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April 8 2011

International Roma Day: Living together is possible! Let's party together

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The Roma are the largest minority in Europe and the most discriminated. The International Day of Roma remembers the first international meeting of Roma, held near London (Orpington) on 8 April 1971[1]. On that occasion, presenting a new document on the integration of Roma in Europe[2], the Vice-President of the EU Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, said

"Member States have a shared responsibility to end the exclusion of Roma from schools, employment, healthcare and the housing. It is a major challenge. That is why we are setting targets for the integration of Roma and we need a clear commitment by all capitals, regions and cities of Europe to put them into practice[3].

Despite the availability of resources put in by the EU integration, continuing policies in Europe based solely on the emergency fuel fear and prejudice. Even in Italy rarely achieve inclusive policies and there is often only a useless operations "eviction without alternative", which do not solve problems, aggravating the living conditions of Roma and increasing social unrest. As late as yesterday some Romanian Roma families in Rome have been offered temporary accommodation solutions that separate families, creating additional and unnecessary discomfort.

The Roma are an ancient presence in Europe, they are entitled to the rights of full citizenship through real politics of inclusion. The Community of Sant'Egidio - close to Roma and Sinti in Italy and in Europe[4] – for years has been aiming at overcoming divisions and misunderstandings and to demonstrate that it is possible to live together among different peoples.

The Community of Sant’Egidio will celebrate in Rome the International Day of Roma by public initiatives that will see all Roman citizens with Roma and Sinti living in our city. All participants will be donated a magnetic sticker with best wishes in Romany language for this day of celebration.


[1] The promoters of this meeting were Donald Kenrick and Grattan Puxon England, Jarko Jovanocic from Yugoslavia, Mateo Maximoffem from France, and many others. In London, they formed the first international organization called Rom IRU (International Romani Union) During the meeting, were chosen the flag (a flag with horizontal bands of blue, the sky above, the green color of the earth, at the bottom and a red wagon wheel in the center, a symbol of nomadism) Roma anthem ("Gelem Gelem" featuring Janko Jovanovic). In 1990, in Warsaw, during the fourth International Congress, April 8 has been recognized as the International Day of Roma


Neighbourhood parties with citizens of Rome, Roma and Sinti


Thursday, April 7 Tor Bella Monaca via dell’Archeologia, 74
party with the children and the elderly from 4:40 pm

Friday, April 8, school party in via Ferraironi 4:30 pm in the schoolyard
Dance party with Roma children, a snack and distribution of "magnet" for families and children of the neighbourhood


Friday, April 8 at the welcoming centre of Via Anicia, 7 (Trastevere) 5:00 pm
Party with music and snacks with distribution of magnet stickers

Party on Friday, April 8 primary school A. Gramsci, Laurentino 38,  4:30 pm

Thursday, April 14 at 5:00 pm Theatre of the parish of St. John of the Cross in Colle Salario (Via Apecchio, 11)
Party with children of the school of peace and the families of Castel Giubileo


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