Slovakia: Košice is the European Capital of Culture 2013
Košice is, after Bratislava, the second biggest city in Slovakia. It is not really that popular in terms of tourism but this is about to change. Košice is, together with Marseille, the European Capital of Culture 2013. Part of Košice’s culture should also be defined by the Romany culture as about 5.000 Roma are living in this city.
The event is a wonderful opportunity for the city to create itself a new image and to increase tourism. Furthermore such an event will establish a bigger cultural scene. Who wants to become a European Capital of Culture needs to present a cultural program according to which the decision is made if they will get the status or not.
In 2008 the NGO Košice – European Capital of Culture 2013 was creating to establish the program for their city. They were successful and got accepted. The title is supposed to have an impact in the long term, not only culturally but also socially and economically, both for the city and for the region.
The opening ceremony took place on the 19th and 20th of January. In their cultural program they also included the Romany culture. The opening contained also the topic “Music in the City”. On the 19th of January, in the framework of “Music in the City”, Mário Bihári, an accordionist and singer, who has been well known chiefly for his collaboration with Zuzna Navarová and the KOA band, was playing in the Marionette Theatre. He played Bachtale Apsa’s music which is inspired by the Balkan, Hungarian, Romanian and Slovak Roma tunes. On day after Muzika Petra Balogha was playing traditional Slovak and Roma tunes in the Camelot.
The Romany culture is not just represented in area of music but also in the theater. Košice is offering six different types of theater and one out of this is Romathan. This theatre was already established in 1992. They are performing in both Roma and Slovak language and this makes this theater very special. It is the only theater of its kind in Slovakia and defiantly worth a visit.
Through out the year there will be a lot of events going on in Košice. They tried to include every cultural aspect of their city but still, the Roma are not really mentioned in the upcoming program. Let’s hope that the good start will continue and that they will not forget about the Romany culture which is also part of the city.
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