Message of the U.S. Ambassador Norman Eisen Marking International Roma Day
International Roma Day is on April 8th. For the Roma people the day is an opportunity to celebrate their culture, their common origins, their language and "romipen" — their Romani identity. For the rest of us, the holiday is an ideal occasion to learn more about the Roma and be reminded of some of the challenges facing the Romani people.
Despite important progress in the last two decades, too many Roma still live on the margins of society and face high levels of poverty, unemployment, and discrimination in education. Sadly, there are also still too many cases of violence and hate speech targeting Roma.
Americans know from long experience that living together isn’t always easy, especially for people from different backgrounds. We’re constantly striving to do it better. Along the way, we’ve come to realize it’s not only possible – it’s very much worth the effort. A tolerant and respectful multi-cultural society immeasurably enriches all its members.
A good start to any relationship is to learn more about each other. I recommend our Colorful but Colorblind multimedia project – which you can find on the embassy’s website -- or one of the many cultural fairs going on throughout the country.
We all have something special to contribute to society. Let's celebrate those differences which make life in the Czech Republic so enjoyable. I hope you’ll all join me in offering best wishes to the members of the Roma community on this joyous occasion. Thank you.
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