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!