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August 9, 2022


SEARCH interviews authors of the "official" version of the Romani anthem

28.3.2015 19:02, (ROMEA)
The Romani flag.
The Romani flag.

Does there now finally exist an official, standardized form of the Romani anthem? Has the situation in which hundreds of various versions of the anthem were being played for different occasions at different places now been overcome?

The Moldovan Choral Music Association claims it has and that its recording represents precisely this long-sought official version. News server reported on these claims here, but we were not satisfied with the claims of those who authored this recording, so we asked them the following questions:

  • Why do you believe your version is actually the correct one?
  • Do you believe Romani people throughout Europe and worldwide will accept this version?
  • Don't you believe that discussions about the "correct version" will continue and that this will simply become just the "101st version"?
  • Who is supposed to decide which version is the correct, official, right one?
  • Who represents the Romani people as a nation?

Andriano Marian has responded on behalf of the Rromaanthem project:  "Our version is fully based on Jarko Jovanović's original notations. We have merely arranged it for a symphony orchestra, the harmonies and melody have not been changed."

Marian explains that the original version of the song "Gelem, Gelem" by Jovanović was adopted as the Romani anthem at the first World Romani Congress in 1971. He adds:  "This project has been supported by the Open Society Foundations and its Roma Initiatives Office, which is the center of all Romani initiatives in Europe and worldwide in various areas - in the fields of culture, law, social inclusion and other areas. I don't have anything else to add to this discussion - you have the right to accept or reject this standardized version."    

Yes. At least it is possible to fully agree with that final statement.


Michal Komárek, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Open Society Foundations, romská kultura, Romská reprezentace, Zpěv


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