It’s a good thing to be a gypsy

Author: Katka HolubovaLocation: BrnoThis happened to Marta when she was ten. She was in the fifth grade.They were learning a poem by Karel Jaromir Erben. Marta was very sensitiveabout one verse: "Let the Gypsies finally be quiet.”Marta was ashamed to say that.When she recited the poem in class, the teacher had to correct her for […]

The door is open

Monika HorakovaMember, Czech Parliamentspeaking atStories Exchange Project 2000: Workshop IEastWest InstitutePrague6 December 1999I think that Roms are participating as much as they can right now. There are more than a hundred citizen associations, and two Romany political parties. But there are two questions: how much support is there for Romany activities? how can Roms solve […]

The number of educated Roma is increasing

Monika HorakovaMember of the Czech Parliamentin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirector, The Stories Exchange ProjectCzech Ministry of Foreign AffairsPrague1 December 2000Jack ErwinWhat kind of school did you go to in Brno, Monika? Monika HorakovaI studied psychology at the Philosophical Faculty.Jack ErwinI was thinking about when you were younger, but – what was your experience at university?Monika HorakovaIt was […]

She didn’t give a damn about education

Author: David SvarcLocation: BerounI.17 March 2000It’s raining. I watch the drops slide down the window. Anna is crying. I see tears running down her cheeks. It’s Friday afternoon and she is restless, waiting for visitors to fill her apartment with noise and laughter. Soon she will get to see her children again. It’s been quite […]

They don’t know how to discuss things freely

Jiri ImlaufTeacher of Czech Language and LiteratureBusiness AcademyUsti nad Labemin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirectorThe Stories Exchange ProjectJack Erwin:What’s the good of having Eva [Bajgerova, Local Coordinator, The Stories Exchange Project] come to talk with your class, do you think?Jiri ImlaufI think our school system is still living in the past. I think we need every […]

I studied with them like any white Czech woman

Zdenka SimovaNymburkSeptember 2000[NOTE: In the Czech Republic a "special school” is a school for children with learning difficulties. Romany (Gypsy) children are assigned to special schools if they fail an examination stressing skills in Czech language and culture.]The following story draws upon the experiences of Mrs. Bila, whom we visited in her house in the […]

These children must be offered equal access

Zdenka Svobodova PragueJuly 2000[In the Czech Republic a "special school” is a school for retarded children one which Romany (Gypsy) children are assigned if they fail an examination which emphasizes skills in Czech language and culture.]I met twenty-year-old Tereza H. on a bus going to her home town in central Bohemia. Two years earlier this […]

Who wouldn’t want to look nice

Author: Eva BajgerovaLocation: Usti nad LabemMy brothers and sisters and I are Romany, but we attended an elementary school. My mother knew all the teachers. My brothers and sisters were average students, and sometimes they were even naughty. But I was very obedient and studied well. When I became a seventh grader I was supposed […]

She took the picture from me

Author: Lucie ConkováLocation: Usti nad LabemUnfortunately I don’t know Denisaês last name. She is a student at the Faculty of Social Studies in Prague. I met her when she was doing her practical training in Maticní Street in Ustí."I will tell you a story that happened to me when I was a little girl. It […]

We all come from God

Eva RidajováJuly 2000Nové StrasecíI attend distance studies at the Secondary Social and Legal School of the Evangelical Academy in Prague. I have finished my third year. The program runs for five years. In 1977, with the assistance of the Rajko Djuric Foundation, George Soros, and the Open Society Fund in Prague, this school opened the […]