Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Day of Romani Language

5 November

UNESCO proclaimed the World Day of Romani Language in 2015 to promote the preservation of Romani language and culture, improve the well-being of Romani people, and recognize the importance of all languages, whose diversity is a source of strength for all societies to share.

The Romani language has about 33,000 words and it represents a good basis for its modernization and final standardization. There are 17 dialects but speakers of different dialects can understand each other. There has been a substantial work to create a standard idiom, but still a lot of work has to be done. 

UNESCO should continue to take the lead in enhancing intercultural dialogue, fostering cultural rapprochement especially by proclaiming World Day of Romani Language that will help further develop and research of Romani language in Member States.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.” Those words, by the late Toni Morrisson, tell us how a language cannot be reduced to the words that comprise it or to meanings supposedly equivalent from one language to another. It is an experience of the world, a symbolic universe containing knowledge, stories, cultures, identities, and ways of seeing, living and feeling.

 

—  Message of the 5 November 2019 from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Day of Romani Language

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