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The 1st Roma Cultural Fair starts at the University of Alicante

The Fair was opened this morning by the President of the UA, Manuel Palomar, in an official event that starts an extensive four-day programme comprising workshops, an exhibition, the celebration of the International day of the Roma Language and a flamenco and Roma Music Festival

Alicante, 4 November 2013

The University President Manuel Palomar has opened this morning the I Roma Cultural Fair of the UA with an institutional event in which the Roma flag has been raised while a choir composed by 16 children of the Nazaret School were singing the Roma anthem Gelem Gelem. The Roma flag will be flying in the Europa Square of the UA during the 4 days that last the programme, next to the European Union flag “as a symbol of the union of peoples”, as the President Manuel Palomar said during his speech. Palomar has said that this fair aims to bring and approach different aspects of the Roma culture from a cultural and academic perspective, "because it is important to give visibility and to position Roma culture". In the same way, the President has wanted to highlight the work that the Interuniversity Institute of Social Development and Peace (IUDESP) of the UA is carrying out, led by the lecturer Daniel La Parra, research and work being developed for the knowledge and dissemination of Roma culture, their current situation and the existing stereotypes.

During the event, the President has gathered together with Ramón Fernández and Nicolás Jiménez, president and consultant of the Regional Federation of Roma Associations (FAGA) of the Valencian Region, Juan Bautista Roselló, representative of Culture, Antonio Ardid, councillor of City Services and Education of the Alicante Council, and the Vice Chancellor of Culture, Sports and Language Policy, Carles Cortés.

Nicolás Jiménez, consultant of FAGA, wanted to draw [the] attention to the situation that Romani people are living in Europe nowadays, because “our rights are being violated in Europe countries and in Spain we are suffering from anti-Romanyism”. Jiménez has highlighted that “media are contributing to this stereotyped image of the Romani people” and that “TV programmes such as Palabra de Gitano distort reality and are not contributing to put an end to this stereotypes”. Among other issues, Nicolás Jiménez has emphasized on the invisibility of Romani people in textbooks where “there is no historical cultural, or reference of any other type, even though it has been a part of the Spanish culture for more than 500 years.”

Antonio Ardid, meanwhile, has sought to highlight the educational and cultural importance of this initiative to reaffirm the support that the Alicante City Council has given to this group and to the representative of Culture Juan Bautista Roselló, who has also confirmed the support of the Diputación Provincial de Alicante (Alicante regional office) because, in his words, "how good is that you are different from me, because we learn from each other and maybe we can start something new together".

The organisers of the initiative ensure that "the existence of a Roma component in Spanish culture and a Spanish component in the Roma culture is inescapable." To understand the past and present Spanish culture in its complexity, it is necessary to join up the Roma perspective and we have designed this entertainment programme for this purpose.

On Tuesday, 5th October, it will be held the International Day of the Roma language with a Romani Workshop (Romani language) by Nicolás Jiménez (from noon to 2 p.m. and Cajón Flamenco Workshop by David Macías (10 a.m.to noon), both in the Poets' Corner (amphitheater placed in front of the Control tower).

The programme includes guitar, T-shirt printing, hairstyling and make-up workshops and the Flamenco and Roma Music Festival that will end up the Fair on 7th October with the performances of Fraskito, Rocío Montoya, Flamenquitos de Nazaret, Chavorrillos del Cavanilles y Grupo Chachipén on 6 p.m. at Colegio Mayor.

During the four following days the Fair will have a stand with information and materials in the porch of the General Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All activities are free entry until reaching full capacity.

The Roma Association of Asturias (UNGA), the Federation of Roma Association of Navarra (GAZ KALÓ), the Kalé dor Kayikó Association (Bilbao), the Nazaret Foundation, the Cavanilles high school, the Arakerando Roma Promotion Association (Alicante), the Chachipén Association (El Campello), the Romani Union and the Roma Culture Institute are working together with the I Fair of Roma Culture.

Sandipen exhibition, the Romani path

Ground floor of the Lecture Building II. Open to public during the month of November.

Author: Isaac Motos.

The Sandipen exhibition tries to present the Roma culture in a very accurate and attractive way to the citizenship that Romani people have been part of for more than five centuries. To this end, the exhibition is divided into three topics: history, idiosyncrasy and music. Romani people are here, but are not well-known. People tend to use stereotypes filled with hate and fear. The impulse that moves this exhibition is an attempt to help beating ignorance. It is a fight that benefits us all.

 

Flamenco and Roma Music Festival

The 7th of November at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium of the University Hall of Residence.

Concerts: Fraskito, Rocío Montoya, Flamenquitos de Nazaret, Chavorrillos del Cavanilles and Grupo Chachipen. Free entry.

Fraskito: musician (composer, singer and guitarist) that plays modern flamenco mixed with several influences.

Rocío Montoya: singer-songwriter that plays Spanish gospel with a touch of flamenco.

Flamenquitos de Nazaret and Chavorrillos del Cavanilles: children groups that come from some music workshops of FAGA that play an accessible flamenco: rumba, tango and bulerías.

Chachipén: group that comes from the Chachipén Roma Association of El Campello, whose works respect the tradition but they are not afraid of including some modern fusions to its music.

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