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PhDr. Jana Horvathova - Ethnologist and Museum Curator
26-02-2000

PhDr. Jana Horvathova was born in 1967 in Brno. She graduated from Masarykovo University in Brno in Ethnology and Museum Studies, after which she completed postgraduate study in Museum Studies. After November 1989, she became involved with her husband, a surgeon, in the Romani Civic Initiative, but they supposedly quickly understood that neither of them were suited for politics and that they would rather devote themselves to their work and children.

Jana Horvathova comes from the Holomek family - a family of Roma that settled in Moravia at the end of the 17th century. "The family is now very mixed. My grandfather was still born in a gypsy camp and told me stories from the turn of the century. He was the first gypsy to graduate from university. My grandmother was from Moravian Slovakia and my mother is a Czech from Znojmo," Jana Horvathova said in an interview for Smagazin magagazine(Smagazin, August 8, 1998)

She didn't grow up among Roma, so she didn't learn Romales until adulthood. Jana's father, Karel Holomek , is a mechanical engineer and her mother works in the Moravian Gallery. "Nobody knew anything about my gypsy origin, so they didn't watch themselves around me and from childhood I heard name-calling at Gypsies. I didn't get it - we're such an accomplished family, and at the same time Gypsies! But everywhere I heard: gypsies are dirty, gypsies are primitive. My classmates told jokes about gypsies and I felt horrible. I was afraid that my origin would "come out". I started to study so that nobody could yell at me: Gypsy! I was terribly ashamed of it," she recalled of her childhood for Smagazin (Smagazin, August 8, 1998)

But then everything changed when historian Ctibor Necas was looking for co-workers to help him in the study of Roma topics, and Jana Horvathova, in her second year of university, applied. Eventually, sh was to do her thesis on Roma history...

Today she works in the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno.



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