About International Romani Day
A day to celebrate Roma culture and history and the contributions of Roma to our societies. It is a day to acknowledge historical and systemic discrimination against this population, one of the largest minority groups in Europe (at 10 to 12 million Roma).
The day was officially declared in 1990 in Serock, Poland, the site of the fourth World Romani Congress of the International Romani Union, in honour of the first major international meeting of Romani representatives that place in April 1971 in Chelsfield near London.
This day is symbolic of the beginning of the Roma civil rights movement. At that time, the official flag of the Roma and the anthem (“Gelem, Gelem”) were two important symbols of the global Roma community, which are still the subject of controversial debate today – as is the use of foreign and self-designations.
Today, International Roma Day is recognized by all European and international organizations and institutions and is also used as an opportunity to make the diverse contributions of Roma and Sinti*zze in history, art and culture visible.