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Prague celebrations of International Romani Day end today with gala

8.4.2018 14:26
The Romani flag.
The Romani flag.

The Prague celebrations of International Romani Day will culminate today at the Archa theater with an evening gala full of non-Romani and Romani celebrities. The performance will close the three days of celebrations directed by the ARA ART organization.

Sunday, 8 April 2018 is the 18th time International Romani Day has been celebrated in the Czech Republic. The theme of this year's celebrations is Romipen (Romani-ness) and its content in the 21st century.

The evening will be preceded by an NGO Market at the Archa theater where nonprofit organizations will present themselves at 17:30. At 19:30 performances will be given by Gejza Horváth, Gitana (SK), Antonín Gondolán, Veronika Kačová and Cikne čhave, Marta Balážová, Matuš Bagár, Pavlína Matiová, Romano Zorba–Horváth, Kaminiko, Anna Slováčková, Ondra Gizman ml., Milan Kratejl and David Kandráč.

The singers will be accompanied by the Milan Kroka Live Band. The evening will be moderated by Iveta Demeterová and Ladislav Goral.

As is traditional, the Milena Hübschmannová Award for special contribution to the field of the Romanes language will be given, the laureates of which are annually chosen by the Romani Studies Seminar of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague. 8 April is a day when Romani people worldwide celebrate the richness of their culture, remember their history, and reflect on situations they are facing both in the majority society and inside their own communities.

The unifying theme for each year is always chosen so as to reflect a current issue. "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.

The answers to questions about Romani people's identity and their values are immeasurably important, according to the organizers. "In order for us to be able to function well in the majority society as a whole, we must primarily comprehend who we are. The journalist Petr Uhl once described this fittingly: 'Romipen is the basis of the cultural emancipation of the Roma'. I would add that this emancipation is unconditionally necessary in order for Romani people to live with dignity and in a bilaterally beneficial symbiosis with the majority society," Tišer said.

The Prague celebrations began on Friday when an historical "tROMvaj" with live music made two tours of the city center. On Saturday those interested were able to watch the comedy "Miri fajta" at the Uhelna club and attend the birthday celebration for a Brno-based legend of the Romani music scene, Gejza Horváth.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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