International Roma Day Celebration April 3rd, 2009
The 2009 International Roma Day, held at San Francisco's Croatian American Cultural Center, will highlight and preserve the Romani tradition of generation-to-generation cultural transmission demonstrated by Rumen Sali Shopov, master drummer, tambura player, and bandleader. Rumen is a headlining performing artist, artistic consultant, music instructor and has collaborated with Voice of Roma on California events for the past six years.
VOR will also feature up-and-coming Macedonian Rom clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski. Lumanovski studied Western classical music traditions at conservatories (Lumanovski graduated from Julliard in 2008) while continuing to play traditional music. Chris Bajmakovich, Rom accordionist from Chicago, will join the line-up, together with the popular Bay Area Balkan band, Edessa.
Additional performing artists include Bay Area's Brass Liberation Orchestra. VOR will include a brief panel presentation by several individuals to discuss their experiences as ESL teachers and as volunteers with VOR projects assisting Roma in Kosovo. Traditional Romani food, hand made Romani crafts, CDs and literature will be available for purchase at the event. On both Friday and Saturday afternoons, VOR's founder and Program Director Sani Rifati will offer workshops in Romani dance, and featured musicians will provide instrumental workshops.
About International Roma Day:
International Roma Day (April 8) was officially declared in 1990 in Poland, during the fourth World Romani Congress in honor of the first major international meeting of Roma representatives, 7-12 of April, 1971 in London, UK. Since then Roma around the globe celebrate our social origins, language, culture, unity, and in particular, romipen (preservation of Rom identity) near the date of the original gathering.
VOR held San Francisco's first annual International Roma Day event in 2000. In addition to romipen, our goals are to introduce audiences to and provide performing opportunities for renowned Romani performing artists, create a gathering place for Romani and other immigrant and refugee communities, and raise awareness about the human rights issues faced by Roma in today's world. In particular, we focus on education regarding the dire circumstances of the Roma in and from Kosovo.
Romani traditional culture around the world and specifically in the U.S. is weakening. Old neighborhood communities, so nourishing to the culture, are disintegrating. Many young Roma don't do traditional dances, and some young Roma don't even share a language with previous generations of their families. This erosion of cultural identity and collective memory could easily result in the loss of Roma artistic expression and traditions that are infused with hundreds of years of history. VOR's International Roma Day celebration events respond directly to this need. The artists and Roma participants reconnect through their participation, strengthening ties to their culture and preserving the artistic expression of our people.
Croatian American Cultural Center
San Francisco, CA 94112
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|