International Romani Day Commemorates Romani Victims of the Holocaust Worldwide

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Today, on April 8th, the world observes International Romani Day, honoring the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust. With over 500,000 Roma perishing in concentration camps during World War II, this day holds significant historical and cultural importance.

The origins of International Romani Day are traced back to the first World Romani Congress convened in London in 1971. Representatives from 30 countries came together to initiate a global movement aimed at affirming and preserving Romani culture and identity.

Central to the commemoration is the adoption of the Roma anthem, "Djelem, Djelem" ("I Have Traveled, I Have Traveled"), and the iconic Roma flag featuring a red wheel with 16 spokes against a blue sky and green field background. These symbols serve as reminders of the Roma's rich heritage and their enduring journey from India to Europe.

Beyond cultural celebration, International Roma Day serves a crucial social purpose. It seeks to unite efforts in addressing the ongoing challenges faced by Roma communities, including issues of education, poverty, and segregation.

In Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, the Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance "Amalipe" held a commemorative ceremony. Participants, including students, volunteers, and educational mediators, gathered to honor the Roma victims of the Holocaust by casting carnations into the Yantra River. The event underscored the importance of tolerance and inclusivity in building a better future.

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