Every year on 8 April, people all around the world celebrate the International Roma Day. This day, declared during the First World Romani Congress in April 1971, in Orpington (United Kingdom), which also endorsed the Romani flag and adopted the Romani anthem, acclaims the richness of the Romani culture and raises awareness for issues faced by many Roma. It is officially celebrated since 1990.
INSCHOOL believes that for both children and parents, the International Roma Day is an important chance to overcome prejudice and build bridges across cultural differences. INSCHOOL’s project schools therefore organise a variety of events to celebrate, learn, understand and discover the Romani culture in the five project countries.
In Babington Academy in Leicester (United Kingdom) for example, Roma pupils provided recipes to the school kitchen on which basis the children’s lunches are served today. Furthermore Babington Academy does not use school bells to indicate the change of lesson - today and during the whole week it is the Roma pupils who choose the music for their schooldays.
In the Secondary School Cilibia (Romania) pupils learn about the symbolism behind the Romani flag and later even manufacture a personal Romani flag themselves. In the meantime, other pupils learn about Roma history and the traditions of the local Roma community, knowledge that they will later have to prove in a school competition.
In Deak Diak Primary School in Budapest (Hungary) parents and teachers worked hard to prepare a meaningful workshop programme for the school’s 7th graders: Pupils discover loanwords from Lovári Romani in Hungarian, prepare traditional Roma dishes, learn the most important Roma songs together with one pupil’s father who is a well-known musician and understand traditional clothing and folk costumes.
These are only a few examples of the attitudes and thoughts put in motion on this important day. INSCHOOL is convinced that inclusiveness and diversity in schools are key for creating equal societies. In its project schools in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, INSCHOOL works together with committed teachers and trainers to convey values of tolerance, equality and respect to the next generation. INSCHOOL believes that equal chances for Roma children is an important step for empowering Roma youth all around Europe and, in line with INSCHOOL’s motto for “making a difference”.
INSCHOOL wishes all pupils, teachers and parents a Happy International Roma Day.