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Czech Republic: International Romani Day 2017 - events country-wide

6.4.2017 10:33
PHOTO:  Džamila Stehlíková
PHOTO: Džamila Stehlíková

On Saturday 8 April 2017, Romani people worldwide will celebrate International Romani Day. The day marks what was historically the first World Romani Congress in Great Britain in 1971, paving the way for what would eventually become the International Romani Union.

During that meeting, participants agreed on the Romani international anthem and the Romani flag. In the Czech Republic the day has been celebrated since the 1990s, and this year celebrations will take place at many different locations all over the country.

News server Romea.cz is publishing below, as we do every year, an overview of the most interesting aspects of this year's celebrations. If you know of other events that are being planned, please write to us at romea@romea.cz.

Prague - La Fabrika

The Romani association ARA ART, together with other nonprofits, is holding its third annual International Romani Day celebration in Prague. Panel discussions, an exhibition, theatrical performances and a large-scale interactive video projection in the center of Prague will be featured. The celebrations began yesterday and will continue through Saturday 8 April, when they will culminate in a gala evening presenting duets sung by Czech and Romani performers of contemporary music at the La Fabrika theater in Prague's Holešovice quarter.

Prague - Mass to be celebrated by Archbishop Dominik Duka

Holy Mass will be celebrated on 8 April in the morning at Prague's Church of the Sacred Heart by Archbishop Dominik Duka. Speaking to Romea.cz, the Archbishop said that International Romani Day is a significant event for the entire Czech Republic and that the Catholic Church is doing its best to support Romani people globally.

Prague - Divadlo Korunní

The Prague International Conservatory is holding a gala concert called "Žehnej Bůh" ("God Bless") at the theater on Korunní Street, dedicated to all Romani people who have achieved something in their lives. The conservatory's message to its students is "Come and pay tribute to those Romani people who have achieved something in their lives on 8 April 2017 at 19:00 in Divadlo Korunní."

Praha - Černý most

The SP Černý Most, s.r.o. company is holding a musical evening together with the Prague 14 Municipal Department as part of its "Cultural Encounters" campaign on 8 April at 18:00 in the Kyje House of Culture featuring the Romani band Funky Brothers. The concert is part of a week of events dedicated to mutual understanding between various national cultures. Today at 18:30, the chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust, Čeněk Růžička, will hold a discussion on the topic of Czech-Romani coexistence at the Plechárna club, followed by a screening of the documentary film "O čo ide Idě" (Ida's Mission).

Brno

Between 3 and 9 April, Romani Culture Week is underway in Brno. Celebrations and events marking International Romani Day will take place in several locations, mainly a program with music and stands on Friday 7 April on Moravské náměstí in the afternoon. Visitors can also see the famous Romani bands Funky Brothers and Imperio there, as well as local dance ensembles and a circus show. Entertainment is also prepared for children, as well as a tasting of Romani cusine.

Jihlava

Coexistence and collaboration between non-Romani people and Romani people is the main theme of this year's celebrations of International Romani Day in Jihlava. Events there have been underway since yesterday and continue tomorrow, 7 April. They began with an afternoon community clean-up around the children's playground and a wiener roast. Today there will be a vernissage of an exhibition by Romani artist Luděk Farkaš. The main program will take place on Friday, 7 April and will include a football tournament, a discussion about the Romani partisan fighter during WWII, Josef Serinek, and a gala event featuring several events - an awards ceremony expressing appreciation for Romani men and women in Jihlava as well as young talents still waiting for their opportunity to contribute. The evening will also feature performances by local dance groups (Šukar Čhaja, Karinka, Lole Čhama, Lucka and Nysha D), after which there will be a dance party with music by the Martin Fečo and Petr Gujda band.

Nový Jičín

Just as in previous years, celebrations will be held in Nový Jičín, where the convener of the events is Veronika Kačová. "We have adapted our program to the motto of the festival, which is 'Together We Can'. I believe that those of you who are aware of our work will come support us and that together we will enjoy pleasant amusements and friendship. I see this day as a way for us to get to know each others' cultures more in-depth. Our team is looking forward to you all," she posted on Facebook. Celebrations will take place on Saturday, 8 April and will begin with religious worship at the parish congegration of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren. At 16:00 a program will begin at the Archa teahouse, and at 17:00 Romani pianist Patrik Kačo will perform in the Martin Café. The celebrations will culminate at 18:00 with an evening program in the Coffee Music Bar (Stará pošta). Romani musician Mário Bihári will perform there.

Do you know of an International Romani Day event in the Czech Republic that is missing from this summary? Write to us at romea@romea.cz and we will update this article with the information.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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