Congratulations on the occasion of the World Roma Day
Exactly half a century ago, during the course of 1971, the First World Romani Congress was held in London on this day. The same day – 8 April - was declared the World Roma Day by the United Nations. Since then, there has been an organised institutional effort to improve the living conditions of this incomparable national community, which has managed to preserve its unique centuries-old cultural identity, despite the fact that it has too often been exposed to discrimination and prejudice of all kinds. Both in the world and in Europe, as well as in Serbia, and especially in Vojvodina rich with ethnic diversity, the status of the Roma has become one of the indicators of the level of democratisation of society and the desired equality that we have not achieved, not even close, but towards which we are consistently moving. The Provincial Government, with a stimulating assisting role of Roma representatives, primarily the National Council of the Roma National Minority and civic organisations, recognises the need to hear the voice of the Roma community in the pursuit of their interests and advocates for Roma inclusion in all areas of this life which we all share together and society we all create together. In the end or better yet, in the beginning, it would be nice if we learned about the values and significance of the Roma from the attitude of great Vojvodina writers towards them, such as Miroslav Antić and Stevan Pešić, who considered the Roma their spiritual brothers and felt their culture as one of the essential elements of Vojvodina's identity. With the same feeling, I extend my sincere congratulations to the entire Roma national community on the occasion of 8 April - the World Roma Day.
Zsolt Szakállas, Provincial Secretary