Czech Republic: Romanes-language literary contest celebrates its 20th year
The Nová škola NGO has announced its jubilee 20th annual literary competition, Romano suno, which gives young Romani authors the opportunity to descibe how they see the world around them and be appreciated for their knowledge of Romanes, a language that is not ordinarily spoken in public. The majority society also has an opportunity to learn more about the world of Romani children and to increase their own awareness of Romanes as a full-fledged language.
COMPETITION THEMES FOR 2017
Soske som rado pro svetos? / Why am I glad to be in this world?
Miro suno / My dream
Sostar ačhiľom zoraleder / That which does not kill you makes you stronger
Hin lačho, te e fameľija bari? / Is it good to have a big family?
So šaj o gadže sikhľon le Romendar? A so amen lendar? / In what could Czechs take an example from Romani people and in what could we Roma take an example from Czechs?
Children have time until the end of this school year (30 June 2017) to work on their essays. The gala celebration announcing the winning entries will take place during the first half of December and the best texts, translated into Czech and English, will be published in the Romano suno 2017 collection.
The winning contributions will be decided by a Czech-Romani jury comprised of poet Renata Berkyová, the artist Ladislava Gažiová, the documentary filmmaker Rozálie Kohoutová, the prose writer Iveta Kokyová, the commentator and Romani Studies scholar Karolína Ryvolová, and the artist Antonín Střížek. "Through Romano suno I get to access the most contemporary form of the Romanes language, more up-to-date than what I learned at school or what I am used to hearing and reading from Romani people when I do oral histories. What is even more important to me than encountering contemporary Romanes, however, is the opportunity to see into the souls of the Romani children and teenagers who fearlessly described their everyday, harsh realities," Ryvolová said.
"From the very beginning of the competition, its organizers counted on involving all children. That was how the art section of the contest came about. Children compete with their pictures, painted according to the motifs of their fellow Romani pupils' stories, or express their view of this year's themes in their art," explains contest coordinator Marie Bořkovcová.
"Over time, however, more and more pictures began to sent to the competition that were about random themes. This year we would like to support the original purpose and once again connect the art section of the contest more closely to the literary pieces. The jurors will be awarding pictures that are related to the literary contributions," the coordinator said.
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