On the occasion of International Roma Day, April 8, a ceremony was held in a ceremonial hall in Kragujevac town hall. The anthem of the Republic of Serbia was inaugurated at the ceremony, followed by the Roma anthem “Gelem, Gelem”, which was intonated for the first time in the town hall in Kragujevac. On that occasion, the ROMACTED program received a letter of thanks for improving the position of Roma men and women in the city of Kragujevac.
International Roma Day was established in 1990 at the Fourth International Roma Congress of the Roma Union (IRU) in Serocko, Poland. The commemorative day was established in memory of the First International Roma Congress, which was held in 1971 in London. At that first international gathering, the anthem “Gelem, gelem” (I went, I went) was adopted, as well as the flag: a blue-green two-tone with a red wheel in the middle.
Through a series of events, local governments marked World Roma Day in cooperation with local Roma CSOs. In Subotica, a reception was organized with Mayor Stevan Bakić, as well as an exhibition of children’s works in the town hall, featuring a concert of Roma music. A concert was also held in Vrnjačka Banja.
In Zaječar, volunteers of the Roma Association organised a discussion with the citizens in the City Square on the position of Roma men and women. In Kruševac, a reading of Roma poetry was organized, which accentuated the importance of the Romani language for Romani culture in one primary school. In the city municipality Zvezdara, the amateur film “Jacket” was shown, which aims to break stereotypes and raise awareness about marginalized groups. After the film, the actresses read poetry by Roma authors, and the event was closed with a musical performance by Roma artists.
The city municipality of Kostolac organized a traditional parade through the streets of Kostolac, which was followed by a Ceremonial academy dedicated to the Roma in the House of Culture. The ROMACTED program provided all partner cities and municipalities with Roma flags in order to mark the International Roma Day by displaying the flag on the municipal building, ie the town hall.
The Roma flag was also placed on the municipal buildings in Vrnjačka Banja, Kragujevac, Subotica, Zaječar, Pirot, Bač and Lebane, as well as at the entrance to the town hall in the City of Niš.