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May 17, 2022



International Romani Day 2019 - Events in the Czech Republic

8.4.2019 9:22
The Romani flag. (PHOTO:  Embassy of the United States of America to the Czech Republic)
The Romani flag. (PHOTO: Embassy of the United States of America to the Czech Republic)

On Monday, 8 April, Romani people worldwide celebrate International Romani Day. This day marks the first-ever World Romani Congress, which was held near London in Orpington in 1971.

That meeting laid the basis for international cooperation among Romani people and the Romani movement achieved its international political and social dimension, with participants agreeing on the form of the Romani flag and on the international anthem. At the fourth World Romani Congress in 1990 in Warsaw, 8 April was declared International Romani Day.

On this day Romani people annually celebrate their common origin, their culture, their language, their joint cooperation and unity, and above all their "Romipen" (Romani-ness). On 3 April news server published this list of the most interesting events scheduled to take place as part of this year's celebrations.


The Ara Art organization organized events over several days:

4. 4. – Václav Havel Square / the Piazzetta of the National Theater - 17:30

The opening of the exhibition FUTUROMA. What would the future of the Czech Republic look like if Romani people were to be working in most of the important bureaucratic and state functions?

Jan Mihaliček, a photographer with the respected association 400 ASA, contributed to creating this exhibition. On this occasion there was also a commemorative ceremony honoring the memory of the late singer Věra Bílá.

A book of condolences is available for members of the public to sign there; ROMEA TV broadcast the launch of the festivities live online. ​

5. 4. – Friday - Střelecký ostrov (Shooter's Island) - 15:00

A day-long interactive game for children from schools and children's homes all over the Czech Republic reached its final destination on Shooter's Island in the Vltava River. The afternoon program for children featured a juggling workshop, a stilt-walking workshop, a yo-yo workshop, as well as a Harry Potter tent and a LEGO assembly point.

Musical performers were Jarda Parči, UGC, Feri & The Gypsies. The program was moderated by Marie Doležalová.

6. 4. – Saturday – Divadlo v Korunní (Korunní 30) - 20:00

As part of a concert commemorating the late Věra Bílá, the following guest performers appeared onstage and reminisced about the performer together: the Dženore band, Michal Kocáb, Bára Hrzánová, Gitana, Jan Bendig, Milan Kratejl, Ondřej Gizman Sr, Milan Demeter, students of the International Conservatory of Prague and others. Jarmila Balážová moderated and ROMEA TV broadcast a recording of the concert online on Sunday, 7 April at 20:00.

8. 4. – Pondělí - Divadlo Archa - 19:30

A high point of Prague's celebrations is tonight's gala at the ARCHA theater, which always takes place on 8 April. The focal point of the evening is a musical program that has been adapted or arranged so viewers will hear and see more than just the individual performers, as is customary during ordinary concert productions.

There will be unexpected duets, original arrangements of famous songs, surprising artistic combinations and interesting guest performers. All of this has become the norm during the last four years of ARA ART's celebrations and this year will be no different, featuring Marco Pillo, Helena Zeťová, Gejza Horváth, Erika Nováková, Filip Gondolán, Rita Beňáková, Ondřej Ferko and others.

Czech Philharmonic and Ida Kelarová, Rudolfinum, 7. 4. and 8. 4.

The Czech Philharmonic, conducted by the choirmaster and singer Ida Kelarová at Prague's Rudolfinum, is holding its first-ever celebrations of International Romani Day. Romani culture will be introduced not just to those attending the concert in person, but also to Czech Television viewers by performers from the Czech and Slovak Republics, Romania, Serbia, Sweden and Austria.

Last night's concert began at 17:00 and tonight's will begin at 20:20. Lelo Nikal presented the world premiere of his composition for two accordions and symphony orchestra, and there traditional music is being performed by the Romanian band Taraf de Haidouks-Caliu and the Cembalom Band of Ivan Herák, as well as contemporary Romani music, including performances of the choral and solo compositions of Desiderius Dužda and the jazz trio of Ondrej Krajňák, Marian Ševčík and Tomáš Baroš.

