Presentation of the Phralipen internet portal and magazine was held in the Zagreb City Library “Bogdan Ogrizović” on 5th December. The Phralipen portal is a project of the same name carried out by the Croatian Romani Union “KALI SARA”, focusing on the minority issues and the position of the Roma national minority in the Republic of Croatia. The aim of the portal is to familiarize the general public with the problems of the Roma, their rich culture and tradition while, at the same time, providing a framework for the professional development of the Roma as the most vulnerable group in our society. Phralipen covers minority topics and policy following important events and processes with a special focus on key stakeholders through interviews, authorised texts, columns, and information gathered from legitimate Roma representatives from the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia.
The promotion was attended by the Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Furio Radin, Chairman of the Committee on Information, Computerisation and the Media, Andrija Mikulić, Chairwoman of the Education, Science and Culture Committee, Vesna Bedeković, MPs Robert Janković, Kažimir Varda and Veljko Kajtazi, Chief Adviser to the Minister of Culture, Dubravka Đurić Nemec, Head of the UNESCO Office at the Ministry of Culture, Rut Carek, and Deputy Ombudsperson for Disabled Persons, Darijo Jurišić.
“Although we have already tried to promote Romani minority magazines in Croatia, none of them had taken roots, so this represents the wind in our sails making us more determined in creation of media content. In addition to our editorial team, I would especially like to welcome all of our field collaborators who contribute to the content of our portal and the magazine because the Roma are not active only in the City of Zagreb. Today, we have here with us representatives of the Roma from the Međimurje County, Koprivnica-Križevci County, Brod-Posavina County and Sisak-Moslavina Count”, said Suzana Krčmar, President of the Croatian Romani Union “KALI SARA”.
Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Furio Radin, emphasized the importance of publishing a magazine because it is the way in which the Roma show to the citizens of Croatia who they are and how united they are.
“It is very important to point out the fact that the key success of the Roma community is the standardization of the Romani language, and for this reason, I am so pleased with the name of the magazine and it is essential that the written word of the Romani language remains memorized. Language is an important medium through which, inter alia, we can recognize cultural heritage of any community, including the Roma. The Government of the Republic of Croatia has recognized the importance of all its minority communities living on its territory as cultural heritage enriching our country in its cultural diversity,” said Vesna Bedeković in her address.
MP Veljko Kajtazi pointed out that in other Romani magazines he was particularly concerned about incomplete content and texts not being proofread. For Phralipen this is of particular interest bringing it attention of readers from abroad.
“As a President of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb, I have the right to submit a proposal for endorsement of certain projects. Whenever a request was for a written word, a magazine or a book, I have always supported the project”, added Andrija Mikulić, who praised the quality of coexistence with his Roma acquaintances whether in his childhood neighbourhood or in his constituency.
In the second part of the presentation, Professor at the Department of Indology and Far East Studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies in Zagreb, Ljatif Demir, Advisor in the Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Alen Tahiri, Editor-in-Chief of Phralipen, Maja Grubišić and Language Associate and Translator for Boyash dialect, Elvis Kralj presented the Phralipen project through examples of their own contributions and work in the Roma community.
Since the Croatian Romani Union “KALI SARA” has always put emphasis on education and publishing, launching of Phralipen magazine came as a logical sequence. The magazine is published quarterly and each number covers a period of three months where the Roma community is tracked through shorter reports, interviews and stories. In addition, Phralipen covers areas of culture and politics with reviews of events from all the counties in which Roma live, as well as current events and interviews combining Croatian, English, Romani languages and Boyash dialect.
“Editorial board prepares articles for the magazine, and since it comes out quarterly, some of them at the time of publishing are no longer so up to date, so we were thinking about launching an internet portal, therefore a logical sequence of continuous work. Internet being the fastest media widely accessible to everyone enabled us to be current between two printed issues of the magazine, “added Maja Grubišić.
Professor Ljatif Demir informed the audience about the correct pronunciation of the title of the magazine and the specificity of the Romani language compared to the Croatian language. He also referred to the history of publishing Romani magazines where the first one was published in Belgrade in 1933 by a private publisher. Alen Tahiri emphasized that the Phralipen magazine, compared to its forerunners, reflects the basics of journalism both in the linguistic structure and in the journalistic sense.
After the promotion, socializing continued in the Library’s premises.