“King” of Czech Olah Romanies dies aged 72

The leader of the Czech Republic’s community of Olah Romanies, “Olah King” Jan Lípa, died on Monday in Ostrava aged 72, the head of the Union of Olah Romanies said, adding that Jan Lípa enjoyed great respect among Romanies in the Czech Republic and the whole of Europe. The late Olah leader’s funeral will take place in the Ostrava cathedral on Tuesday. One of his sons is set to become the new Olah king, the news agency ČTK reported.

The Olah community, which accounts for around 15 percent of Romanies living in the Czech Republic, is a relatively closed group which has preserved its traditions much more than other Romany groups.

Author: Jan Richter