The International community today comemorates the 44th edition devoted to Roma and Sinti populations, two differet ethnic groups commonly called gypsies. People, whose history and secular culture ofte is considered as being carriers of degradation and crimes in our cities. May are not aware that they have International recognition, following recognition from the United Nations on International Romani Union, which met for the first time on 8th April (hence the commemoration) in 1971.
The ‘Iru’ is a territorial and non-governmental organisation which represents the Roma populations throughout the world. The institution has its own transnational anthem (“Gelem Gelem” composed by Janko Jovanovich) and a horizontal-striped flag-sky- blue at the top, green at the bottom and a red wheel in the centre, symbol of Nomads. ‘Iru’ has been represented at UNO since 1979, having powers of consultation with the Roma, Sinti,, Kalè, Manouches and Romanichals populations.
They settled in Italy from 1400, the “gypsies” are the historical minority that enjoys less privileges than others and have been stigmatized, despite International and community obbligations imposed and the numerous interventions on the part of International organisations like the Council of Europe, Osce and European Union. The active participation of Romani and Sinti in the community with their humand and cultural contirbution is fundamental in overcoming the exclusion and marginalisation of a people that have crossed centuries of discrimination, even racial extermination in Nazi war camps. On occasiono f the celebration, the association 21 July, will present today a first National report on the conditions of the Romani and Sinti living in Italy.
Translation provided by Marina Stronati