Ist International Roma Culture Festival, Jurmala (Latvia)

17-18- August, 2015 : The Jurmala City of Latvia was illuminated with ear-pleasing sounds of musical notes presented by hundreds of artists from various countries of Europe and one especially from India at the first International Roma Culture Festival organized by Roma Culture Centre, Riga and IRU. . On the opening day of the Festival i.e. 17 August 2015 the President of Latvia was kind enough to make his presence to be with the audience and artists. This was first of its kind in Europe that Roma musical and dance groups  of 14 countries exhibited their wonderful skill in Romani Music and Dance. The main aim of this event was also to show the non-Roma people the rich cultural heritage of Roma people living in Europe. The credit goes to Ms. Ruksana Rudevic, Director, Roma Culture Centre, Riga, her team, IRU, Govt. of Latvia and all other associates for the success of this festival. Many among the audience were so thrilled that they were seen asking when another such Festival will be held in the near future. So it was a great show.... great presentations ever to remember 
- Dev Bhardwaj (India)












Eighth Gypsy Fest attracted crowds, not just Roma (Slovak Republic)

11/08/2015 - ONE OF the biggest Roma festivals, Gypsy Fest – World Roma Festival, has come to draw crowds in the streets of Slovak capital. The programme of its eighth year included various types of events, meant to connect Roma and non-Roma.

It included Gypsy music and theatre, a parade, a presentation of successful Roma and more, the festival’s spokesperson Monika Komorová informed the TASR newswire.

On the opening night of July 29, in the spirit of Roma traditions, a play including a Roma/non-Roma wedding was performed at the Nová Scena theatre at studio Olympia. “When we asked famous Slovak actors to support our theatre project, they agreed immediately, even without being paid,” festival head Jozef Šivák said. “It’s important for us that publicly accepted people participate in the festival. Only thanks to them can we manage to change the stereotypical, negative view of the Roma.” Roma youth from settlements also performed in the play, as well as taking part in a Roma Theatre Workshop.

Gypsy Fest continued on July 30 with an event called “The Roma as You’ve Never Known Them”, in which Roma soldiers, police officers, nurses and medical assistants presented their work on Bratislava’s Main Square. A dancing-singing show Gipsy Baron also took place there, at 20:00.

“We play for small events and big festivals, tours in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland – and maybe now we could even come more to Slovakia,” violinist Kasper Pudniks of the band Sare Roma which played the Gypsy Baron show and also in the gala-programme. “We play everywhere. Our audience is just about everyone, too, but Roma not that much; they know this music, can play or sing it themselves, so for them it is not so sensational.” Pudniks added that they deliberately made the project as a big show where everyone can pick what he likes: “one needs romance, one needs dance, one needs guitar, one needs violin… and they can choose”.

(Courtesty: 'Roma Virtual Network' ( 

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