Saturday 5 July
The day of the Romodrom concert. The day the government man came to experience and see how his money had been spent. The day that Maria, her two sons and the teachers did wonders to get the children and the Gypsy band organised. And the day started sunny and clear, with the excellent view towards Kirvan.
Emelie and Robert have had exercise sessions at the Cultural Centre during these days and they were the ones to perform and should be the ones being nervous this morning. The children had rehearsals most of the day and then everyone was involved in rehearsals in the afternoon. At 4 pm the Cultural Centre was almost full and it seemed like everyone from the ghetto were there. After initial speeches by Maria and the government representative, the concert started with Emelie and Robert, who did 20 minutes of percussion. They did it really well and it was very well received by everyone. Apparently about half their concert was improvised right there, something that I certainly couldn’t pick.
Then a blonde woman was singing to pre-recorded music. She had been to our concert in Bratislava last weekend too. From the response of the audience it was obvious that many of the songs she did were really well known by everyone and during a few songs all the children were up dancing too. After that the Gypsy Band took the stage and it took about two seconds until everyone was up dancing. The Roma children did the pieces they had rehearsed with the Gypsy Band. They did it very well and when everything turned into a dance party the children got all the Swedes on their feet too.
What to say? Amazing. A day never to be forgotten. A unique opportunity to spend a few days working with and being with a group of children from a very different culture. Thank you everyone. Well done Maria, Beata, Josef, Anders, Simon, Emelie, Robert, Zhet-Rejno and everyone else.
The Romodrom people put on a buffet party afterwards for everyone involved, including all the children of course. This has all been for them.