Roma art, music and culture celebrated on streets of Prague

25-05-2001

It was at the seminar that I managed to catch a word with one Roma man living in the USA - Ferdinand Olach believes that a specific culture among the Roma is difficult to pin down.. in the USA, for example, they simply live different lives..

OLACH: "There is no problem with the language. The problem is that we are so far away from each other, and they assimilate from one culture to another. They study, college - lots of gypsies - I mean Roma people - they went to college. They are more intellectual people than the say that people of Eastern Europe. They don't have too much education. That is what divides us."

ROSS: "My name is Stuart Ross and I'm in charge of talking care of our foreign guests basically. It has been extremely difficult - just to mention one example, we had this wonderful band coming in from Egypt, from little village. Of course we had no languages in common, so we were contacting them through their agent in Britain,,who would then call them and then they'd get back to him, etc. So, yes, logistically it has been extremely difficult, and we're extremely happy that it did work out and that we have the bands here and they're putting on great shows."

And it certainly was, I can tell you. Roma musicians and singers brought the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square to a standstill with a festival of music, dance and song. The artists hailed from Roma communities all over the world, such as this singer from Egypt..

KALDERAS: My name is Hans Kalderas and I have two artist names here - Damo Ramano. I'm invited here to sing with my two ensembles - one from Sweden and one from Romania. From all over Europe, and from Turkey and from Egypt and from Sweden, so it's very mixed. It's so people know that we exist.

Photogallery from the Khamoro festival

25-05-2001