“It’s not the Manel Festival, it’s more than that”

art culture

In August, the festival of the poorest community will be organized in Cluj, for the Roma festival of Pata Rat, entitled Circumcision. Although on the surface it appears to be the Manele Festival, the organizers say it is something much more complicated than that. See what events and what the schedule are.


Pata Rat community / Image: monitorulcj.ro . archive

Even if the circumcision festival is on the roof It seems It’s just the Manel Festival, in essence it means so much more.

The Khetane initiative represents an opportunity for the community of Pata Rât to assert its existence, a community that was once “lying by force” and has become invisible, says Istvan Szakats of Cluj:

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Circumcision is the first festival of marginalized communities in Cluj-Napoca that aims to promote Roman culture as a step towards moral compensation and social justice.

Organizers said Khitan also means “together” in the Romani language, and Khitan brings communities together.

This is not the Manel Festival. Manils is the topic we’re talking about, but It is about much more than that. (…]In order to be able to hold a festival like this, we worked. We are in our tenth year working at Pata Rât. We are trying to make this community the festival.

ideology and: The false community strongly asserts its presence among the city’s communities. This is what the circumcision festival is about. It’s a community, officially, of 2,500 people, a community made invisible by force, traumatized and traumatized daily. “These people don’t choose to live there, they just throw it in the trash,” Istvan Zakats, project coordinator of Radio Bata and festival organizer, said at the press conference for the launch of Circumcision.

The whole city is invited to a circumcision festival

In fact, at the Circumcision Festival, the organizers invite the whole city, even to contribute to the event Reconstruction of social relations among the citizens of Cluj, which are now characterized by racism and apartheid. Thus, the festival is free and everyone is welcome:

“When I say it affirms its existence, I talk about value and pride, I talk about those taboo subjects, like Manils. It’s not the Manel Festival, but that’s what you see. We want relationships between city communities because that community has to have its place among other communities in the city.” In fact, the whole city is invited to the festival, and what is new about this festival is the generosity with which we try – everything is free. A festival organized by the poorest community can only be generous, free and open to allScotts said.

Alexandru Pepe Fischetti and Istvan Zaczac, at the Circumcision Festival launch conference / Photo: monitor

The Circumcision Festival will not only include concerts, but also various events such as: Movie shows, fashion show, kids activities, debates (on topics such as manele or social justice), little Events such as “TED de Pata” and exhibitions and the Grand Final “Pata-Cluj We have Talent!”.

Among those who will present are Golden Princess, Alex de Kluge and IMPEX.

Watch the festival program here. Circumcision will take place from 12 to 14 August 2022.

Organizers expect that on each day of the festival, when there are concerts, about 1,000 people will participate, and on the last day when there are no concerts, the number will be less. The approximate budget of the festival is 70-80 thousand euros.

“There is no place in the five-star city”?

Alexandru Pepe Fichetti, a broadcaster, activist and social worker from Cluj-Napoca, is directly involved in the organization of the Circumcision Festival.

Pepe says the whole idea of ​​the festival started from the idea of ​​”there is no place in the five-star town”, and considers it’s time to bring Romani music to the ghetto, because they don’t have much access to culture, not even their own.

Bibi also wants to normalize the manilis in Cluj and show that gypsy culture “can be wonderful”:

There is no place for manele in the five-star city – I started with this idea Wanting to express our culture in this big city, where we have no place. Roma do not have much access to culture (…) we We thought of bringing Rome music to the ghetto. Of course, we haven’t been able to bring in the music stars yet, but we’re still checking out someone: The Golden Princess (who’s an industrial star) and Alex from Cluj. We want to show that our culture can be great too. (…]The idea is that we want to normalize Manilis in our city, we want to bring the communities together, for people from the city to come to Pata Rat and vice versa because there are very few occasions when the two parties come together,” he said Bibi, who also lived in Bata until two years ago.

Roma music festivals were never about Roma

Andrei Deniscu of IMPEX, the Romanian band that combines rock and manila, was pleasantly surprised when he heard about Khetane, because he had not seen the Rome Music Festival which was even dedicated to the Roma community, but for gags).

Andrei Dinescu of IMPEX, on a video call at the Khetane Festival launch conference / Photo: monitor

He also says that Roma do not have access to their artists, a situation caused by racism and apartheid:

“When I went to the Rome Music Festivals, I noticed this They were not thought of or directed to gypsies. Even if they did town halls, they seemed to be forced to entertain the men. If there’s one thing that really interests me, it’s the fact that you want to do something directly for your Pata Rât. Yes, we do not exclude non-Gypsy residents, everyone is very welcome, but there is this situation where You have to make an extra effort to bring the music of Rome to Rome.

Due to the fact that it is still censored music, there are no open festivals where the artists of Rome are invited. You really can’t see a manele or a violin band with a ticket. Racism and apartheid somehow created this situation, in a paradoxical way, where Roma do not have access to their artists (…) It’s about showing the gypsy community its own wealth too”, happy Andrei Denisko.

Circumcision is an urban and social link, following the principle of “cultural pretext of social context”, based on procedures of consultation, participation and animation, according to the needs and expectations of the citizens of Cluj-Napoca. The Community Festival is organized by the AltArt Foundation.

History of Bata Rat District

The marginalized areas of Cluj (Pata Rat, Stephenson, Manol) are the cumulative result of more than three decades of apathy, racism, discrimination and apartheid. This phenomenon began in the 1970s, when the Dallas Colony began to form, and on December 17, 2010, it reached its climax, when 350 people were evacuated by the Cluj-Napoca City Council, on Coastei Street in Cluj, where they were forced to leave. Bata Rat, near the city dump.

In fact, more than 70% of the residents of the Pata Rat neighborhood in Cluj-Napoca have arrived there after being evacuated by the authorities, in toxic environments, with the stigma of living in inappropriate living conditions.

The organizers draw attention to the responsibility of public institutions to carry out not only declaratively, but resolutely and long-term, programs for the reintegration of these citizens in Cluj. The programs involved will not only include social, medical, environmental, sanitation and labor market cooperation, but also social housing solutions, at the level of city standards such as Cluj.

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