Guest performers of the vocal numbers by the Čhavorenge choir will include Romani children from the Chrudim and Vysokomýtska areas and from children's choirs all over the Czech Republic who have been involved in the European EOLAB II project. The concert will be broadcast by the public broadcaster's ČT ART channel tonight at 20:20.

An auxiliary program begins two hours before the concerts and includes literary readings by Jan Cina. The pieces are a fairy tale by the doyen of Romani literature, Andrej Giňa, and stories about the homeless character Kaštánka, read in the presence of the author herself, Ilona Ferková.

The Rudolfinum will resound to the cembalom music of Ivan Herák and be brought to life by an exhibition mapping the last six years of collaboration between the Czech Philharmonic and the Čhavorenge choir. The auxiliary program was sponsored by KHER, the Romani literature publishing house, and the ROMEA organization.

Buči, z. s., music club Nová Chmelnice, 6. 4., 18:00

The Buči organization held its sixth annual celebration of International Roma Day in Prague on Saturday. The celebrations were held under the auspices of the mayor of the Prague 3 Municipal Department, Jiří Ptáček.

The music club Nová Chmelnice (at Koněvova 219) was scheduled to feature performances by the Marcinovec ensemble, Jilestar, UGC, Bengas, the Gipsy Old Memories singing ensemble, choirmaster Vojtěch Gorol and other guest performers. The evening was to be moderated by Julie Olachová and Jiří Pstružina.

Important figures were given awards during the concert for their work with the Prague Romani community. Today the Prague 3 Municipal Department will be flying the Romani flag on the building of the Prague 3 town hall at an event attended by the town hall leadership with a performance by the Gipsy Old Memories vocal ensemble, accompanied by the Marcinovec group.


Culture of the Roma Week, 8. - 12. 4. 2019

Brno-based organizations dedicated to the integration of Romani people into society have joined forces and prepared a several-day celebration of International Romani Day in Brno. The full program is as follows:

Monday – 8 April 2019 March of Proud Roma from the Museum of Romani Culture

There will be a March of Proud Roma as part of the Culture of the Roma Week. It will begin at 15:00 today in front of the Museum of Romani Culture.

This will be a traditional Romani march with a horse-drawn wagon on which musicians will play. We will walk to Brno City Hall at Dominikánské nám. 1.

At 17:00 City Hall will fly both the Czech and the Romani flags. We will sing both the Czech and Romani anthems together with performers from the Divadlo Husa na provázku theater company.

At 18:00 the march will end at the Scala University Cinema, where Piroš Rouža will perform so we can dance and sing. At the close of the evening we will screen the film "Roma Boys - A Love Story" (2009, 30 min.), directed by Rozálie Kohoutová.

Tuesday – 9 April 2019

A World Unto Itself

A multi-channel sound installation working with the spectrum of stereotypical insults, harmful comments and verbal assaults that Romani people customarily encounter in the Czech Republic from birth until their old age. The project was created on the basis of the direct experiences of several Romani contributors of different ages and sexes who prefer to remain anonymous, in collaboration with actors from the HaDivadlo company, the Divadlo Husa na provázku theater ensemble, and Brno Technical University's Faculty of Fine Arts.

Fun afternoon at the Hvězdička Eugen Horváth park

In the Hvězdička Eugen Horváth park near the DROM organization's headquarters you can look forward to creative workshops (making badges and musical instruments), a football tournament, an Olympics for children and youth, production of Romani flags, dance performances, a screening of the Romani sitcom "Miri Fajta", live music concerts, refreshments and more. The events are organized by DROM, the Salvation Army, and Ratolest Brno.

Lecture by Ivana Šusterová: Vrajitoare – kto sú ženy ponúkajúce veštenie a mágiu? [Vrajitoare - Who are the women doing fortune-telling and magic?]

This lecture by ethnologist Ivana Šusterová is part of the auxiliary program to an exhibition entitled "Women Selling Hope" (Ženy prodávající naději), which is the outcome of a collaboration between the photographer Lucie Sekerková Bláhová and the ethnologist Ivana Šusterová, who spent four years following the present-day life and work of several generations of fortune-tellers from a group of Vlax Romani people in Bucharest, Romania and its surrounding environs.

