Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm going out on very thin ice here...

It's very rare that Lithuania's tolerance to its minorities exceeds that of Western Europe, and I suspect the festival of Roma culture is but a very small sticking plaster on the rather open sore of prejudice, especially given the low attendance of non-Roma at the event. But it happens, and it's good. The Lithuanian organiser of the festival speaks of conflict during the setting up of the event, of culture clashes, but he, too, thinks that's great since different cultures and differences are needed. More power to his elbow.

Meanwhile in Italy, as Jessica and others report, based on an Independent article, the Roma, regardless of nationality, are being fingerprinted, children included. Though I'd want those Roma living in London, whether Jessica's description of 'happy multicultural London' feels quite as happy to them.

Of course, what's needed is respect, not mere tolerance.