|The National Association of Finns in Sweden RSKL
Sweden Finns have an official status as a national minority and Finnish is an official national minority language in Sweden. This guarantees the Sweden Finnish group certain linguistic rights in the country as a whole, but especially in the so-called “administrative areas of the Finnish language”. Now it is possible to establish Finnish-language preschools and Finnish-language healthcare for the elderly. These reforms are a result of a goal-oriented work by The National Association of Finns in Sweden and The Sweden Finnish Delegation. But there is still a lot of work to be done since the most part of the municipalities in Sweden are not included in the legislation of administrative areas of the Finnish language.
Sweden Finnish children and youth run the risk of missing out knowledge of Finnish language. Therefore RSKL has made a commitment to activity for children, for example by supporting Tenava-clubs and by arranging different events for children. Children’s summer camp, arranged in Axevalla, is an annual event for Sweden Finnish children. Courses in organizing children’s activities are arranged several times a year. RSKL has also arranged a dance project and a children’s theatre tour and carried out a collaboration project with Sweden-Finnish schools.
The National Association of Finns in Sweden has a voluminous educational activity. RSKL arranges different seminars, lectures and courses annually; during the years 2009-2010 there were altogether over 90 events.
Many of the member associations have educational activities of their own and the amount of study hours was totally 31 000 in the year 2010. Axevalla Folk High School and it’s local branch in Stockholm work under the mandatorship of RSKL. The Swedish Finnish Folk High School, Svefi, is a member of RSKL.
Several major cultural events are organized by RSKL. The Summer Festival, organized together with member associations, is gathering a large number of public interested in music and dance. In the autumn, around the time for the annual Baltic Herring Market in Helsinki, the Sweden Finnish Pensioner’s Association, which is one of the so called special associations of RSKL, arranges a trip to Helsinki with a voluminous programme. These trips are very popular; over 500 people participated in 2010. The Theatre Association of RSKL arranges so called Theatre Days during which the local theatre associations feature their performances. The Sport and Motion Association of RSKL arranges sport events and other health care activities. The Sweden Finnish Women’s Association of RSKL works, among other things, for gender equality.
Karaoke has become a great interest for the Sweden Finnish associations and many of them arrange dance evenings with karaoke as a live accompaniment. The National Association of Finns in Sweden follows the trend and arranges Karaoke Championships that are held annually.