A video was posted on Facebook on Sunday, in which an employee of the Hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän in Rantasalmi announced that Roma would not be allowed to bathe. In the video, a female voice asks, “do you have the kind that Roma are not allowed in here”.
- Yes, yes, the customer service representative answers.
The video began to spread widely.
IS caught up with Jasmin Lindgren, 23, who shot the video.
Lindgren says the party included two women under the age of 30 and one 5-year-old girl in addition to him. He says that they traveled from Central Finland to bathe in Järvisydämi. Lindgren says the group had never visited Järvisydäme before.
- My cousin used to call there earlier, and they promised that they could come here for a sauna and a bath. And after all, they didn’t know over the phone that we were Roma, Lindgren says.
- And then when we went there, then we are told that you cannot come when you are Roma. Just facing the face as shown in the video.
What were you told the reason you couldn’t get inside?
- The reason was when we are Roma and that there have been problems with Roma in the past, but we are not the Roma with whom we have had problems in the past, Lindgren says.
Järvisydän posted his own response to a video published on social media on Facebook on Sunday evening.
Järvisydän writes that the video shared on Facebook is an escalation of the weekend’s events.
According to Järvisydämi, their guest on the weekend was a group who stayed free of charge, used the spa services free of charge, drank their own drinks in the drinking area, disturbed the restaurant's customers, disturbed other residents throughout the night and beat the employee and the customer.
According to its update, Järvisydän had to call the police on several occasions due to disturbances.
- As a result, people in the group in question were no longer admitted to the spa on Sunday. We would have done the same for any of our customers, Järvisydäme's press release states.
- On several occasions, the receptionist at the spa calmly told them that, unfortunately, they could not enter the spa now. The ban only affected the problem group, not the Roma in general. The staff could have told you more about this and we humbly apologize for that. The guidelines are by no means that the Roma are not welcome, on the contrary, Järvisydän writes.
Lindgren says his party had nothing to do with the problem group.
- We were generalized.
- We are not them, and we do not know who those group members are, Lindgren says.
Anneli Palm, who was in the same party as Lindgren, says that the turn of events was a disappointment for the child in the party.
- It was a big disappointment for the child. The child cried all over the car, Palm says.
The party eventually went to another place to swim. According to Lindgren and Palm, customer service there was good.
Despite numerous attempts, IS did not reach Järvisydäme's CEO Markus Heiska on Sunday to comment on the incident shown in the video or on previous weekend events.
Järvisydän writes on Facebook that everyone is welcome to Järvisydäme.
- The heart of the lake does not tolerate racism in any form and does not engage in ethnic profiling. All our guests are equally welcome to us, now and in the future, Järvisydän writes.
Järvisydän is located in Rantasalmi, Southern Savonia. The company was awarded earlier this year, for example, as the domestic tourism company of the year and as the domestic travel destination of the year.