A suitcase of Romansh ideas delivered to the Federal Palace
Bern, 21.02.2022 - 21 February 2022 marks the start of Romansh Language Week ('Emna rumantscha'), an initiative launched last year by the FDFA in cooperation with the Canton of Graubünden and the Lia Rumantscha. Young people remain at its heart: this year, the Swiss president, Ignazio Cassis, has invited a group of secondary school pupils from Scuol and Savognin to Bern to inaugurate the second edition of the event together with Jon Domenic Parolini, member of the Cantonal Council of Graubünden. The school delegation has arrived with a suitcase full of ideas for promoting the Romansh language and culture in Switzerland and for making them known abroad.
'Rumantsch: in ferm toc Svizra' (an essential part of Switzerland). But also of the world. This is the motto the FDFA is using to promote Romansh Language Week in cooperation with the Canton of Graubünden. "Plurality is an asset for our country. Romansh Language Week allows us each year to promote our diverse identity: in Switzerland, through the contribution of the young representatives of Romansh languages, and abroad, through our representations," explains Cassis. This year too, Switzerland's representations abroad have been taking initiatives to promote knowledge of the Romansh language and culture in their respective countries within the confines of the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular by means of online meetings and digital content.
A suitcase of Romansh ideas
Following last summer's meeting with the pupils of Ilanz and the Romansh course with the Lia Rumantscha in Scuol, Mr Cassis is continuing his personal journey of discovery of the fourth national language during his time as president this year. The invitation was extended to twelve pupils from Scuol and Savognin, representing the Vallader and Surmiran varieties of the language. The young people packed their ideas and representations of Romansh language and culture in a suitcase and brought them to the attention of the Swiss president and the head of Graubünden's Department of Education and Culture. "Cohesion and passion for plurality: it is on this strength that our country must focus to meet every challenge. The young people of Savognin and Scuol demonstrate this: our plurality gives rise to innovative ideas, which also set us apart abroad," said Cassis.
FDFA, multilingualism: collaboration with the cantons of Graubünden and Ticino
Romansh Language Week is part of a series of events – in addition to Multilingualism Week and the activities organised during Italian Language Week and French Language Week – which underline the importance of multilingualism for national cohesion, but also for opening up to the outside world.
The promotion of minority languages in Switzerland is also part of the structured, ongoing political dialogue that the head of the FDFA is conducting with the cantons of Graubünden and Ticino. This exchange has also given rise to the 'Mini Erasmus' initiative, which offers staff from the three administrations the opportunity to spend a few months on an exchange from the Federal Administration to a cantonal institution, or vice versa. A personal and professional immersion in Switzerland's plurality.
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