International Roma Day – 8th April

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8th April is the International Roma day. It was proposed as such by the International Romani Union, and since 1992 has been recognized by the UN and the Council of Europe. Today, all European Union institutions recognize and even celebrate April 8 as the International Roma Day.

On this day, we honor the memory of half a million Roma killed during World War II, when the Nazis applied a systematic Holocaust to the Roma as well. But the reason why 8th April is the International Roma day is because on this day in 1971 the first World Roma Congress began in London, which adopted the Roma anthem and the Roma flag. Since then, we have celebrated it as a symbol of the Roma movement, of the fact that Roma from all over the world are uniting in their quest for equal inclusion in the globalizing modern world. Preserving and renewing the Roma identity is an important part of this process: an identity that preserves the original Roma values, but breaks the patriarchal shackles of the modern Roma; an identity that includes the identities of the different groups and is a bridge between them. Because only a person proud of their identity can be equal.

That is why April 8 is the Day of the Roma Awakening! And the call “Opre Roma!” sounds like “Wake up, Roma!”

We are all lucky to live in the era of the Roma awakening and to contribute to its happening. This is also our responsibility! Happy April 8th!

The anthem of the Roma is the song “Jelem, jelem” (I wandered, wandered), popular among the Balkan Roma and authorized by the Serbian Roma Zarko Yovanovic. It talks about the difficult times of the Roma Holocaust, as well as about the opening of new roads for the Roma, about the Roma awakening. The Roma flag is a wheel with 12 spokes on a blue and green background. The wheel is the Indian chakra wheel and symbolizes the Indian origin of the Roma. The background symbolizes the blue sky and green grass.

More information about the holiday, you can find on the event organized by TSA on 8th April 2021, 18:00 h: https://www.facebook.com/events/787894635163658