Venue: Xantus János Bilingual Secondary School - Those representing Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization held a
workshop on March 21, the Anti-Racism Day in Xantus János Bilingual
Secondary School. The workshop was attended by about 100 pupils going to the ninth form.
At the beginning of the workshop the chairperson asked the pupils to think about themselves. They were requested to finish the following sentence: I am… … They could fill the empty position with any word, the point was that the sentence resulting should give information about them.
After a short time the pupils shared what they thought of themselves. They included the following among others:
I am a woman.
I am a pupil.
I am from the countryside.
I am hungry.
Most students made sentences in which they described themselves as members of a group (from the countryside, a pupil). The chairperson described Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization on a few words, its objectives including who the Organization supports. The chairpesron went on to talk about since when we have remembered about the victims of racial discrimination and why the UN appointed a specific day for this purpose.
The chairperson used this moment to link the lesson of the workshop with the exercise at the beginning. The groups to which the pupils expressed they belonged to at the beginning of the workshops are dominant, majority or less dominant ones. In the remaining time of the workshop they talked about how different groups encountering one another relate to each other, to what extent they assimilate or seek each other’s company.
The pupils actively participated in the discussion about the most advantageous strategies for the minority and the majority group. The question as to what minority groups are found in Hungary was also raised and to what extent they care about their own cultures and also how Hungarian society representing majority relates to these special characteristics.
In the last part of the workshop the conversation was about tricking and teasing or picking on others. The chairperson drew pupils’ attention to the fact that it is not only cultural differences that can lead to conflicts but also when somebody is different from those representing the majority, and getting teased or picked on for that may result in permanent psychic problems.
The workshop went on well and turned out to be fruitful as the pupils understood all that was said and they seemed to be able to put everything in practice in their day-by-day relationships after digesting the ideas a little.