I told him that I know them

Author: Ivana Simikova, Brno
Location: EastWest Institute – Prague
I just successfully completed an international project.
We had eight young Germans from Leipzig come to our Center in Brno. Four of them were Russian Germans, immigrants from Russia, and three – and the leader – were Germans. They met with our Romany kids and also with Czech students.
We spent four days together. We went to a pottery shop, and went on a couple of outings. But there was one very unpleasant experience.
Here we were, this group of Romanies, Czechs and Germans – Russian and German Germans – and we tried to go to a discotheque and they wouldn’t let us in.
We went to another discotheque and got in: we were the first guests. Then a Romany girl came to me and said that there were other Roms from our Center outside who had asked me to come out and help them get in. The bouncer didn’t want to let them in. I thought that if I told him that I know them, that they work in our Center and that they’re OK, everything would be fine. But he wouldn’t go along with it, even though I tried to speak nicely to him – and I asked to speak with his boss.
It didn’t work out.
In our group it was fine, though. Of course there was the language barrier, but the Germans were very nice to the Roms and danced with them.

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