Ida Kelarová is a singer, musician and choirmaster who performs some of the best Romany music to come out of the Czech Republic. Paradoxically it was years before she discovered her Romany roots and drew inspiration from Roma culture and music. Today this legacy has become an important part of her life and she works hard to help talented Romany children living in excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
A procession by Roma musicians, singers and dancers from all over the world
will pass through the centre of Prague on Friday as part of the annual
Khamoro festival. The parade will start at the lower part of Wenceslas
Square at midday on Friday and head to the Old Town Square.
The 21st edition of the week-long festival of Romany culture got underway last Sunday, offering various concerts, workshops and seminars. It will culminate on Saturday with a gala concert at the Prague club SaSaZu on Saturday.
Roma activists David Tišer and Karel Karika are this year’s recipients of the František Kriegel award in recognition of civic courage handed out by the Charter 77 foundation. The award, which will be presented at a ceremony in Prague on Wednesday, acknowledges their fight for equality and human rights for members of the Romani community as well as for the socially excluded.
Khamoro, the World Roma Festival of music and culture, kicks off on Sunday
evening with a free concert by the band Gipsy Suno in Prague’s Karlín
The annual week-long event is now celebrating its 21st year. Apart from a wide variety of traditional and modern Romany music, the programme features exhibitions, theatrical performances, a fashion show and public discussions.
Khamoro, which means sun in the Roma language, is the largest such festival in the world. It peaks on Saturday with a gala concert featuring Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), 3000 DeSCencias (Spain), Ivan Herák (Czechia), and Romengo (Hungary), among others.
The latest Rainbow Map, a comprehensive evaluation of 49 European countries according to their attitude towards sexual minorities ranks the Czech Republic in 31st place – closer to countries where members of the LGBTI community face systemic discrimination or routinely see their human rights violated.
Today Anna Thu Nguyenová is based in California, where she works with technology start-ups. But the young Czech-Vietnamese woman is familiar to many here in her native country thanks to roles on TV series, including a soap opera in which she appeared in over 100 episodes. Indeed, when we spoke recently she was taking a break from her business career to appear in a new Czech Television series. Some viewers will know her by her former name, Anh Thu Nguyen Thi, and she explained the change.
The case of a man who made a Seig Heil gesture at a Prague political
gathering organised by Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy party
is to be considered by the state attorney’s office after being handed
over by the police. Officers said that while looking at footage of the
incident they had also found evidence of a woman wearing a swastika and are
also investigating that matter.
The event in question was a rally on Wenceslas Sq. at which far-right leaders such as Marine Le Pen of France and the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders appeared alongside Mr. Okamura to protest at what they dubbed the “dictate” of the European Union.
How did the working poor live in Prague during the Austro-Hungarian Empire? In the days of the democratic First Czechoslovak Republic? Under Communism? And what about the homeless of today? Two separate yet complementary exhibitions now at the City of Prague Museum take a novel approach to presenting the capital’s often forgotten, overlooked or unknown history of poverty and homelessness.
Nowhere in the entire European Union was a person fleeing their homeland less likely to be granted safe harbour last year than in the Czech Republic. Fresh data from Eurostat show that in 2018 the Czech Ministry of Interior granted international protection to only 1 in 10 applicants – while not a single refugee was resettled here.
The majority of the methamphetamine seized by the Czech police last year was produced by Vietnamese crime gangs. Indeed, almost 70 percent of the illegal drug impounded last year was Vietnamese- produced. Police say cultural differences and the language barrier make it harder to combat these activities.
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