Slovakia: Romani barber builds salon in small town despite local prejudices
Dalibor Ferenc has fought to the end and won what he has long been desiring, namely, the opportunity to build his own hairdressing salon in a small town in the Žilina Region in northern Slovakia. The 23-year-old has managed to overcome a difficult period during which strong prejudices from those around him arose as barriers to his plan to open the salon last year, forcing him to move his business into a new space.
Today Ferenc has regular customers and hopes to open a barber shop specializing in above-average care for gentlemen's beards and hair. "Last year I had the opportunity to launch the operation of my own hair salon. The owner of the space where I was meant to open it was eventually persuaded by a woman from the shop next door not to sign the contract with me because she strictly refused to have a 'gypsy' next door," Ferenc recalled for news server Romea.cz.
"I've already closed that chapter. The woman, naturally, has never apologized to me, but that's already behind me. Even though it was very complicated to find other spaces, I take this experience as something that made me stronger, and now I am mainly focusing on my salon," he explained.
According to the young hairdresser, when looking for a new location he had the good luck to find a person who does not listen to gossip or prejudices against Romani people. "After meeting the owner of the space in person, we agreed on the conditions and I opened my salon on 6 December, right on St. Nicholas Day," he told news server Romea.cz enthusiastically.
Currently he is gradually acquiring and expanding his clientele, who regularly return to the salon. "I even have two customers who come every week. That's brilliant. In the future I would like to expand my business to include a specialized barber shop where I would focus on gentlemen's haircuts and beard trimming," he said.
Barber shops are becoming more and more popular, and in the Czech Republic there is one called Laky Royal Cut in the center of Prague where the Romani rapper Rytmus goes for his hairstyles. That business was established by Lukáš Vlačuha, nicknamed "Laky", who is a leading barber in the Czech Republic.
Vlačuha grew up in a children's home in Opava, where he trained as a hair stylist. After leaving the home he got into problems and ended up on the street.
Thanks to the aid of his stepsister he came to Prague and gradually worked his way up from being a waiter to owning his own barber shop. Richard Samko interviewed him recently for the "10 Minute Insight" program on ROMEA TV.
- Slovakia: Meet the Romani teacher who refused to grade racist essays
- Romani rappers P. A. T. and Rytmus in new video: Czechs and Slovaks are "drunk on hatred"
- Slovak appeals court confirms that town discriminated against Romani woman and must compensate her
- Slovakia: Sale of salon to hairdresser underway until landlord, neighbors see he is Romani
- Czech off-duty police officer assaults Romani children for smoking
- Educator Martin Kaleja: From the Romani settlements in Slovakia to the Czech academic world
- Czech town hires Romani lifeguards, swimmers respond positively - especially Romanes speakers
- Czech towns hire Romani community members as police assistants
- Czech town plans to demolish real estate rented to the socially vulnerable after altercation between long-term residents and newcomers
- Czech Republic: Romani family harassed by xenophobic neighbors with vulgar abuse and threats
- Romani newcomers to Czech town decide to relocate after altercation and protest - despite police protection
- Oxfam: Gulf between the poor and the rich increasing, nationalism on the rise worldwide
- EU: Half of the population perceives antisemitism as a problem
- Lety after the Romani genocide, Part One: Local authorities wanted to build another camp there for Roma after the war
- Czech Police: Anti-Romani signs at Romani genocide memorial in Lety were approval of genocide, perpetrators face three years in prison
- Petr Torák rejects media reports of tensions between Pakistanis and Roma in England