Self-taught Roma musicians and Roma orchestras cheer up the people with their song during the holidays
The largest ethnic minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Roma. There are no precise data on the number of Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in the world. Some associations claim that the number of the Roma minority is between 70 and one hundred thousand Roma living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
They are popularly called “heavenly people”. It is a reality in the world and it is common knowledge that the Roma are the least educated and working. They almost have no rights. They are exposed to the worst forms of discrimination on a daily basis worldwide and in the areas where they live. Extreme poverty, unemployment, unresolved housing issues and premature pregnancies for girls are just some of the problems this population faces on a daily basis.
The issue of their inclusion in society is still a secondary issue for decision-makers. Roma are mostly left to themselves and their means of survival.
Nevertheless, Roma have always been a people who love song and music. Many of their orchestras and musicians are well known and have always entertained people with their song.
They sing and play at weddings, various festivities and parties where they show their musical preferences and talents (mostly self-taught).
There are many still preserved old customs in Sarajevo and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Roma musicians and orchestras walk the streets of the city during religious and New Year’s holidays, carrying accordions, double bass and trumpets. With their musical instruments, they play world-famous musical songs, or Christmas and New Year’s songs, interpreting them in their own way. Players take a short break in front of apartment buildings, parks or promenades. So they give you a chance to enjoy playing them. They slowly continue their walk and play in the open space. An old Bosnian custom, appropriate to all religions and denominations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, requires listeners to toss coins to musicians if they listen to music from balconies and windows, or to give paper money for music they listen to if they are on the streets. In this way, they help the musicians, trumpeters and orchestras of the Roma national minority to live, work, play and continue this beautiful tradition.