uneducated in the culture of Hungarian Roma.

Zoltán Pokorni, Minister of Education, said that schoolteachers are not sufficiently aware of the Roma traditions and announced that the college of Eger (Northeastern Hungary) will start a course in September 2001 that will specialize in Romany studies.

The Government recently drafted a Ft4 billion (USD 13.9 million) Roma program that included training and educational funds, but the strong and often negative feelings towards Romany is widespread. Pˇter Harrach, Minister of Social and Family Affairs, recently said the Government had done more to help the Roma than the Roma had done to help themselves.

Orbán then added to Harrack's remarks, in relation to the current exodus of Roma to France who say they are being politically persecuted, by saying the Hungarian Roma should try to learn and work more.

According to the Educational Ministry, 30 percent of Roma children remain in school until the age of 14 and every third Roma child at school grows up in a home environment where both families are unemployed.

On Kronika, a daily Hungarian news radio program, the village of Bogács (northeastern Hungary) was cited as having a primary school where Roma school children were opens discriminated against.

The Roma children were isolated from white Hungarian children and were not allowed to drink water from the same glass, according to the report.

The school's headmaster refused to confirm or deny the broadcast.

(C) 2000 Budapest Sun