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October 21, 2021



Czech Republic's International Romani Day celebrations online: ARA ART holds gala evening "From One Living Room to Another"

7.4.2020 16:26
International Romani Day 2020 celebrations in the Czech Republic. (Poster by ARA ART)
International Romani Day 2020 celebrations in the Czech Republic. (Poster by ARA ART)

8 April, International Romani Day, will be celebrated online this year because of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. The ARA ART organization, which traditionally organizes celebrations of this day in Prague, has posted to its Facebook page the information about live online broadcasts tomorrow, and those interested will be able to celebrate 8 April together with a gala evening called "From One Living Room to Another".

ARA ART's lineup of International Romani Day performances for a live audience in person have been postponed until 5 November. Lucie Nemešová announced that change to the media on behalf of the organizers.

Long before the pandemic broke out, the organizers had chosen "We Are All Romani" as the theme of this year's celebrations. "We wanted to point out the necessity of solidarity, reciprocity, understanding and the need to find a way to unite, even during moments when it is not easy. The unanticipated situation in which we now find ourselves seems made to order for this message," Nemešová said.

"ARA ART's sixth annual celebrations of International Romani Day are understandably on the program. However, you probably all suspect that this time we will not manage to arrange for them to happen at the time usually designated for them, i.e., 8 April and the days before and after. If you know us, though, then you know that we don't give up so easily," reads the organization's press release.

Because of the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ARA ART has planned the 2020 celebrations so that anybody can enjoy them from the safety of their own home. "On Wednesday, 8 April, at 19:00 CET, we are inviting ourselves into all of your living rooms, kitchens, or wherever you have a computer screen connected to the Internet. On the ART ART Facebook page you will find a live broadcast and you'll all be able to celebrate our day together with a gala evening we are calling From One Living Room to Another. From the moderator's station in my own apartment we will connect live to living rooms, kitchens, and the households of our guests - artists, musicians and other Romani figures - and not just those who live in the Czech Republic!" said director David Tišer.

"Right now, more than at any other time, we all can feel that we are all in the same boat, that we're all in this together, and that we are facing a common danger that pays no attention to skin color, origin, or how much wealth we have. We can only cope with this together. Let's take this as an opportunity to learn from all that this exceptional state of affairs has to offer us," the organizers say.

The celebration of International Romani Day with a live, in-person audience is still scheduled to happen later this year at Prague's Archa Theater (Divadlo Archa) on 5 November. "If you can guess why we've chosen that date in particular, write us a personal message on Facebook. As part of the online gala evening From One Living Room to Another, we will hold a raffle from among those who give the correct answer and one person will win free tickets to the autumn Gala - Live for the winner and their entire family," the ARA ART organization writes.

International Romani Day is always celebrated on 8 April. Romani people worldwide commemorate the first-ever World Romani Congress, which was held near London, England in Orpington in 1971.

That Congress laid the basis for international cooperation among Romani people and the Romani movement achieved an international, political-social dimension as a consequence. Romani people annually celebrate their common origin, language, culture, unity, cooperation and above all their Romipen on that day.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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