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Jury of "Czechia Slovakia Has Talent" TV contest brought to tears by performance of Romani children from the Luník IX housing estate

25.9.2021 9:53
The choir Devjatkakare čhave (
The choir Devjatkakare čhave ("The Children from Luník IX"), who come from the housing estate in Košice called Luník IX, in competition on the "Czechia Slovakia Has Talent" television program. (PHOTO: Česko Slovensko má talent, Prima TV)

Jurors on the "Czechia Slovakia Has Talent" (Česko Slovensko má talent) competition television show had tears in their eyes after a performance by a choir, Devjatkakare čhave ("The Children of Luník IX"), the members of which all hail from the housing estate in Košice, Slovakia called Luník IX that was recently visited by the Pope, and the fifth episode of the program has demonstrated that the contest can have a much deeper impact after the jurors unanimously expressed their appreciation for the Romani children's choir as the winners, sending them on to the next round. The choir, which was created just two years ago, is doing its best to break down biases and show people that the children who live at Luník IX are not "bad", but that exactly the opposite is true.

"Our children are bringing honor to Luník IX," the choir director said. Their performance in Bratislava's Expo Arena received a long standing ovation and the jurors had difficulty holding back tears.

"It's amazing that you all spend your this time in this way, learning something, making friends for life and until death," said juror Marta Jandová, a Czech musician who was obviously moved. Another enthusiastic juror, the Slovak record producer Jaro Slávik, told the choir that "What you all are doing is more important than how you are doing it."

"That's because we are still living in a country where social mobility and the breaking of glass ceilings are taboo," Slávik said, adding that while it was clear from the performance that the choir is just two years old, their message is the more essential part of what they do. "There is hatred, there is fear, we don't encounter people who have been excluded somehow, just because they were not born in Bratislava and have darker skin," the producer said.

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The moderator of the program, Jasmina Alagič, who is married to the Romani rapper Rytmus, was moved by the impression the celebrating children made on her and said at the close of the show: "It is not until now that I have come to know the real essence of Talent, I believed we were just talent scouting, but now I have understood that it can have a much deeper legacy." The Czech-Slovak talent show is broadcast Fridays on the Czech Republic's Prima channel and on JOJ in Slovakia.

Comedians, dancers, magicians, singers and other performing artists in different age categories compete on the show for money and other possible winnings. As in other such televized talent contests, viewers of the program vote to decide the winners.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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