April 8th

International Romani Day -

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Every year on April 8th, we observe International Romani Day. This annual tradition is a nod to the vibrant Romani culture and their societal contributions. It also aims to shed light on the persistent struggles the Romani community faces due to entrenched biases and social marginalization.

The day further provides an opportunity to celebrate the distinctive cultural heritage, historical background, and resilience of the Romani people despite numerous obstacles. It is a crucial day for spreading awareness about Romani realities, fostering empathy, and combating misconceived perceptions.

History of International Romani Day

The origin of International Romani Day dates back to the inaugural World Romani Congress, which took place on April 8, 1971, near London, in Orpington. The groundbreaking congress saw Romani delegates from several countries come together for the first major global assembly of the Romani community.

During this congress, crucial strides were made toward the liberation and recognition of the Romani people. For instance, a blue and green flag emblazoned with a red wheel in the center was established to be the official Romani flag. Additionally, “Gelem, Gelem” or “Djelem, Djelem” authored by Žarko Jovanović, was accepted as the Romani anthem.

Fast forward to 1990, during the fourth World Romani Congress in Poland, this was when the International Romani Day was formally instituted. April 8 was chosen as a nod to the groundbreaking congress of 1971. Since then, this special day is marked globally with an array of cultural festivities and discourses on the Romani people’s experiences.

International Roma Day is an avenue to advocate for the observance of the rights and freedoms of the Romani community, appreciate their contributions to societies across the world and push for an understanding and recognition of their past and cultural heritage. It also empowers Romani individuals to affirm their identity and use activism to challenge bias and discrimination.

International Romani Day Timeline

Origination of the Romani People

The Romani people are believed to have originated in northern India around this time.

Arrival in Europe

Romani people began to arrive in Southeast Europe from northern India.

Holocaust Persecution

The Romani, along with the Jewish community, were targeted and murdered during the Holocaust by the Nazi regime.

First World Romani Congress

Romani people from around the world gather in London, UK, and decide to establish International Romani Day.

First Celebration of International Romani Day

The first official celebration of April 8th as International Romani Day occurs, aimed at celebrating Romani culture.

Recognition as a Non-Territorial Nation

The Romani people were recognized as a non-territorial nation by the United Nations.

Continued Struggles

Romani communities continue to face significant discriminations and disadvantages worldwide.

Ideas to Celebrate International Romani Day

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Host a Romani Culture Fair

Organise a fair or an event where you highlight the richness of Romani culture. This can include music, dance, traditional Romani crafts, and food stands that serve Romani cuisine. It would be an immersive experience that celebrates and educates attendees about Romani culture.

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Romani Music and Dance Festival

Host a festival featuring Romani music and dance. Invite local or international Romani musicians and dancers to perform. This can not only be a celebration but also a way to support Romani artists.

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Romani Film Screenings

Show a selection of films that shed light on the Romani experience. This can include films by Romani filmmakers or movies featuring Romani characters. It's an entertaining way to learn about Romani culture and history.

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Educational Seminars and Workshops

Organize informative sessions about Romani history, language, culture, and the issues that the Romani community faces. Invite Romani speakers or scholars to conduct these sessions.

7 Interesting Facts About Romani


A Unique Language

Romani is a language belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It includes several dialects and is known for its deep roots and unique linguistic structure. The language is an essential part of the cultural identity of the Romani people.


Origins of Romani People

The Romani people, also known as Roma or Gypsies, are traditionally a nomadic ethnic group from the Indian subcontinent. They migrated across the Middle East and Europe about 1,500 years ago. They have a rich history and colorful cultural traditions.


Name Misinterpretations

The term 'Gypsy' is often used to refer to the Romani people. However, it is generally deemed inappropriate and derogatory because it's based on a false assumption that the Romani people originated from Egypt, which isn't the case. Romani people actually originated from the northern region of the Indian subcontinent.


Mixed Genetic Heritage

Although Romani people trace their origins back to the Indian subcontinent, genetic studies show that they have mixed with local populations during their migrations across Europe and the Middle East, resulting in a diverse genetic heritage.


Romani Music Influence

Romani music has greatly influenced genres like flamenco in Spain and Manouche Jazz in France. The styles incorporate unique scales and rhythmic patterns that make Romani music expressive and deeply emotional.


Persecution of Romani People

Throughout history, the Romani people have often been persecuted and discriminated against. During the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Romani people were killed. Despite persistent prejudice and systemic racism, the Romani people continue to preserve their unique culture and traditions.


Romani Flag and Anthem

The Romani people have their own flag and anthem. The flag was officially recognized in 1971 and contains two horizontal bands of blue and green, symbolizing the heaven and earth, separated by a red 16-spoke chakra in the center, which represents the migratory origin of the Romani. The anthem 'Gelem, Gelem' is also known as 'I Went, I Went' in English.

International Romani Day FAQs

Next International Romani Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 April 8th Saturday
2024 April 8th Monday
2025 April 8th Tuesday
2026 April 8th Wednesday
2027 April 8th Thursday
What is the pattern? Every April 8th

International Romani Day Word Search

  • Romani
  • Culture
  • Diversity
  • Rights
  • Tradition
  • Gypsy