This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

21st April 2015 Budapest, Hungary

My identity – My freedom

Romani Design Fashion Show on the International Roma Day

Guest Blog by Szilvia Suri, President of the Hungarian Roma Press Center.

Our vision in the Roma Press Center is that one day Hungarian Roma will be regarded equal, valuable members of our society, even though everyday struggles remind us that we still have a long way to go.

This is why for this year’s International Roma Day we gathered to demonstrate that we are an integrated part of the Hungarian society, and in cooperation with more than a dozen Roma and pro-Roma NGOs we organized the Roma Day.

Photo: Roma Press Center
Photo: Roma Press Center

We wanted to be present in the most frequented areas of the capital, to be visible even for those who would not want to see us. Our aim was to represent ourselves in an innovative way, breaking free from the stereotypic interpretation of Roma.

Romani menus were available in popular downtown restaurants, a DJ set was played in Blaha Lujza tér – a remix based on the music of worldwide-known Roma musicians who did great in various genres, but not in traditional Roma music. We built a modern sandlot on Rákóczi tér, projected Roma artists’ paintings on downtown buildings’ walls, and introduced Roma everyday heroes in stops of the tram line 4/6. We awarded the Golden Band Prize for a Roma everyday hero and in cooperation with Romani Design, we held a fashion show.



For more photos visit the Roma Press Center's Facebook page:
For more photos visit the Roma Press Center’s Facebook page:

Approximately 700,000 Roma live in Hungary. We give 7 % of the population, we are present, yet we are so alienated by the majority as if we were invisible. This mindset is what we aimed to challenge with our programs, including the Romani Design fashion show.

How about approaching the non-Roma by showing our fashion introduced by people they know and admire – we thought. So we requested Örkény István Theater to encourage their colleagues to join us and support our cause by participating. The enthusiasm got bigger then we dared to expect, and finally 11 great and gorgeous actresses graced the Romani Design runway wearing Erika Varga’s modern-traditional creatures.

Theresa Bubbear brit nagykövet-helyettes Varga Erikával, a Romani Design divattervezőjével
Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy, Theresa Bubbear with Erika Varga of Romani Design
For more photos, visit Romani Design’s Facebook:

Tímea Sághy, Anikó Für, Dorka Gryllus, Vera Szabó, Gabriella Hámori, Éva Kerekes, Kata Pető, Eszter Ónodi, Kriszta Bíró, Annamária Láng and Magdolna Diána Kiss graced the Romani Design runway.

Even though some of them were a little bit nervous right before the show started – it turns out, being on stage is not always the same – the actresses were stunning in Romani Design. They seemingly felt comfortable in the tradition-inspired dresses, ceaselessly smiling and enjoying being on stage – this time in a not so familiar setting.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the British government.

About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

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