Veronika Hlaváčová: Young Roma have what it takes to rise above prejudice and be motivated
Veronika Hlaváčová of Pardubice, Czech Republic is a member of the young generation of successful Romani people who care about their future and are doing their best to do something for it. Her parents have raised her since childhood to be educated and responsible, and she is proud to be the first college graduate in her family.
Hlaváčová has graduated in Romani Studies from the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague and currently is working as an intern at the US Embassy in the human rights division and also at Prague City Hall, where she is working on the agenda of foreign nationals. She also works for the ROMEA organization.
"Each Romani person should be proud to be Romani," she says in an interview with reporter Gerhard Hadim for Slovak Radio's "Romské Slovo" (Romani Word) program. In her view, it is not important for everybody to have a college education - the most important thing is to do what fulfills you.
"If somebody wants to be a hairdresser then yes, he can be a hairdresser, but whatever we do we must be done with love and because we actually want to do it and will dedicate ourselves to it," she said. Despite being educated and not representing the stereotypical image of a Romani woman, she still encounters some form of prejudicial thinking every day.
Her recipe, however, is to rise above and not let herself be deterred. "Young Romani people must take motivation from this so we can actually show people that yes, we know how to do things too, we are equal to everybody else and we have what it takes," she said.
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