At times, even public figures or the representatives of authoritites make statements that contain hate speech. These utterances can have much graver effects and consequences than the statements of average citizens, because they reach a wider circle of people, and serve as a standard for the wider groups of society. The judge of the Court of Gyula rejected the request for the ban of the radical ‘For a Better Future Association’ (Szebb Jövőért Egyesület) with the reasoning that the Roma, attacked by the organisation, are „characterised by a lifestyle of avoiding work, and morals that lack the respect of private property and the norms of community co-existence”. The activism carried out by CFCF was a reaction to the racist statement of judge Erika Mucsi. With the use of various communication tools and by activating citizens they have managed to achieve that the National Committee of Judicial Ethics have declared the words and the judicial practice of the judge unethical.
Who do you blame when you don’t have enough money? Is there any better solution than hatered?
How can an NGO work independently when it receives government funding? How can we activate and make responsible the members of a Roma settlement, if local helpers provide them with aid and donations on a regular basis? How can an educational initiative that holds afternoon workshops for children living in a Roma settlement be sustainable if all the teachers are paid employees? According to Bagázs, there is no way. The organisation that for the past five years has been working at the Bag Roma settlement located 39 kilometres from Budapest does not accept government funding, intends to initiate changes by activating the locals instead of being an intermediary for donations, and manages its development workshops for students with the help of volunteer secondary school and university students instead of paid educators. This way, instead of conserving vulnerability and a state of being under-privileged, they are working on bringing the people living in the Roma settlement and the members of wider society truly closer to each other. However, both parties need to take important steps in order to achieve this. Because if we want to live in an inclusive society, we all – Romas and non-Romas, citizens and decision-makers – must take responsibility.
While different television programmes entertain viewers with various games set in egzotic locations that have nothing to do with real life challenges, during an interactive theatre play titled „Sociopoly” we can get a glimpse into the situation, the challenges and decisions of people living in severe poverty. So we don’t need to go as far as the jungles of South America if we want to try ourselves in merciless life situations – at least for the duration of a game – that we mostly have no clue about.
The new restaurant in Pécs has been operating for a couple of months, almost always with a full house. People travel long distances, from other regions of the country and some visitors come even from abroad. Guests often come back after their first experience at the restaurant. So what is the secret recipe of the „Colourful Pearls” Association?
Small children don’t care who belongs to what groups. Are you nice with me, do you play with me or not? That’s it. Later they learn it from us adults to greet older people differently, not to eat too much candy in order not to become ugly fat and not to stare at disabled people on the street. We teach them our prejudices slowly and also the things that shouldn’t be asked.
Like a birthday cake isn't meant to be eaten alone, or mother's day reserved for mothers only, so Roma Day celebrations are only worthwhile if it is not observed exclusively by gypsies. In fact, confined to official ceremonies and authentic, positive stereotype enforcing gypsy concerts alone, one would have a hard time presenting Roma diversity to an audience of any ethnicity. Yesterday in Budapest and across the nation, Roma Day presented a rich and varied program to universal audiences.