Prague ended the 25th year of the Khamoro (Sun) Roma culture world festival. June 3, 2023, Prague.
Prague – A colorful, cheerful and energetic parade of participants in this year's 25th edition of the Khamoro Roma culture festival passed through the center of Prague this morning. Dancing and jumping children and girls in distinctive costumes, as well as accompanying bands, attracted the attention of hundreds of passers-by. The parade culminated in the Old Town Square, where the individual participating ensembles split up and then separately performed their art in groups to the gathered onlookers.
At the head of the procession, which formed in the lower part of Wenceslas Square, was a decorated carriage with two groschas, driven by a lady's carriage. Behind him, the young Roma carried the Roma flag and also the flags of the countries participating in the festival – for example Swedish, Slovak, Israeli or British. Behind them lined up the festival participants who spontaneously danced to the rhythms of Balkan brass band, čardáš or flamenco.
When the procession arrived at the Fruit Market, its organizers selected the girls Šárka, Sabina and Lucia from the crowd and put them in the carriage at the head. “It's a new experience. We're glad they chose us!” laughing friends in colorful headscarves and wide skirts decorated with money, who came with their group from Ústí nad Labem, told ČTK. “We play čardás, we learn Romani dances as well as modern – hip hop and so on,” they described, adding that they have been in the group since childhood and that apart from dancing, they also enjoy sports.
The festival, whose name means Sun, started in the capital last Sunday and ends today. In addition to concerts of Romani music, it also offered film projections with Romani themes, exhibitions of Romani artists, a dance duel, a children's day and a theater performance. Its main purpose is to connect the Roma minority with the majority society through art.
According to the organizers, Khamoro is the largest festival of professional Roma musicians in the world. Prague has hosted it since 1999, during which time over 260 bands from 33 countries, including Brazil, India and the USA, have performed there. In recent years, approximately 10,000 people visit the event every year. The organizers organized the first parade in 2001.