International Romani Day celebrations begin in Czech capital with Romani tram ride - "tROMvajka"
The Prague celebrations of International Romani Day are beginning today with an historic "tROMvaj" ride through the capital, accompanied by live music. ROMEA TV will broadcast the tram's first trip around the city today live online.
The historic tram car will set off on its tour of Prague at 14:00 from the Střešovice tram yard and will continue through the stations Pražský hrad (Prague Castle), Staroměstska (Old Town), Karlovo náměstí, Národní třída, Újezd and back through Prague Castle to the starting point. The same ride will happen again at 16:00.
The focal point of this year's celebrations is the musical program that will culminate in a celebratory gala full of non-Romani and Romani celebrities on Sunday 8 April at Divadlo Archa in Prague. As is traditional, the Milena Hübschmannová Award will be given for special contribution to the Romani language, the laureates of which are chosen annually by the Romani Studies Seminar at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague.
The Prague celebrations will last three days this year and will be directed by the ARA ART organization. The theme of this year's celebrations will be Romipen (Romani-ness) and its content in the 21st century.
"We are using the term Romipen to identify a set of cultural traditions, values and ways of behaving, negotiating and performing those traditions not just within our community and family, but also in public. These are unwritten laws handed down from one generation to the next through which (among other matters) the Romani society differentiates itself from the majority," explains David Tišer, director of ARA ART and the main director of the Prague celebrations.
"As part of this year's celebrations we want to ask what Romipen basically means currently for Romani people themselves - what forms it takes, how it develops, whether it is cultivating us or holding us back," the ARA ART director said. International Romani Day is a day when Romani people worldwide celebrate the richness of their culture, remember their history, and reflect on the situations they face in the majority society and their own communities.
The unifying theme for each year is always chosen so as to reflect a current issue. This year's celebrations are under the theme of Romipen, or Romani-ness and what its content and meaning can be both for the majority society and for Romani society.
The celebration program including other information for visitors is now available at www.mezinarodnidenromu.cz. The live online broadcast of the 18th annual celebrations of International Romani Day will be performed by ROMEA TV on Sunday, 8 April.
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