Khamoro festival of Roma culture marches through central Prague

A colorful parade of Roma dancers and musicians took to the streets of Prague today to promote the annual Khamoro festival, which runs through Monday.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 25.09.2021 17:09 (updated on 25.09.2021)

A colorful parade of Roma dancers and musical ensembles marched through downtown Prague today during the 23rd annual Khamoro festival of Roma culture, which runs through Monday.

Dressed in traditional costumes, the artists started from Wenceslas Square and made several stops to dance for the public before they reached Prague's Old Town Square. There, they formed several circles and gave another 30-minute show to spectators.

Like last year, the 2021 Khamoro festival was split into spring and the autumn editions due to coronavirus restrictions.

"The festival is nice, but a little bit sad," Khamoro director Jelena Silajdžić told CTK.

Because concerts were held indoors this year, fewer people could attend compared to past editions of the festival. However, organizers streamed the concerts online to make them accessible to the public.

"Every cloud has a silver lining," Silajdžić said.

Khamoro is the world's largest festival of professional Roma musicians, according to organizers. It has been taking place in Prague since 1999. In recent years before the pandemic, the festival had annually attracted around 10,000 people.

The first Khamoro parade was held in Prague in 2001.

Seven professional companies from the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, and Spain took part in the parade this year, accompanied by multiple non-professional groups.

A concert of traditional Roma music will be held at La Fabrika this evening, featuring ensembles from various countries.

AndaluzIndia will play an original fusion of Spanish and Indian music, Kale Lulugyi from Hungary will present Roma songs passed down from generation to generation, Boban Markovic will show off Balkan brass music, and the Karmen Gipsy Group will present Russian dances and songs.

On Sunday, the festival carries on with a gala concert at Prague's Roxy club. The venue will host seven bands from seven countries presenting seven different styles of Roma music. A full program can be found at the official Khamoro website.

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