The Riddle of Prague, Chapter Four, Hana Silna
When I first moved to Prague in 1991, that’s all I knew about Gypsies, too.
“The politically correct designation is Roma. But the Gypsy is no epithet. It’s a holdover from when the Romani first came to Europe and people thought they were Egyptians.”
The Riddle of Prague, Chapter Four, Michal
The Roma have faced discrimination for centuries in Europe. During the Communist occupation of parts of Central and Eastern Europe, the Roma were supposed to become more assimilated into their communities. When the Iron Curtain fell, there was a backlash of hate crimes perpetrated against the Gypsies.
“Let me tell you about the new freedoms in this country, Hana.” Michal hits his fist on the table. “Freedom to think means freedom to hate.”
The Riddle of Prague, Chapter Five
In the 1990s, one town wanted to build a wall to separate the Roma population from the majority population. This video produced by the Open Society Foundation illustrates the history of the Roma in Europe.
For more information on the Gypsies, you can visit their website at: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/programs/roma-initiatives-office