Wednesday – 10 April 2019 Beautification of the Locality

On Bratislavská Street at the intersection with Stará Street, the artist Oliver Heller will supervise the painting of a mural of Romani motifs that can be used as a photographic backdrop. That will be followed by group planting of flowers.

Thursday 11 April and Friday 12 April - Theater Festival in the Káznice - to reserve tickets, call 777 103 668.

11. 4. - 17:00 Divadlo Líšeň ensemble - Hygiena krve (Blood Hygiene)

A horrifying cabaret about methods to breed the human race. Both the murderers and the victims will testify through metallic puppets, barbed wire and scrap metal.

11. 4. - 19:00 Cikánský boxer (Gypsy Boxer)

A story of a friendship that was banned during Nazi Germany's Third Reich. This one-act play is based on the actual story of boxing star Johann Trollman, aka "Rukeli", who became the middleweight champion of Germany in 1933.

12. 4. - 17:00 ARA ART – lA zase jsme spali Pindral (Once Again We All Slept Pindral)

"Granny, tell me what it was like, please! Start at the beginning like it's supposed to be!"

Of all his creations, God loved the Roma the most, and for that reason gave our people the most beautiful part of the world - a hidden Paradise on Earth. However, we broke our promise, became cursed, and were never able to return there.

We have been wandering the world ever since. Sometimes bitterly, sometimes cheerfully, but always together ...

12. 4. - 19:00 2851 Jak jsem to přežila - How I Survived

She spent three years in Auschwitz as number 2851. Lives, memories, stories.

A portrait of a woman who survived. Written by Nad'a Kovářová, directed by Dalibor Buš.

Friday - 12 April, Gala Closing of the Culture of the Roma Week festival at Kabinet múz

20:30 Book launch - Amendar

The Amendar publication is the first book to comprehensively present Romani figures who have been and still are active in all areas of daily life in the Czech Republic. The book introduces not just a set of biographical data, but also extensive biographical interviews with two young Romani figures.

Their experiences and opinions can aid us as consultations about the actual opportunities for improving coexistence in our country. This beautifully-produced publication also creates room for readers to overcome the prejudices they have inherited from society.

21:00 Concert by Monika Bagárová

21:30 David Kraus & Gipsy Brothers

22:30 Lače manuša

23:30 Diny Košice


The Movement of Romani Students, náměstí Svatopluka Čecha, 6. 4., 13:00

This second annual celebration of International Romani Day was held in Ostrava by the Movement of Romani Students. The movement wants to present Romani cultural richness, traditions and values, as well as to inspire pride and motivate the Romani nation.

The long-term purpose of the organizers is to create a brand and tradition of International Romani Day celebrations in Ostrava that will be world-class. The program featured Gitana, Gipsy Kajkoš, P.A.T., Gipsy Mercedes and Gipsy Kariško and was free of charge.


International Romani Day has been regularly celebrated in Chomutov since 2004 with a contribution from the Chomutov Local Assembly's Committee for National Minorities. This year's program was as follows:

6. 4. - Commemorative ceremony at the weeping willow in the Podkrušnohorské Zoo Park

7. 4. - Exhibition of photographs in the office of Senator MVDr. Přemysl Rabas (Ruská ulice, Chomutov - opening at 16:00), friendly match in children's football between the Romani and Vietnamese minorities (football pitch of the Zahradní housing estate).


International Romani Day was celebrated with two weekend concerts. On Saturday, 6 April, celebrations began at 14:30 with a Czech-Romani ecumenical service, followed by a concert by Mária Bihári and Bachtale Apsa.

The children's choral ensemble Romane Jila Cikne Čhave was also scheduled to perform Saturday. On Sunday, 7 April at 18:00, a concert was scheduled to be performed by Adan Sanchez at the Martin Café (Masarykovo náměstí 22), accompanied by singer Veronika Kačová.


Saturday 6 April saw celebrations by Romani people of International Romani Day through a day full of dance, music, and recollections of the past.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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