Embassy of the Czech Republic                                                                    in Helsinki

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Writer V. Baltzar discussed with Ambassador Roma community in Finland

On 13th April 2011 Mr. Veijo Baltzar, world-known Finnish writer of Roma origin, visited Embassy of the Czech Republic in Helsinki at the invitation of the Ambassador. This vigorous author and artist was born in 1942, in a sauna at the outskirts of Finnish city of Kuopio. With the Ambassador he discussed his new educational project which has been prepared by his association for Roma art and culture Drom in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Finland.

Mr. Veijo Baltzar drew attention already with his first novel Poltava tie (Burning road, 1968) which became a literary event at that time. Since that Veijo Baltzar has written several novels, prose collections and theatre plays, he is an author of film and TV scripts. Besides his literary work Mr. Baltzar is also active in painting art and theatre. In 1976 he founded Finnish association for Roma art and culture Drom, whose activity has since gained respect in Finland as well as world-wide. In 2002 Veijo Baltzar participated in creation of the International Romani Writers` Association (IRWA) which associates Romani writers from the whole Europe. Mr. Baltzar told the Ambassador about the philosophy of Drom association and its attitude towards the Roma problems in Finland and in Europe. He reminded about a number of stereotypes through which a society of majority approaches minorities. He appreciated the interest and effort of the Czech civil society in integrating Roma population into political and artistic life. He informed about his educational project which thanks to the support of Ministry of Education in Finland enables students in Central Europe to get more knowledge about e.g. Roma culture and philosophic attitude of Drom towards the situation of minorities in the societies of majorities.

More about Drom association see

R_03Nina Castén (Project co-ordinator),Veijo Baltzar ,Aino Sederholm (Project worker).