November 5: Romani Language Celebration in Prague

On November 5, there will be a celebration in Prague, one of its kind. Due to a special date, the International Romani Language Day is falling as well on the week in which souls are celebrated in many cultures.

An opportunity to experience the good side of the encounter of different cultures in this country. Romani is an ancient Indian language that is falling out of common use due to various assimilationist policies across Europe.

Traditionally, Romani vernacular has been oral, with tales told by all respected storytellers and songs composed and sung by musicians. A tradition that is worth celebrating.

Organizers are proposing to combine these festivities along with the Mexican community living in Prague, which is small in number but has been very active to share their culture, such as the “Día de Muertos”.

The celebration of souls for the Roma

Roma have a strong respect for their ancestors. When a family member dies, the family takes him to the other world through a ritual called “warting”.

The family sits with the dead member for three days (currently with his photography) and tells stories about him. There is also a strong belief in Romani culture in the spirits of the dead.

“O mulo” may return among the living in various forms and make troubles, try to finish things from his life, or protect the living.

Dia de muertos, the path of the Mictlan

Dia de muertos celebration is based on the legend of Mictlan.  Originated in Mexican indigenous civilizations, like the Aztecs. When you die, you start the path to Mictlan, an underworld where the souls can rest. A dangerous way, in which the souls must be together with Xolo, the dog that will guide them into finding the Mictlan.

In this place is living, Mictlantecuhtli, the lord of death. In the indigenous cosmovision, death is the disintegration of the matter, but is the start of the eternal beginning.

What will happen on November 5? Thus, different local actors came together to present a program showing the cultural richness of the Roma and Mexican cultures in the Czech context.

Literature, music, food, storytelling, and a fireshow is what you will expect at a local bookstore/coffee bar, Knihkopec, in Holešovice.

The program:

  • 17:00 Mr. Boldi on the Cimbál
  • 19:00 Author’s reading: the authors of Kher will read from the book O mulo! stories about the ghosts of the dead
  • 20:45 Fireside talks – about the Romani language, how souls are celebrated in the Roma and Mexican cultures
  • 20:30 Fireshow (Cirkusárna)
  • Accompanying program: traditional Roma food stand, Kher stand, Etnomarket stand, Cirkusárna stand.

More info here.



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