Khamoro delegation meets president


The 4th World Roma Festival - Khamoro 2002 - is now well underway in Prague with concerts by Gypsy Jazz bands and traditional Roma groups being held in some of Prague's top clubs every evening. But the festival isn't only about music. Representatives of Roma communities from 19 countries - mainly in Europe and South America - have come to the Czech capital to present their traditions, cultures, and life experiences.

In total there are some 100 participants, most of whom will be taking part in seminars and workshops focusing on the Roma community around the world. Dita Asiedu spoke to the festival's programme director, Darko Silajdzic:

"The message is mainly to present the Roma culture and show the diversity and beauty of their culture as it is because they have been spread all over the world, which is why they are so different and in that way so interesting too."

I believe a Roma delegation met with President Havel on Wednesday?

"Yes, that was wonderful. He greeted all the people and we introduced all the members of the delegation to him. We had a toast and then the president said a few words. He said that he was very happy that the festival was going on in the capital of the Czech Republic and that he hoped that it would go on forever and it would get bigger and bigger and that it would always have his support. So, of course, that made us very happy. We just wanted to say 'hi' to him and thank him for all he had done for us so far. We had two traditional music bands - one from the Czech Republic called the Bench Band and one from Portugal called Ciganos d'Ouro who performed briefly at his office. We were very happy with the reception. The president as we all know is a wonderful man and he showed it again today."