History

The history of the Roma – persecution and peaceful coexistence

To understand the Roma we have to know something about their history. The fact that they were badly treated for so long also partly explains some of the problems they face today, such as unemployment.

The Roma have lived in Finland for almost 500 years. They are what is known as an old ethnic minority, with their own language, customs and culture. They are Finnish citizens and have the same rights and obligations as other Finns.

In this section we see how the history of the Roma is one of persecution and discrimination, though also one of care for one’s fellow humans and working closely with the mainstream population.

The section on history is mainly based on The History of the Finnish Roma, published by the Finnish Literature Society in October 2012.