Khamoro in Prague
Khamoro (which means sun in the Roma language) is the largest and most famous professional Roma festival in the world. The festival, which has been organized by the NGO Slovo 21 in Prague since 1999, regularly organizes unique Roma band concerts consisting of groups from all over the world, as well as putting on exhibitions, film events, dance workshops, specialized seminars and conferences. Nearly 140 000 people from both the Czech Republic and abroad have attended the Khamoro festival in recent years. The foundation of the festival is without a doubt Roma music, which represents an important part of the world's cultural heritage.
Over the past 17 years, in which the festival has brought the best of Roma culture to Prague every year in the last week of May, the Khamoro has established itself not just as a celebration of one community but also as a social cultural event. It is an event of which Prague and the whole of the Czech Republic can be proud. The Khamoro is no longer only attended by the Roma; on the dance stages and in the halls people of every age and nationality have great times together. And in addition to introducing Roma culture with all that it can offer to the world, this is the festival's main mission.
From the very beginning, the festival has been entertaining people from not only the Czech Republic but also the US, Canada, and South Africa. Throughout the life of the festival, over 160 professional Roma bands from more than 40 countries around the world have had the chance to entertain the concert visitors. was and the Khamoro has enjoyed the support of many famous Czech figures, such as Václav Havel, Petr Pithart, Libuše Benešová or Ramiro Cibrian.
Khamoro in Pilsen
In 2014 for the first time, the World Roma Festival Khamoro moved also out of Prague to an additional venue in Pilsen which is particularly fitting as in January 2015 Pilsen became the European capital city of culture. Every year the European Union awards this title to one or more European cities and these cities then have the opportunity to present their cultural life and development to the whole of Europe for a year. In 2015, part of this was the Khamoro festival program.
Program director of Project Pilsen, the European capital city of culture 2015, Jiří Sulženko said: "the Khamoro Festival is an energetic, happy, lively and colourful celebration of tolerance and freedom and at the same time of music, which has the ability to erase borders and prejudices. Besides that, it has an admirable tradition and has completed a number of successful years. I am glad that many local organizations, such as ARA ART or Ponton, have taken place in the expansion of Khamoro to Pilsen. This ensures that we have planted a tradition into a fertile land and that there will someone who will be able to ensure further cooperation even after the year 2015."