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Partner cities and municipalities in the joint program of the European Union and Council of Europe ROMACTED II – Promoting good governance and Roma empowerment on the local level celebrated the April 8, International Roma Day.

Photo: City Municipality of Kostolac

International Roma Day was established in 1990 at the Fourth Roma Congress of the International Union (IRU) in Serocka, Poland to commemorate the first International Roma Congress, which was held in 1971 in London. At that first international gathering, the Roma anthem “Djelem, Djelem” was established, as well as the blue-green two-colour flag with a red wheel in the middle.

Celebrating April 8 as International Roma Day aims to point out the fact that Roma women and men around the world are in a significantly disadvantaged position compared to the majority population in almost all areas of social life, as well as that they are exposed to discrimination and deep-rooted social exclusions.

Photo: City of Kragujevac

In the Assembly hall, organized by the municipality of Aleksinac, a formal reception was held for members of the Roma community and organizations, institutions and teams that deal with improving the living conditions of Roma. In Apatin, in cooperation with the “Golden Sun” association, a documentary called “Who are the Roma? To Understand each out better” was revealed in the Culture Center. The event was organized by the municipality of Apatin, and the film produced by “Rominfomedia” talks about the historical origin of Roma, the Romani language and culture.

In the city municipality of Kostolac, a cultural program was held in the Cultural Center. In Kragujevac, International Roma Day was marked with a ceremonial academy in the city assembly. In Kruševac, the cultural centre organized an evening of Roma actors and an evening of Roma music and poetry. The evening was opened by Jelena Djordjević and Stefan Jovanovic, the music editor of the Cultural Center and also the organizer of the program. As part of the Actors’ Evening, the monodrama “Champion of Laughter” by Dragan Rakic Singer was performed.

Monodrama: “Champion of Laughter” in Krusevac

A large number of Roma gathered in the Rasadnik Roma settlement in Pirot to celebrate 8 April together, where they enjoyed music, song and a festive lunch. The President of the City Assembly, Milena Dimitrijevic, and Radmila Nesic, coordinator for Roma issues, were present. In Prokuplje, an event was organized in the Cultural Center and a round table on the topic of improving conditions for the education of the Roma community.

In Subotica, Mayor Stevan Bakic met with representatives of the Roma community in the City Hall. Also, a cultural program was held at “Matko Vuković” Primary School, in which the students of this school brought the culture, customs, language and history of Roma closer to their peers, parents and guests.

Roma flag in the town hall in Zajecar

In Zajecar, a street action was followed by a discussion with citizens on the topic of the rights of Roma and Roma women, while in the city municipality of Zvezdara, a ceremonial panel was organized in the large hall of the municipality, with the aim of promoting Roma culture and tradition, the most common problems in the community and the importance of tolerance and the documentary film “Girls, not brides” was also released in cooperation with NGO „Children centre The Little Prince“.

Zvezdara also organized a public lesson for the third-grade students of “Despot Stefan Lazarevic” Primary School, with the goal of introducing the students to the culture and tradition of the Roma, as well as to introduce them to the importance of establishing International Roma Day.

Roma flag on the town hall in Vrnjacka Banja

The Roma flag has been placed on the Municipality and Town Halls in Apatin, Kragujevac, Lebane, Zvezdara, Zajecar, Subotica and Vrnjacka Banja.

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