Zagreb - The ceremony marking International Romani Language Day was held at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) in the presence of Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Minister for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy Nada Murganić, presidential envoy Renata Margaretić Urlić, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, member of Parliament for the Roma minority Veljko Kajtazi, and representatives of Roma organisations.
Jandroković recalled that the Croatian Parliament was the first to adopt the initiative to declare November 5 International Romani Language Day and praised the initiative by Romani community leaders and MP Kajtazi to ensure care for the Romani language, its preservation, development and standardisation, and make it possible for the Roma to use their own language in public communication.
Jandroković said that the publication of the first Croatian-Romani and Romani-Croatian dictionary had expanded public support for the Romani language in Croatia and abroad, and noted that the Romani language and literature had been studied at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2012. Education in the languages and alphabets of ethnic minorities must continue in accordance with the law, he said.
Jandroković also stressed the importance of promoting non-discrimination and changing the attitude towards the Romani minority, as well as the importance of the equal treatment of Roma in education and promoting the inclusion of Romani children in the education processes, from pre-school to higher education.
Kajtazi said that important steps had been taken to preserve the Romani language, culminating in the launch of Romani language and literature studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He also mentioned the inclusion of Romani history, culture and literature in the education system as a long-term goal. - The main objective is not only to improve the status of the Romani minority but also to change the attitude and prejudice of the majority population towards the Roma, Kajtazi said, stressing that Roma themselves should be active participants in social life in order to achieve their goals more easily.(Hina/Press Office)