The 8th April of 2011 is the 40th anniversary of the London meeting which commemorates the International Rroma Day
Dear friends, brothers and sisters:
The 8th April is marked throughout the world as the INTERNATIONAL RROMA DAY. This is, without question, the most important date for us all. It was, precisely on this date in 1971, when many Rroma, who were very young, realised the sense of belonging to a community which had a common history, a common culture, common traditions and a common language. I might venture to say that it was on this date when the regeneration of our community took place. The modern history of our community began being written since 8th April 1971.
Those of us who were privileged enough to participate in this Congress were witnesses to an exceptional resurgence of a humble and martyred community who never bowed down to adversity and preferred, everywhere, in every country, in all corners of the universe, to live in poverty and remain marginalised from society rather than to cease being Rroma.
The 8th April will mark the 40th anniversary since the time when a group of Rroma from 25 countries met in London without being aware, perhaps, it was fate that inspired us to write one of the most important pages, full of hope, for our people.
From that glorious occasion, realising that some of the Rroma gathered in London are no longer with us, I want to make a call to those Rroma from around the world who instil a sense of leadership within our community. The 8th April 2011 must be regarded as an act of exceptional solemnity. The 8th April 2011 should be remembered as a special day for us all, for all Rroma around the world. On that day, the society which we live in, the cities where we inhabit, should be aware about Rroma Day’s celebration. On that day, we should ensure that our Rroma flag, blue and green, symbolising the possessions of a community that considers itself as citizens of the world bounded by the blue sky as the rooftop and the greenfields as the floor, celebrates its international day.
At the same time I suggest that the special event which should be held in London on 8th April 2011 should aim to have a universal appeal. That day should not go unnoticed to people in the UK who had the honour of welcoming us and as a platform to commence our journey towards the future. A person ought to be appointed to host this meeting. I do not know who, but someone should undertake this responsibility. On 8th April 2011, our focus should be London, an acclamation for Rroma worldwide. And if possible, return to the point where 40 years ago a few Rroma dreamt a future full of respect and dignity for our children.
Please allow me to make an appeal, with all humility in recognising our Rroma community as the most isolated from all our brothers and sisters living in Central and Eastern Europe and those from both sides of the Americas. In the past, us, Rroma have suffered all forms of persecution to the point of loosing our language, Romani, and violently victimised from the former authorities. We urge the authorities from the EUROPEAN UNION, the EUROPEAN COUNCIL and the UN to endorse this call and embrace the possibility for our Rroma community around the world to celebrate full of enthusiasm and hope on the date that is recorded in Rroma’s “hearts and minds”.
Someone should support this call.
Barcelona, 26th January 2011
Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia
President of the Spanish Romani Union