Back in April we posted about International Romani Day (April 8). We were impressed by the performances of the students at the Galakticka Roma school in Kosice – you’d be amazed what these kids can do!
That same week, we did our normal English clubs at the school in Cakanovce village. When we asked the kids how they’d celebrated Romani Day, they looked at us in confusion… they didn’t even know such a day exists!
So many Roma – here in Slovakia and across Europe – have very little idea of their ethnic identity. They spend their time trying to survive and blend in, that they rarely pay attention to the things that make them special as Roma. So many don’t even know their people have a flag, an anthem, a rich cultural history…
We wanted the kids in Cakanovce to experience a little bit of this. So we asked the students from Galakticka to take their Roma Day “show” on the road – about 30 minutes down the road, to be exact. On a cool and cloudy Tuesday morning, their bus arrived at the village cultural center, and the students poured out of the bus with their instruments, costumes… and lots of excitement.
They had a 45-minute presentation for the students in Cakanovce – complete with dancing, singing and skits. The Galakticka kids loved showing off what they’d prepared, and the Cakanovce kids sang, clapped and danced along.
We’ve been privileged to be involved in so many different places here during our six years in Slovakia, but sometimes each of these places and groups of people are like little “worlds,” separated from one another. This was a time when we could be bridge-builders, connecting “worlds” so that both worlds could be a little richer for the experience.