Stop Norway! Stop the anti-gypsy!
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Amorina Lund (17)
I have hope. I wish I could be free and proud as a roommate. I’m 17 years old and I’m a Norwegian-Swedish merging. My mother was Norwegian and my father was Swedish. I grew up in Sweden and Norway.
I grew up in a Swedish society where it became better to be a room. In Sweden, I have never had to hide my identity, because being a roommate is acceptable in society.
In Norway, unfortunately, it is different. Because of anti-Roman racism, specifically anti-Gypsy, many people hide their identities.
Why do they do that? We believe that we will have a better future if society does not know that we are Roman. We have the mindset that, for example, if we are applying for a job, we think it is best to remain anonymous for fear of stigma.
In Sweden, I had the opportunity to go to a Romanian school in a Romanian environment. Everyone was Roman, and it was our values and standards that mattered to us. It was an environment in which we did not have to hide our traditions and culture. At this school, I also learned a lot about Roman history, including the terrible history of the Holocaust.
It was a genocide in which Roma from all over Europe were killed in concentration camps and elsewhere.
My Norwegian grandparents were called Tsjugurka Karoli and Milosh Karoli. Both were sent to Nazi concentration camps, and were two of the few Romans who survived.
Today I can say that the fear of non-Romans has been inherited since World War II. The Romans are always aware of everything – against the police, against the child care service, against the man in the street. When we are outside, we are afraid to speak out loud to each other in our own language. I think fear exists because of all that we and our ancestors have lived through throughout history.
Today, as a young Roma, from the perspective of Sweden and Norway, I hope that Roma will be accepted in Norway as part of the state of Norway, without being discriminated against in any way.
On Holocaust Day last year, Claudia appealed to Joseph on behalf of the Romans. She demanded a plan of action against anti-Gypsies. Unfortunately, the authorities did not show any interest in this after Claudia’s speech.
In Sweden, an action plan to combat anti-Gypsy was established as early as 2014 and a committee to work on the problem. The members of this committee were mostly Romans.
Claudia Joseph said last year: “I want you, romantic!” Arise, Rome! Now I say: Stand up, Norway! Stop the anti-gypsy!
(The text was executed in celebration of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.)
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