Bad People Don't Sing

Annalisa Natali Murri



Ederlezi is the gypsy name of the Serbian celebration of Saint-George’s day (Djurdjevdan), which is widely celebrated in the Balkans and beyond on the 6th of May by both Muslim and Orthodox Roma. This day is a spring celebration marking the beginning of summer and allegedly bringing good fortune and wealth: fires, fresh twigs and water serve as symbols of life and spring.

Despite their distinct religious and cultural origins, both orthodox Djurdjevdan and roma Ederlezi thus represent two expressions of national religiousness, which allowed mutual influencing.

The ministry of Culture and Information of the Serbian government recently promoted initiatives for the integration of Roma communities and supported the celebration of Djurdjevdan/Ederlezi as an identifying characteristic of Roma people. The celebration of this feast will be further pursued with strong incentives already existent within local communities and supported by local institutions. In 2013 Djurdjevdan/Ederlezi celebrations have been nominated for inscription on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

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