Deadline for applications to Romani Studies at Charles University is the end of February
"The Romani people cannot be reduced to just dance, music or social problems. We defend ourselves against such a stereotypical view of them in Romani Studies and we try to pass that on to our students," says Helena Sadílková, head of the Romani Studies Seminar at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague, in an interview for ROMEA TV.
For 30 years now, students have been able to study the rules of the Romanes language, including the basics of Vlax Romanes, and the history of Romani people in Czechoslovakia and Europe at the oldest university in the Czech Republic through the Romani Studies Seminar, a unique field of university study being taught in the Czech Republic and worldwide that was established at Charles in 1991 by the late Milena Hübschmannová. This field is open to applicants this year as well, and those interested can submit their applications by the end of February.
Romani Studies can be studied either as a stand-alone field or in combination with any other field at the Faculty of Arts, which facilitates such combined studies. According to the head of the seminar, college graduates who earn a Bachelor's in Romani Studies will find a broad range of applications for it due to the timeliness of Romani-related subject matter and the lack of qualified Romani Studies scholars, among other reasons.
"A large part of our graduates, of whom there are hundreds by now, work in the nonprofit sector. That reflects the current situation in Czech society, after all, because it is exactly nonprofit organizations that are involved with Roma-related issues in practice, to the greatest extent," Sadílková tells ROMEA TV.
"In addition, our graduates working at local authorities, but they are also successful publicists or documentarians. Unfortunately, few graduates remain in academia so they could augment our team, for example," the head of the seminar admits.
Sadílková herself has an almost perfect mastery of the Romanes language. "It's my working language, I have been learning to speak it since 1996," she tells ROMEA TV.
"Sometimes Romani people are startled to hear that I know how to speak their language. Especially when they see what I look like," she notes.
The Romanes language is one of the main pillars of Romani Studies at the Faculty of Arts. "We require our graduates to speak Romanes fluently and to master its grammar," the seminar head emphasizes.
"For the last couple of years we have also been inviting native speakers to our classes so our students have had a unique opportunity to converse in Romanes and have been immersed in the language as much as possible," she says. Some of the graduates in Romani Studies from Charles University include, for example, Renata Berkyová, who is a research staffer at the Institute for Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; David Tišer, an activist and director of the ARA ART organization; Saša Uhlová, a journalist; Lukáš Houdek, coordinator of the Czech Government's HateFree Culture initiative, who is also a documentarist; Rozálie Kohoutová, a documentarist; and Michal Mižigár, a recent winner of the Aspen Central Europe Leadership Award given to sucessful young leaders by the Aspen Institute Central Europe.
- Czech town hires Romani lifeguards, swimmers respond positively - especially Romanes speakers
- Slovakia has elected its first female President - Čaputová thanks voters in Romanes again
- Slovak Presidential elections: Frontrunner speaks Romanes when thanking first-round voters
- Monika Mihaličková: In Romanes we never say "Me som cikános" ["I am a gypsy"]
- Charles University in Prague publishes online explanation of Romanes spelling rules
- Czech Republic: Romanes-language literary contest celebrates its 20th year
- Czech census: Online form will be in Romanes too, listing nationality is important
- Renáta Plachetková: EU citizens without settled status as of 30 June in the UK will be deported
- Jan Dužda: Vaccination is the most effective weapon against COVID-19, Czech authorities need to campaign about its effects and importance
- Czech Public Defender of Rights meets Romani community member Štěpán Kavur of the Buči association
- February marks the 62nd anniversary of communist Czechoslovakia forcibly sedentarizing Romani people
- EU Commission: States have to show improvement for Roma if they expect to draw funding
- Memory of the Roma: Mária Lendelová speaks about her life
- Alena Gronzíková: Czech landlords will not rent to Roma even with good references and steady incomes
- Romani doctor in Czech Republic will get vaccinated and is disturbed by COVID-19 disinformation
- Czech court gives suspended sentence to adults who assaulted young Romani children physically and verbally in a park last year
- Czech Republic: Further action needed to integrate Roma children in schools and prevent discrimination against LGBTI persons
- COMMENTARY: Czech TV show portrays Roma as nothing but criminals