April 8th is International Roma Day. It began as a tribute to the first World Roma Congress held near London in 1971. Every year, more and more people mark the day with celebrations around the world.
Different events take place in different regions yearly; look for something in your area!
In 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a video supporting human rights for Roma. In 2010, we organized a day of events in New York City: Columbia University student theater and lecture; art & cocktails at the Hungarian Cultural Center; film screenings downtown & a party with live Romani music.
Participants also took part in a postcard campaign requesting better coverage of Romani issues by the media.
And we encouraged people to record video statements about impressive Romani people.
Our call to action video:
Here is a link to the numerous responses we received for International Roma Day.
One Romani writer summarized the mission of April 8th this way: "Since 1971, we are resolved to be called Roma. We stand up beneath the green and blue flag embellished with the red, sixteen-spoked chakra wheel. We sing a common anthem that echoes our history of determination to peace and unity. We speak Romanes, the language whose endurance is a living source of connection with our brothers and sisters all around the world. We are citizens. We are proud to be a Roma Nation. We commit to live together with other people and Nations in peace and mutual respect."
Hillary Clinton's speech from 2009
The activities for International Roma Day in NYC from 2010
Lunchtime, 12-1pm -- Theater, Discussion & Video Booth Student event @ Columbia University Theater 15-minute performance: Our Garbage Dump: Our Heaven and Hell, by award-winning
playwright Ella Veres, based on interviews with Roma in Romania. Debate on the situation of Roma, led by Prof. Jack Greenberg & other guest speakers Postcard Campaign and Video Booth (see details below)
Art Show & Cocktail Reception -- 2pm to 8.30pm
@ Hungarian Cultural Center, 447 Broadway [@Canal] 2pm onwards:Exhibition & Video Booth -- check out the final day of the exhibition "Shukar!
Contemporary Art by Hungarian Roma Women"
+ we'll be there all afternoon with our video booth to record your thoughts and stories 6.30-8.30pm: Cocktails -- Hungarian Cultural Center hosts a closing reception for the painting
exhibition. Toast the art and join in our: Postcard Campaign and Video Booth (details below)
Gypsy Films Downtown -- 4pm & 6.30pm
@ Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, 113 Ludlow Street, NYC 10002 www.mehanata.com 4pm: OUR SCHOOL by Mona Nicoara [excerpt: 20 mins] SEARCHING FOR THE 4TH NAIL documentary by George Eli [70 mins] 5.30-6.30pm: filmmaker discussion & drinks (+record stories in our video booth)
6.30-8.30pm: GYPSY CARAVAN / When the Road Bends... by Jasmine Dellal
+ talk after with the director
Party & Live Music -- 9pm till late...
@ Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, 113 Ludlow Street, NYC 10002 www.mehanata.com 9pm -> Late: LIVE MUSIC -- Bato the Yugo & Gypsy Boogie myspace.com/batotheyugo
then... DJs, more musicians, + SPECIAL OFFER DRINKS until 10pm
At every event, you'll find: A Video Booth Record your stories and comments about Gypsy pride - and share them with
other people around the globe via our YouTube group & GypsyTown.com Postcards you can sign, and mail to city journalists to ask for more fair reporting on Roma.