Radio stations raise the voices of Hungarian minorities


BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (AP) — Intellectuals, broadcasters and cultural figures from the Hungarian Roma community are using broadcasting to reshape narratives and raise the voices of Hungary’s largest minority groups.

Radio Dikh – a Romanian word meaning “to see” – has been airing over FM radio in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, since January. Its eleven programs focus on the problems facing Roman music, culture and communities, and aim to reshape the way often disadvantaged minorities are perceived in the wider society.

Bettina Pocsai, co-host of the show, said, “Romans in general don’t have enough representation in the mainstream media … Even if they do, they often don’t show the right picture or the true picture to the Roman community.” It focuses on social issues.

She said Radio Dick aims “to give the Romans a voice, to have our voices in the media, and to show us the pictures that make us happy”.

According to some estimates, the Roma in Hungary make up nearly one million people, or about 10% of the population. Like their counterparts across Europe, many Romans in Hungary are often subjected to social and economic exclusion and face discrimination, segregation and poverty.

Adding to their marginalization are stereotypes about the role of Romans in society. They are often associated with traditional occupations such as musicians, dancers, traders, and craftsmen dating back centuries.

Szandi Minzari, a women’s radio host, said these expectations limited the opportunities for Romans, especially Roman women, to engage in other fields and develop their skills.

“We are stereotyped by the majority because we tend to believe that we sing, dance, talk about feminine topics, and are very good at raising children. That’s who we are. But it’s more than that,” said Minzari.

Programming for women runs for two hours daily, and Minzari’s show “Zsa Shej” (meaning “let’s go, girls” in Romanian) focuses on current events and global topics such as climate change and other social issues. Leave it.

Many women in traditional Roman families rely heavily on male family members, and including men in conversations about topics of public interest is to inspire them to engage in a different world, Minzari said.

“I think it’s very important to talk about heavy topics,” she said. Because we’re talking a lot more than we talk about manicure and hair and botox,” she adds, adding that female listeners “the problem isn’t me. I want more from life and these girls are doing it and I can do the same.”

Radio Dick’s motto, “About Rome, not just for Rome,” the station could serve as a bridge between Romans and non-Roman Hungarians, creating a narrative that tends to relate their communities to poverty and others. It reflects the host’s conviction that it can be broken. social problem.

In addition to co-hosting his own show, Pocsai in his free time guides both Hungarians and foreign tourists on informative tours in Budapest to clear up misconceptions about the Romans. In District 8 of the city of Rome, Pocsai gave a presentation to a group of visitors from the United States.

Presenting more than 600 years of Rome’s history in Hungary and challenging preconceived notions, Pocsai said the goal is to ensure that future generations of Hungarian Rome do not have to go through the hardships they faced when they were young.

“I want to change the way the Romans see society,” Fossai said. “I want to fully illuminate the values ​​that the Roman community has provided to non-Roman societies throughout history.”

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