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Roma Festival to take place in Washington and New York
04-05-1999
Radio Prague, May 4th - The CTK news agency noted that, from the 11th until the 18th of May, a festival of Roma culture in the Czech Republic will take place in Washington and New York. Highlights of the festival will be concerts of the singer Vera Bila and group Kale, an exhibition of photographs on Roma life, as well as the display of works of amateur Roma painters under the title "The World seen through Roma Eyes". Dita Asiedu reports:

The exhibited material accepts that the rather different Romani way of living stimulated feelings of mistrust between the Roma community and the rest of society. That is why the goal of the festival is to communicate with non-Roma people and according to the Czech ambassador to the U.S., Alexandr Vondra, "there is no better way to achieve mutual understanding than through the universal language of culture".

And there is no better person to show what Roma are all about than Vera Bila who, with the group Kale, is considered to be one of the best European representatives of Roma culture. Here's a taste of them:

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The Czech Republic's stand towards the Roma has been criticized in the past few years. Especially since the break-up of the Czechs and Slovaks, Roma are said to face political and social discrimination, as well as barriers in the areas of education and unemployment. The festival, which is mainly organized by the Czech embassy in Washington, is a chance for the Roma to let others know what they feel, what they think, and how they live.



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