Roma Flag

April 8th has been designated as International Day of the Roma. The Roma people (Gypsies) held the first world congress just outside London in 1971 where the official flag of the Roma people as a separate ethnic group was adopted as was the term Roma as the accepted name for their people. Representatives from many different countries attended including those of the former Soviet block. Six more conferences have been held since, not always having delegates from all the lands represented due to government interference, even so they have received formal recognition from the United Nations. It was at the conference held in 1990 that International Day of the Roma was adopted.

It appears that many of the Roma people do not know of this day but there are those in high positions who have come to support the people including Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama. The United Nations has upheld that the discrimination of these people must be recognized and combated. This has been so wide spread that there are no accurate statistics of the number of Roma as many chose to hide their ethnicity but it is well known that they live through out the world.

I was not able to find any real celebrations as such or traditions but I do hope that this changes in the future.