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Half of Czech Romani festival participants are foreigners

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Bystre, East Bohemia, Aug 14 (CTK) – Around 200 people, half of them foreigners, attend the song and dance workshops within the international Romany festival Romale in Hamry near Bystre that started on Thursday, Petra Jilkova, from the organising association Pontopolis, told CTK Saturday.
“They are young people, theatre fans, who also take part in the workshops. There are also 26 Israelis, who rather like Romany music and attend similar events,” Jilkova said.
The participants also include Germans, Poles, Slovaks and 16 Norwegians.
Most foreigners are not of Romany origin, while a half of the Czech participants are Romanies.
Forty children from underprivileged localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, members of the Chavorenge ensemble, will give a concert with the Czech Philharmonic, Jilkova said.
Some of the bands representing contemporary Romany music also give concerts abroad.
Romale will continue until Sunday. It aims to promote Romany artists. It is organised by Czech Romany musician Ida Kelarova from the Miret association. She organised a similar festival, Gypsy Celebration, at the nearby Svojanov castle for seven years until 2007.
Romale follows up the tradition. It is subsidised with 2.3 million crowns from the Norway Grants.
($1=24.322 crowns)

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