Thursday, 24 April 2014

World Roma festival kicks off in Prague

28 May 2013

Prague, May 27 (CTK) - Concerts of traditional music and jazz, dance, film screening, parties, a giant cake and mainly street events including a costumed march will be attractions of Khamoro, the annual world Roma festival that started in Prague Monday.

The 15th Khamoro (The Sun) festival will run through Sunday. It was opened by a church service praying for Roma' peaceful life.

The organisers have been forced to reduce the festival budget due to a shortage of money, and they want to bring the events more to the Prague streets, the festival producer Jelena Silajdzic told journalists.

The programme includes Monday's premiere of an original Roma musical Superstar Company.

"It is modern Roma music, which is funky a lot," the production's director Vojta Lavicka, a Roma musician and moderator, told journalists.

People can also visit an exhibition of photographs from the life of Roma in the Czech Republic from 1989 up to now, a series of dance seminars and artist workshops, as well as a "live installation" at Prague's nam.Republiky square at 15:00 on Sunday.

The giant birthday cake with the diameter of 2.5 m has already started to be prepared after instructions of Serbian artist Zoran Tairovic.

It will encompass a mandala symbolically relating to the Decade of Romani Inclusion, an international project initiated by the World Bank and the Open Society Institute in 2005.

"After the cake is cut, four layers will appear, symbolising the four pillars of the Romani Decade - education, employment, housing and health. The path towards sweet and quality life is full of obstacles," Silajdzic said.

The festival's budget is 5.5 million crowns, 2.75 million of which has been provided by the City of Prague and 475,000 by the Culture Ministry.

Support has also been provided by the European commission, but still the organisers say the events need more money to be a success.

Last year, the festival budget was 6.5 million, with Prague and the ministry contributing 2.7 million and 600,000 crowns, respectively.

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