The Roma have a rich cultural legacy that dates back centuries. The use of symbols, which serve as major expressions of their ideas, values, and traditions, is one of the most important components of their culture. These symbols can be found in a variety of forms, such as clothes, jewelry, and tattoos, and are frequently utilized to express messages of protection, good fortune, and identity. From the distinctive Romani flag to the elaborate designs of traditional Roma attire, these symbols provide a glimpse into the Roma people’s complex and intriguing world.


The Roma Chakra is a powerful symbol of Roma’s identity and culture. The symbol consists of a wagon wheel with 16 spokes, each of which represents a different component of Roma’s life, such as family, faith, and work. 

The core of the wheel represents the Roma people, while the outer rim represents the rest of the world. The Roma Chakra is frequently seen on the Romani flag, which was accepted during the first World Romani Congress in 1971. The flag has a blue and green background, a Chakra in the center, and the word “Romani” inscribed across the middle in red. This flag has come to represent Roma’s identity and pride, and it is frequently exhibited at cultural festivals and gatherings.


The Romani Anthem, popularly known as “Gelem Gelem,” is a strong and emotive song that has come to represent Roma identity and pride. “Gelem Gelem” narrates the Roma people’s history, from their origins in India through their struggles and persecution in Europe and beyond. The lyrics, which are performed in Romani, describe the Roma people’s determination to endure and develop in the face of adversity. The song has become a Roma community unifying anthem, and it is frequently performed at cultural festivals and gatherings. Its strong message of resilience and optimism has inspired generations of Roma activists and artists, raising awareness of the Roma people’s continued battle for recognition and respect.

The Roma do not have an official slogan since their culture and identity are multifaceted and diverse, and cannot be contained in a single phrase. Certain terms and phrases, however, are regularly used within the Roma community and have considerable cultural and historical significance. “Opre Roma,” which translates to “Stand up, Roma” in Romani, is one such expression. This slogan is frequently used as a call to action, motivating Roma people to be proud of their heritage and to fight for their rights and dignity in the face of discrimination and tyranny. Another common saying among Roma is “Kintala chavalé,” which translates to “All children” in Romani. The saying reflects the Roma people’s great emphasis on family and community, as well as their belief in the significance of caring for and protecting all children, regardless of their background or circumstances.


These symbols, slogans, and anthems are powerful expressions of Roma heritage and culture, and they provide us with a look into their existence. It is critical that we educate ourselves on the subject and appreciate their cultural heritage.

More about AHEAD project:

AHEAD project aims to promote between youngsters non–discrimination and to combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance against Roma and other Ethnic minorities (mostly migrants). Partners jointly work on innovative good practice approaches, human rights-based narratives, training, official regular meetings, and European awareness raising campaigns. The project promotes inclusion, tolerance, mutual and multicultural understanding, and fight Roma, ethnic minorities, and migrants in Europe through an innovative approach that combines research, training (national and international) on antidiscrimination and on hate speech, round tables, seminars, the exchange of good practices, meetings between different representatives, stakeholders, CSOs, and youth associations, and a massive dissemination campaign.

The project aims to contribute to strengthening the capacity building of young victims (part of minorities) and the protection of youngsters belonging to minorities by supporting them in capacity building and structuring new mechanisms in public consultations in partner’s country (replicable all over Europe) on the issue of nondiscrimination and fighting every form of hate speech against ethnic minorities, Roma and migrants. 


AHEAD’s aim is to tackle hate speech (also online) and to combat discriminations that target minorities in 5 areas of civil rights: education, labor, housing, health, goods and services, through specific training offered to 200 participants and through an new approach that combines quantitative research, public meetings with stakeholders, and awareness raising campaign. After providing expertise, building competences, advocating and raising awareness among youth people, partners will support the mobilization of young victims and will focus on Capacity building actions for youth, in order to involve Youngsters in decision making and into new structured automatic mechanisms to empower their active participation on hate speech and antidiscrimination.

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