Romani and Roma culture

There are an estimated ten to twelve million Roma in Europe, which make them Europe’s largest ethnic minority. According to the most conservative estimates, approximately 3.5 million of the European Roma speak the Romani language. Outside Europe, there are large Roma communities, for instance in North and South America. There are an estimated 13,000-14,000 Finnish Roma. Only a third of them speak the Romani language fluently. Nevertheless, the Constitution of Finland guarantees the right of the Sámi, Roma and other groups to maintain and develop their own language and culture.

In addition to the students of different language disciplines, Romani and Roma culture is a suitable minor, for example, for students of general linguistics, cultural and/or social anthropology, psychology, comparative religion, social sciences, education and medicine. The studies educate professionals for various positions that require expertise on Romani and the Roma culture, and provide skills and knowledge also for experts of teaching materials, for interpreters,   and for positions in research on teaching and learning. The objective of the studies is to provide students with the skills to teach the Romani language and the Roma culture on different school levels.

The international and multidisciplinary study module on the Romani and Roma culture is taught by researchers in the field from Finland and Europe. The students become familiar with the structures of languages, especially of the Romani language, multilingualism, the cultures, history and status of the different Roma communities, and the mobility of the Roma in the European Union. Students can focus on either the Romani language spoken in Finland or on other dialects of the European Romani language. The module also deals with the sociolinguistic and language policy questions related to the Romani language. The teaching languages of the study module are Finnish and English, but, upon agreement, the courses can be completed by taking a book exam in another language.

Contact information

Street address: Unioninkatu 40
Mailing address: P.O. Box 24, 00014 Helsingin yliopisto
Tel. 02941 24342, 02941 22512
E-mail: nordica-kansli(at)
>> Staff (in Finnish)