Czech President to decide whether Romani musician to receive state honors as Senate proposes
The Czech Senate approved its nominations for state honors during its July session. The list contains the names of 32 figures who are exceptional for their bravery, their contributions to the fight for democracy, or their extraordinary performance in the arts, medicine, science, sport or other areas beneficial to society.
Among the candidates is the Romani author, foster mother and teaching assistant Olga Fečová, who was nominated in May by Doc. PhDr. Zuzana Jurková, PhD., the head of the Department of General Anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University. Mrs Fečová has raised as many brilliant musicians in her own family as the Bach family did in the 18th century!
For decades she has dedicated herself to street children, with whom she sings, dances, paints and rehearses theatrical productions. Those are just some of the reasons she was nominated by Dr Jurková for state honors, and the Senate has agreed and proposed that Mrs Fečová be awarded the Medal of Merit.
Czech President Miloš Zeman will now decide whether to award her that honor. "Her entire life, Olga Fečová has embodied an approach that has proven to be essential and life-saving during the time of the COVID epidemic: That selfless care for others can be an integral component of life, including among those who are not materially affluent," Dr Jurková said previously, adding that "Olga Fečová undoubtedly deserves a trip to the Vladislav Hall."
Olga Fečová was born in 1942 as Olga Demeterová in Humenné, Slovakia. Both of her parents were from musical families.
The family moved to Prague when she was five years old. In 1968 she married the renowned Romani musician Josef (Jožka) Fečo (1940 - 2013), who composed music and also played with ensembles performing the broadest possible range of genres with musicians from his extended family and later with his own children and grandchildren.
The couple raised two daughters. Mrs Fečová dedicated herself to children from disadvantaged backgrounds while working.
In 1996 she formalized that care by establishing the Čhavorikaňi luma ensemble ("Children's World", in Romanes) in Neratovice and then later in Beroun, Krupka and Náchod. In recent years she has been involved with the Jileha project (run by the Slovo 21 association), which focuses on Romani women.
Mrs Fečová has been a member of the Czech Helsinki Committee since 1990. Four years ago she won the prestigious Roma Spirit award.
The ROMEA organization has produced a series of video interviews with Romani people in the Czech Republic called "Memory of the Roma" (Paměť Romů), one of which is with Mrs Fečová (below). Please click on the gear icon for English subtitles.
- Romani musician proposed for Czech state honors
- Romani musician Jan Surmaj has passed away in the Czech Republic
- Czech restaurant chain apologizes to Romani musician for refusal of service
- Czech Philharmonic celebrates International Romani Day with Romani literature and musicians
- Czech Philharmonic will continue collaboration with Romani musician Ida Kelarová
- Romani musician Ida Kelarová to present young Romani musicians she has coached in concert Friday with the Czech Philharmonic
- Czech Republic: Romani musician receives award for civic bravery
- Czech Republic: Motion to name park after Romani musician passes the first bureaucratic hurdle
- Czech Republic: Romani street musician shines in "Pianist of the Year" competition
- Czech civil society prize goes to Romani musician Radek Banga for protesting music award to neo-Nazi band
- Czech Republic: Romani musicians give benefit concert for families of girls killed in hit-and-run in England
- Czech musician minimizes his neo-Nazi past, but there is proof of his present links to right-wing extremists
- Gifted Romani musician succeeding brilliantly in USA
- Czech Republic: Romani actor and musician Milan Šenki ("Korytár") has passed away
- Documentary shows Roma from Slovak settlements singing with non-Romani musicians
- Interview with Vadim Kolpakov, Romani musician from Russia, on integration
- Czech Prime Minister wishes Romani citizens of the Czech Republic "all the best" on World Roma Day
- Czech Senate approves increase to contributions for the care of people with disabilities, to be paid for by reductions to other social services
- Czech President signs law to compensate the victims of illegal sterilizations
- Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe calls on the Czech Senate to approve compensation for illegal sterilizations, final vote tomorrow
- Czech Senate committee recommends compensation for the illegally sterilized, final word will rest with the Senate as a whole
- Czech lower house passes bill to compensate the illegally sterilized, most but not all of whom were Romani women
- Czech Senate elections won by "Mayors" party, xenophobic rhetoric scored no votes, owner of disinformation tabloid not reseated
- Romani candidate for Czech Senate will not advance to the second round, but scores better than his extremist opponents
- Former Czech ombudswoman running for Senate on a platform of justice, in the broadest possible sense
- In one Czech Senate race, the "private individual vs. bureaucrat" distinction is being drawn
- Czech MP Karel Schwarzenberg: Mr President, you've committed another complete faux pas
- Czech President Zeman marks US Independence Day by calling Black Lives Matter "racist"