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hAmaro Fest 2024: A Celebration of Romani Culture Under the Texas Skies

Romani Culture celebrations

April 6th, Autin, Tx ~ Under the expansive Texas skies, on April 6th, Austin played host to the vibrant and colorful extravaganza of hAmaro Fest 2024. This one-day cultural fiesta, held in celebration of Romani International Day, transformed the city into a lively hub of music, dance, food, and festivities, bringing together the rich tapestry of Romani (Gypsy) and Indian cultures alongside the Texan spirit.

From afternoon till dusk, the festival grounds buzzed with energy as attendees immersed themselves in a kaleidoscope of experiences. The heart of hAmaro Fest beat with the rhythmic pulse of Romani music, resonating from the performances of Texas Romani artists who showcased the diverse sounds of the Romani diaspora. From flamenco to Indian melodies, Romani jazz to folk dance beats, each performance was a testament to the boundless creativity and cultural fusion that defines the Romani musical tradition.

But hAmaro Fest was more than just a music festival; it was a celebration of community and heritage. Families and friends gathered under the azure sky to indulge in traditional Romani delicacies, tantalizing the taste buds with flavors that spanned continents. The aroma of savory dishes mingled with the sweetness of desserts, creating a culinary experience that delighted the senses.

For the younger attendees, hAmaro Fest offered a playground of activities including painting, with every child building memories of laughter and joy. Meanwhile, workshops on Indian Gypsy Kalbelia folk dance and Eastern European Romani dance provided an opportunity for enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the cultural traditions of the Romani people.

Romani Culture celebrations

At the heart of the festival's mission was a commitment to education and understanding. Through workshops, concerts, and educational programs, hAmaro Fest aimed to shed light on the rich history and heritage of the Romani people, dispelling myths and misconceptions that have plagued this deeply misunderstood community for centuries.

The lineup of performers was as diverse as the culture it celebrated, featuring artists such as:

  • ROMA DJ Music: Setting the mood with infectious beats that kept the crowd moving and grooving.

  • Sargam School: Showcasing the talent of young performers with their spirited dance performances.

  • Malissa Herrera: Connecting with her Mexican Romani roots through soulful renditions of traditional Romani songs.

  • Feherlo and Band: Transporting audiences to the streets of Turkey and Hungary with their mesmerizing Romani melodies.

  • Rajasthani Dancers from Wings School of Art: Enthralling spectators with the vibrant colors and dynamic movements of Rajasthani folk dances.

  • Colin Malik: Exploring the intersection of African American and Romani musical traditions, paying homage to the roots of American jazz.

  • Special Guest Ion Hancock: Adding a touch of scholarly insight to the festivities, sharing his knowledge of Romani studies and history.

The highlight of the evening came with performances by renowned artists Oliver Rajamani and Via Romen, whose captivating melodies and dynamic rhythms brought the festival to a crescendo of joy and celebration.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting hues of orange and pink across the Texas sky, the echoes of laughter and music lingered in the air, aa a testament to the magic of hAmaro Fest. Amidst the warmth of community and culture, attendees departed with hearts full of memories and a renewed appreciation for the beauty and resilience of the Romani people.


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