International Roma Day and Prayer Guide

The first International Romani Day was declared on April 8, 1990 at the Fourth World Romani Congress in Serock, Poland.  Since then, April 8 has been set aside each year as a time to celebrate Roma culture and heritage.  Below you’ll find more information about it.

But first, we want to make you aware of a resource that the CBF Gypsy Team has just made available.

Each year the Team publishes a Roma Prayer Guide near the celebration of International Romani Day.  The Guide is a week-long prayer experience that explores how God is working among the Roma people across Europe.  This year’s guide has just been posted on the team blog at http://cbf-romany-ministries.blogspot.sk/p/prayer-resources.html.  On the page are links to different versions of the prayer guide in PDF format that you can download for personal use, or for use in your church.

Please take a look at the guide and see how you might incorporate it into your schedule this spring.  Is it something you might want to do with your family?  Is it something your church or Sunday School class might be interested in doing together?  We’d be glad to give you any help or answer any questions you might have!

Now, for information on International Romani Day.  There are many different ways it is celebrated, but the following is a re-post from the Roma Virtual Network, a Facebook group that posts all kinds of information about the Romani.  It tells a bit of the history, and how they plan to celebrate in Hungary this year:

Roma around the world celebrate this day in tribute of the first World Roma Congress held in Orphington, near London in 1971.

Since 1971, decisions of the World Roma Congress largely shaped our struggle for dignity. Ever since, a moral high ground enshrined in those decisions elevates our determination to the cause. They present a transnational political code for future generations of the Roma people.

Since 1971, we are resolved to be called Roma. We stand up beneath the green and blue flag embellished with the red, sixteen-spoked chakra wheel. We sing a common anthem that echoes our history of determination to peace and unity. We speak Romanes, the language whose endurance is a living source of connection with our brothers and sisters all around the world. We are citizens. We are proud to be a Roma Nation. We commit to live together with other people and Nations in peace and mutual respect.

With these words in our hearts and minds, Roma world-wide could celebrate International Roma Day together in unity under the motto: United in Peace, Prosperity and Solidarity!

On 8th of April 2012, at 12:00 noon all the Roma around the world can unite through the flow of the rivers, seas and oceans. Let us gather at noon to cast flowers into our nearest river, sea, ocean. Let the spirit of the International Roma Day unite us!

A large group of Roma activists in Budapest will gather and cast flowers into the Danube. We call on all Roma to organize celebrations, cast flowers and share this information with others in order to initiate the unity of Roma in the world.

Organizing Committee, Budapest 8th of April

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