April 8 is International Roma Day

The flag also contains a 16-spoke red chakra, or spoked wheel, in the centre, representing the itinerant tradition of the Romani people.


  • April 8 is celebrated as International Romani Day to raise awareness of the issues faced by the Romani culture
  • The Roma originated in India
  • There are about 12 million Roma population worldwide
  • Despite enjoying a rich and absorbing culture,the Romani remain an oppressed group

Hers is an update from Bulgaria.

SOFIA: Many cities and towns in Bulgaria will mark the International Roma Day with a series of events and initiatives putting a focus on the Roma minority in the capital of Bulgaria.

International Romani Day is celebrated on April 08. The International Romani Day is a day to celebrate Romani culture.The Day also draws attention to discrimination directed to Roma and Gypsy communities globally and calls for all human rights to be respected and observed. In 1990 the UN and the EU, at the proposal of the International Roma Union, declare April 8 the International Roma Day.

The United Sates government website HumanRights.gov adds:

“International Roma Day was declared in 1990 to celebrate Romani culture and raise awareness of the obstacles that continue to face the Romani people. The Roma are part of a heterogeneous ethnic group that has been a part of the European tapestry, with unique languages and culture, for hundreds of years. Roma have historically faced severe discrimination, including enslavement in the Romanian territories up to the 19th Century and systematic extermination at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Today, the estimated 10-12 million Roma in Europe are working to build a better future for their families and communities despite continuing to suffer from prejudiced and discriminatory attitudes. As Secretary Kerry said on August 1, 2014, “Above all, we remember our common responsibility to stand strong against the cruel sting of biogotry and injustice. Racism against Roma persists even today, and racism anywhere is a threat to people everywhere. We must condemn all prejusdice wherever it springs up, because we know that words of hatred too often become acts of hatred.”

Who are the Roma?

The Romani are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe and Americas. Romani are widely known in the English-speaking world by the exonym “Gypsies” .The Romani language is divided into several dialects, which add up to an estimated number of speakers larger than two million. Many Romani are native speakers of the language current in their country of residence.

The Roma continue to practice “Shaktism”, a practice with origins in India, whereby a female consort is required for the worship of a god. As said above, the Roma have their ancestral roots from Rajastha and Punjab of India.

International Roma Day is significant as it commemorates the day on which the song “Gelem Gelem” was officially recognized as the national anthem of the Romani people.The International Roma day is observed worldwide to spread awareness about the rich and fascinating culture of the Romani population.

Report prepared by Yajush Gupta for NewsGram. Yajush is a student of journalism in Delhi.