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Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister gets a haircut at a Romani-owned barbershop to mark World Roma Day

14.4.2022 8:19
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marián Jurečka at the Romani-owned Romeo's Barbershop in Olomouc, Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Facebook 8 April 2022)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marián Jurečka at the Romani-owned Romeo's Barbershop in Olomouc, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Facebook 8 April 2022)

Compared to previous years, this year a number of Czech Goverment politicians sent public greetings to Romani people on World Roma Day. In addition to Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartoš, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marián Jurečka chose an unconventional way to wish Romani people well on 8 April this year. 

Jurečka got a haircut in Olomouc at Romeo's Barbershop, which was founded by a group of Roma youth. He posted a video of the experience to social media.

"This is World Roma Day. It's a celebration of culture and also a time when we can think about the stereotypes these people often unjustifiably face," Jurečka posted along with the video.

"For example, the guys from Romeo's Barbershop are clear proof that Romani people can work and do want to work. I've been coming to these local guys for several years and I really like how they've managed to work things out. Today they have their own super business in Olomouc," Jurečka posted.

"We always wanted to do this with the boys, to make our own way with the boys, so we gave it a shot," explains a barber in the video as he cuts the minister's hair. After piloting the business in the town of Valašské Meziříčí without much success, they opened a traditional men's barbershop for classic and modern haircuts in the city of Olomouc. 

The situation was all the more complicated as the new establishment was opened during the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions on in-person gathering. "It's not doing horribly, and it's not some glorious success. However, it does keep getting better and better," a 25-year-old barber who has been cutting hair since the age of 13 says of the business's success and customer interest. 

His colleagues have 20 years of experience cutting hair. "I think it's great. If you don't know where to go for a haircut in Olomouc and the surrounding area, come see these guys. I definitely recommend it," Jurečka closed his non-traditional World Roma Day greeting.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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International Roma Day, ministři, MPSV, Olomouc



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