6 April, 2023
Roma Station, Maribor

The presentation of Maribor’s Roma cultural heritage in a public space contained mainly elements of music and dance.

As is well known, art such as music and dance knows no boundaries. Roma dance is also an intense and non-verbal vocabulary of communication and behaviour. Roma music is also often just an adaptation, but performed in a different way, and as we often call it, it has a Roma soul in it. Even if it is Mozart, the interpretation by a Roma musician is something special and unique. That is why it is most often a bridge between the Roma and the majority population.

Roma do not have much of their own material cultural heritage. However, among the intangible cultural heritage, music and dance are definitely the most recognised. They contain elements of their long journey from India to where they live now. Their music weaves through all the cultures they have encountered along the way. Therefore, it is often a set of rhythms that are appropriated by others, but it is the interpretation that makes this music different. The musical heritage of Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city and home to the largest number of Roma in Slovenia, is the heritage of the Roma community, who come mainly from Kosovska Mitrovica and Peć in Kosovo. It contains Turkish rhythms, the so-called tallava rhythm. This music is also most often followed by dance, which is based on kola patterns, danced in a circle, and similar movements occur in all the dancers.

The Maribor Roma prepared separate singing and dancing parts in the spring of 2023 in rehearsals under the guidance of singing mentor Kaja Lekš and dancing mentor Amanda Fetahi. The aim of these workshops was to bring together mainly Romani women, to carry out joint activities, to connect and strengthen the Romani heritage, to sing and dance, which is a Romani tradition in the form of preserving the language and socialising.

A cultural public event was then held on 6 April 2023, which was attended by a large number of members of the Roma ethnic minority.

The event included elements of cultural animation for a large audience, who learned about Roma traditions in dance, music, song and language.

The strengthening of Roma culture is important both for them and for the majority population, and the event contributed to greater coexistence between the populations.

The event was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the Municipality of Maribor and the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.