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KHAMORO World Roma Festival resumes parade in Czech capital

6.6.2022 6:58
The parade by performers in the KHAMORO World Roma Festival passing through the center of Prague, Czech Republic. (2022). (PHOTO:  Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)
The parade by performers in the KHAMORO World Roma Festival passing through the center of Prague, Czech Republic. (2022). (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)

The annual parade of Romani dance and music ensembles passed through the center of Prague, Czech Republic shortly after noon on 3 June once more, part of the culture festival KHAMORO, the 24th year of which has just taken place in the Czech capital. About 200 performers assembled on Wenceslas Square and proceeded to the Old Town Square, where they were gradually joined by residents and tourists.

The festival, which offered concerts, exhibitions and theater performances since 29 May, closed with a Gala Concert by Romani musicians on 4 June. The festival program, organized by the NGO Slovo 21, is on the event website.

The defilé was broadcast live online by ROMEA TV. Romani dancers and musicians from different parts of the Czech Republic met in the lower part of Wenceslas Square shortly after noon and headed down Na Příkopě Street to the Old Town Square.

VIDEO

The procession, which was led by a decorated horse-drawn carriage and people with flags, stopped several times along the way. Folk dance performers, including children's dance ensembles, performed for onlookers at Ovocný trh and Celetná Street.

After arriving at the Jan Hus monument on the Old Town Square, the procession split up and each ensemble performed there separately again. The festival and the traditional parade through the city have resumed after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Government measures related to suppressing it.

The subtitle of this year's festival was "Let's get together", according to the director of Slovo 21, Jelena Silajdžic. The festival presented the bands Connection and Imperio from the Czech Republic, an Israeli quartet called the Mediterranean Gypsy Swing Experience, and a brass band, The Elvis Ajdinovic Orkestar.

The band Le Chavendar and dancers from the Ballet Lucia Guarnido Studio performed at the Archa Theater in Prague on Saturday. The festival also featured a performance by some members of the only professional Romani theater ensemble in Ukraine, Teatr Romans, who fled to Poland before Russia escalated its war on Ukraine in February.

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According to the organizers, KHAMORO ("Sun" in Romanes) is the biggest festival of musicians who are professional performers from the Romani community anywhere in the world. Prague has been hosting the festival since 1999.

In recent years, about 10 000 people have visited the event annually. The KHAMORO procession through Prague was first organized in 2001.

brf, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Culture, Festival, Khamoro, music



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