April 8 – International Roma Day

April 8 is International Roma Day. It was proposed as such by the International Roma Union (Romani Union), and since 1992 has been recognized by the UN and the Council of Europe. Today, all European Union institutions recognize and even celebrate April 8 as International Roma Day.

On this day, we honor the memory of half a million Roma killed during World War II, when the Nazis applied a systematic Holocaust to the Roma as well. On this day in 1971, the first World Roma Congress began in London, which adopted the Roma anthem and flag. Since then, we have marked it as a symbol of the Roma movement, of the fact that Roma from all over the world are uniting in their quest for equal inclusion in the globalizing modern world. Preserving and renewing the Roma identity is an important part of this process: an identity that preserves the original Roma values, but breaks the patriarchal shackles of the modern Roma; an identity that includes the identities of the different groups and is a bridge between them. Because only a person proud of his identity can be equal.

On this occasion and in connection with the PATTERN project, which is a European initiative that aims to empower Roma women to recognize domestic violence, we send the following message: