Art and Culture

With pride, we say, that perhaps the biggest contribution Roma have made to society is in the field of music. “…topa bore hedhin shokët tanë…” (“…snow balls thrown by our friends…”) are verses that accompany a ‘whiteness’ (Bardhesi) Albanian song, which music is from Roma composer Vakthi Sheme. This song was awarded the second prize at the 10th Song Festival by RTSH. Besides the serious dedication to compose songs of soft music, the creativity of the Roma composers includes a series of well known works in classical music. His closest collaborators have been the most well-known voices of Albanian soft music, like Kozma Dushi, Lindita Theodhori etc. However, Romani musical influence goes beyond Albanian borders. This is demonstrated in the famous italian “gypsy violin”, which features the sweet music of the gypsy violin, known as the ubiquitous Roma instrument. In the Spanish flamenco dance, Roma are attributed as having created this type of popular dance.

Different Roma cultural symbols have inspired enough personalities around the world to contribute to save and develop the Roma identity. Recently, Albanian Roma artist, Sead Kazanxhiu, created a Roma monument in the form of an open wheel which symbolically shows respect for Roma origins and promotes cultural exchange between Roma and non-Roma. In 2014, this Roma monument is placed at the entrance of the Ministry of Wellbeing and Youth, in the Albanian capital city of Tirana., where it continues to reside.
Traditionally, Roma are exceptional at different artisanal work, especially works in wicker (woven straw), embroidery, metallurgy and jewelry.
IRCA has as part of its mission to collect information about Roma identity and cultural heritage in Albanian and broader.