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Kateřina Valachová, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports - Khamoro 2017

Esteemed Ladies, Esteemed Gentlemen, Honored Guests,

I sincerely welcome you to Prague for this international conference about inclusive education. I am very glad to give this event my auspices, as educating all children together is a big topic for the Czech schools.

In my function as Education Minister I have known from the beginning that I would have both my adversaries and my advocates. I believe, however, that through this conference we will convince many people that we want to aid all children who have any kind of special educational needs. What is important is that children who are less gifted, who live with health disabilities or disadvantages, as well as children who are exceptionally talented, should all be naturally included among their age groups at school.

I believe that through the common work done by nonprofit organizations, parents, teachers and all who are interested in successfully educating our children, we will achieve this aim. Let’s get rid once and for all of our concerns about the unknown, our fear of differences, and our prejudices. Let’s do it as the World Roma Festival KHAMORO has managed to do it for almost 20 years, one component of which is this conference. I wish all of the organizers and participants in our conference a great deal of success with their demanding work. 

Petr Dvořák, Director General of Czech Television - Khamoro 2017

A synonym for freedom, openness and tolerance, a place where people come together and share a unique atmosphere. That is the KHAMORO festival, which features art not just in the form of high-quality dance, music and theater performances, but also the art of dialogue and tolerance, the art of finding our human differences to be sources of enlightenment and enrichment.

KHAMORO brings people together, and I am very glad that Czech Television has always been its traditional ally. We fulfill our partnership not just by supporting the event itself, but by actively contributing to public education, bringing Romani culture, everyday life and folklore to others through our very own creations in the realm of documentary and feature films. In March, a film we co-produced called “Hole in the Head” (Díra v hlavě) was screened in cinemas and is already garnering its first appreciations and very positive viewer responses, as is the emotional documentary film we broadcast this year about Romani musician Ida Kelarová’s work with children from Romani settlements in eastern Slovakia.

Culture knows no borders and cuts through prejudice. Come be convinced. 

Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor of Prague - Khamoro 2017

Dear audience members attending the fesitval of Romani culture - Khamoro 2017,

After another year I am welcoming you once again to the biggest and most famous Romani festival in the world. Next year the festival will celebrate its 20th year, and over time it has built up a firm position for itself in the cultural scene of Prague (and not just there). Personally I am very pleased by the constantly-growing attendance numbers for the festival, which is contributing to the comprehension of Romani culture and its popularization across the generations.

This 19th annual festival is again being held with the support of the Capital City of Prague which, thanks to this festival, maintains its status as a modern, multicultural metropolis. In the Romanes language, “khamoro” means “sun”, so I would like to wish all those attending the festival a lot of sunshine, contentment and personal satisfaction not just during the festival, but all year round! 

Daniel Herman, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic - Khamoro 2017

Dear Fans of Romani culture,

The KHAMORO World Roma Festival is entering its 19th year and is heading by leaps and bounds toward the close of the second decade of its existence. During this time it has demonstrated its legitimacy, its longevity, and its significance and has become one of the most important professional Romani festivals in the world.

Khamoro is not resting on its laurels, however:  The festival continues to seek new opportunities for presenting Romani culture to the majority public, to develop and to grow. This year’s program is proof of that:  In addition to traditional Romani music, audiences will be able to hear a concert of classical music inspired by Romani musical motifs, and KHAMORO will continue to fulfill its international dimension by featuring brilliant performers from abroad.

The importance of this festival, however, does not just consist of its constant raising of awareness about Romani culture, but also in the fact that it transcends the deeply-rooted stereotypes that relegate Romani art to the genres of dance, music, and perhaps some artistic jewelry design and metalwork. The program that accompanies the music festival also presents Romanes-language literature and other artistic productions by this unique ethnic group. The Czech Culture Ministry sees the importance and merit of expanding the image of Romani culture and has therefore has long financially supported the KHAMORO festival, and I was pleased to grant my auspices to this year’s festival. Because the name of this festival means “sun” in translation, and the Romanes word “kham” means “light”, I hope your lives will be constantly accompanied by light, and not just during this intensive week at the end of May.  May God give you strength. Mi del o Del tumenge zor!

VĚRA JOUROVÁ, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality - Khamoro 2017

Dear Friends, I am glad I can be a patron of the conference on inclusive education which is part of the KHAMORO Roma Festival. As the European Commissioner who is in charge of, among other things ,equal opportunities and the prohibition on discrimination, I am following attentively what is happening in the Czech Republic in the area of educating pupils from socially excluded environments. Education opens up more opportunities and possibilities for us to apply ourselves in life. Last year we have managed to adopt important measures in the Czech Republic that are meant to ensure equal access to education, especially thanks to the tireless work of nonprofit organizations together with parents and teachers, as well as thanks to the open approach taken by the Czech Education Minister. I support these steps and I believe the trend that has been started will continue. I hope you will all be greatly inspired by the presenters and I thank Slovo 21, the organizer of the conference, for their long-term efforts to improve the position of Romani people in the Czech Republic.