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International Romani Day: 50 years of demands

Commemoration. This year, the official celebration will especially remember the anniversary of the 1st World Romani Congress, held in London in 1971.

On 8 April, the International Romani Day: and the 50th anniversary of the event will be celebrated. In commemoration, the member organisations of the Municipal Romani Council, together with Barcelona City Council, are organising an event to explain and raise awareness about Romani culture.

This year, due to the pandemic, the event will be held without an audience, but it will be broadcast live on the Barcelona City Council YouTube channel. You can follow it by clicking here,

8 April – International Romani Day

An event marking the 50th anniversary of the 1st World Romani Congress, held on 8 April 1971
Venue: Saló de Cent
Date: 8 April 2021
Time: 6.30 pm


Opening. Music from “Schindler’s List”
Welcome from the Mayor Ada Colau

Maria Rubia – Ex vice-chair of the Municipal Romani Council (CMPG)
Ricard Valentí – vice-chair of the CMPG

A minute of silence
Music, “Adagio” by Albinoni

A talk by Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia
A poem recited by Seo Cizmich

Mariano Fernández – a person of recognised worth for the Romani people of the CMPG
Cristóbal Laso – a person of recognised worth for the Romani people of the CMPG

Closing address from the Mayor Ada Colau

Music, the hymn “Gelem, gelem”
Family photo

As part of the celebrations for International Romani Day, on 8 Aprill the Romani flag will hang from the balcony of City Hall in Barcelona.

This International Romani Day we encourage you to share these tags on social networks


History, language and culture

Every 8 April, we commemorate International Romani Day, which has been held in various countries around the world since 1971, in recognition of the history, language and culture of the Romani people.

This date is a commemoration of the 1st World Romani Congress, held in London on 8 April 1971, where the Romani flag and hymn were chosen and it was agreed to work towards the recognition of the Romani people by the United Nations.

At the 4th World Romani Congress, which was held in Serock, Poland in 1990, the 8th of April was officially designated as World Romani Day, to commemorate the 1st Congress.

A wheel as a symbol

The official flag of the Romani people is green and blue, representing the heavens and the earth, with a red wagon wheel as a symbol of their journey from India and freedom. The Romani hymn is “Gelem, gelem” (I walked, I walked), composed by Jarko Jovanovic.

Every 8 April, there are festive celebrations and events organised by various national and international organisations, along with some associations. It is a festive day for celebrations, but it is also a day for raising awareness about the culture and history of the Romani people and calling for the defence of their rights and the fight against discrimination and anti-Romani sentiment, as well as the situations of inequality and vulnerability that the Romani people have suffered and still suffer today.


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