The government’s council for Roma-related issues has proposed the setting
up of a special commission which would map the pre-war property of the
Romany minority and its confiscation by the Nazi and Communist regimes in
1938 and 1945 in order to open the way for compensation.
The commission has asked the prime minister to release money for the endeavour. The Nazis deported 5,500 Romanies from the Czech lands during the war. Around 500 of them returned after the war.
The Romany singer Ida Kelarová and her Chavorenge Children’s Choir together with musicians from the Czech Philharmonic will perform a concert at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Croydon, southern England on Thursday evening. The program will feature the international Romany anthem Gelem, Gelem, and the choir’s best known song Hey Romale!
Archaeologists, excavating the site of the former WWII internment camp for Roma in Lety, have found some of the victims’ graves. Those who took part in the project say that the discovery is not only the first time that graves of Roma people persecuted by the Nazis have been found in Europe, but also undisputable proof of what happened in the camp.
Ida Kelarová is a singer, musician and choirmaster who performs some of the best Romany music to come out of the Czech Republic. Paradoxically it was years before she discovered her Romany roots and drew inspiration from Roma culture and music. Today this legacy has become an important part of her life and she works hard to help talented Romany children living in excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
A procession by Roma musicians, singers and dancers from all over the world
will pass through the centre of Prague on Friday as part of the annual
Khamoro festival. The parade will start at the lower part of Wenceslas
Square at midday on Friday and head to the Old Town Square.
The 21st edition of the week-long festival of Romany culture got underway last Sunday, offering various concerts, workshops and seminars. It will culminate on Saturday with a gala concert at the Prague club SaSaZu on Saturday.
Roma activists David Tišer and Karel Karika are this year’s recipients of the František Kriegel award in recognition of civic courage handed out by the Charter 77 foundation. The award, which will be presented at a ceremony in Prague on Wednesday, acknowledges their fight for equality and human rights for members of the Romani community as well as for the socially excluded.
Khamoro, the World Roma Festival of music and culture, kicks off on Sunday
evening with a free concert by the band Gipsy Suno in Prague’s Karlín
The annual week-long event is now celebrating its 21st year. Apart from a wide variety of traditional and modern Romany music, the programme features exhibitions, theatrical performances, a fashion show and public discussions.
Khamoro, which means sun in the Roma language, is the largest such festival in the world. It peaks on Saturday with a gala concert featuring Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), 3000 DeSCencias (Spain), Ivan Herák (Czechia), and Romengo (Hungary), among others.
Stanislav Tišer, a former Czechoslovak bantamweight champion boxer now in his early sixties, has been running a Prague boxing club for over 25 years. Thousands of young people – many with troubled backgrounds – have found much need support, discipline and direction under his wings. A decade ago, Tišer received the Fair Play award from the Czech Olympic Committee for his sportsmanship and in March was named an EDUín Prize winner for his work with youth.
Věra Bílá died of a heart attack this week, days before her scheduled comeback tour. The Roma singer, who was widely regarded as a great talent and once sang to sold out audiences across the world, spent the last years of her life heavily in debt and living in a lodging house. Since her death, many have said that her songs will forever live on as exceptional examples of the world music genre.