Thursday, 15 November 2007

Latcho Drom - CELEBRATING ROMA CULTURE & HISTORY



Latcho Drom is an internationally acclaimed film showcasing the history of Roma traveling westward from India into the Middle East and Europe. The travel of Roma began with migration from India to countries including Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, France and Spain. Through music, the film depicts the difficulties of Roma life and highlights the cultural influences those countries have had on Roma music and dance.

A movie celebrating Roma history and culture, ‘Latcho Drom’, was screened in Roma communities in Tirana from 10 to 12 October. The event gathered approximately 600 Roma and Balkan-Egyptians living within the Tirana communities of Kinostudio and nearby Shkolla Teknologjike. The event is part of UNDP and UNV ongoing efforts to promote and celebrate intercultural awareness of Albanian minorities and is the first cultural outreach activity involving vulnerable minority families living in Tirana.
Bajram Curri 9-year School was the venue for the first two nights where the event included a concert organized by the neighbourhood children. The concert also included a break dancing sequence choreographed and performed by local Roma children.
"These children are very talented, however their talents are not appreciated or accepted by the teachers because it doesn't form part of the everyday school curricula,” said Arben Bastri, Head of the Roma NGO ‘Qendres per nje Vizion Bashkeko per Rrom’.
The third and final night of the cinema screening of “Latcho Drom”, winner of the Cannes movie festival, took place at the “Zemra E Nenes” Roma youth center. Festivities began with live singing and dancing by young Romani children.
“We Roma have a very simple but challenging life” said Selvie Rushiti, Director of the Center. “We eat, sleep and love to sing and dance to music. It is our way to escape from the daily reality of poverty.”
Latcho Drom is an internationally acclaimed film showcasing the history of Roma traveling westward from India into the Middle East and Europe. The travel of Roma began with migration from India to countries including Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, France and Spain. Through music, the film depicts the difficulties of Roma life and highlights the cultural influences those countries have had on Roma music and dance.
The community cinema event was organized by UNDP and UN Volunteers done in partnership with Marubi Film School, the Roma Committee at the Ministry of Labour as well as Roma NGOs including Qendres per nje Vizion Bashkeko per Rrom, Amaro Dives, Roma Active Albania and Amaro Drom.
Events commemorating Roma culture form part of a broader UNDP mission to improve the economic and social conditions of marginalized communities. UNDP has embarked on a programme to increase capacities and raise awareness among the Albanian population including government, media, and other civil society actors on multiculturalism and human rights of vulnerable ethnic groups.

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