Author: Francesca Roe, U.K.Location: u.kI am not a Romani. But i do speak a lot of the language, have lots of Romani or Sinti friends and have taken up some of the culture. i feel at home with it and when i have finished my education i want to pursue this life even more. But […]


Author: anonymous, U.K.Location: u.kthere is a boy in my secondary school called Ian. he is a big lad and hates me for being a ‘gyppo’. it’s never out in the open- always secret. but i’m not even a Romani by blood. i speak lots of the language, have Roma or sinti friends, and i’m abused […]

We don’t understand that our indifference is racism

Katerina SidonovaPrague I have been interested in the Romany problem for more than twelve years. My friends and the people around me don’t understand why. Most Czech people tend to look at the Roma as something unpleasant. They always say, "I am no racist.” And “Yes, Roma are people too.” But: “I don’t like Gypsies. […]

You got him moving

[8/6/01The following exchange between a Romany adviser to a Czech regional government office and a Jewish survivor of Terezin and Auschwitz focuses on the fact that some seventy per cent of Romany children in the Czech Republic have been placed in so-called special schools for the mentally retarded. This is an issue which the 27 […]

Listening to stories wasn’t enough for them

Eva BajgerovaRomany Adviser to the Regional GovernmentUsti nad LabemThere is a very large Romany population in Predlice near Usti nad Labem. People say: "Don’t go to Predlice, it’s full of Gypsies; something bad could happen to you.”I go to schools to talk with students about Roma.I tell them about my life. It’s best to show […]

Don’t keep it a secret: you have parents who can help you

Lenka Usti nad Labem I attended the sixth class in an elementary school. There was nothing special about it –- just that I found out that kids in our class were not very happy to have me in the same class because I’m Romany. I don’t know what happened to them, but all of a […]

So who took the money?

I attend the 5th grade of an elementary school in Usti nad Labem. The children from our class like me and accept me, but still they have some kind of an instinct inside telling them I am Romany. I am trying to hold on. It was a normal day like any other at school: you […]

She played first violin

[In the Czech Republic a "special school” is a school for retarded children to which Romany (Gypsy) children are assigned if they do not pass an examination which emphasizes skills in Czech language and culture.Maticni Street in Usti nad Labem was the location of a wall which Czech residents built in 1999 between themselves and […]

We all worked together

Location: Stories Exchange Project Workshop #1EastWest InstitutePragueEva BajgerovaLocal Coordinator, Usti nad LabemMy eight-year old son Martin attends a selective school which accepts pupils of our district upon an entrance examination.Children begin to attend this school when they are eight. You would think that at this age children are equal and wouldn’t worry about who is […]

Romanek solved the problem in his own way

Author: Jan HorvathLocation: Stories Exchange Project Workshop #1EastWest InstitutePragueMy son Romanek is six.When we lived in Brno, Romanek attended a kindergarten. So we wanted to find one for him when we recently moved to Studenka near Ostrava. He’s used to being with other children. The rest of our kids go to school, and he has […]