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  • Report of the Ceuas Music Festival 2018

    Sorry for the delay of this report, it is not easy to return to the computer after diving into Roma life. Our festival went very well, each inhabitant of Ceuas participated in their own way.

    The experience went further than expected: there were hundreds of rumours, laughter, tears, love, death (only in words), money flowing in all directions, whole days and nights of dancing, music, and singing, a little blood (an American hit a Roma, but everyone concluded that it was deserved), a lot of friendship, as well as rivalries, and especially very different people who got to know each other. Without admitting it, the Roma were happy that they were admired and symbolically defended against the local racism to which they habitually submit. 

    We were very fortunate to have two volunteers recruited through the crowdfunding campaign, and we made a successful team: they strategically brought a case of beer to the village, and thus forged links with the villagers. During the festival, we provided a channel of communication between the Roma community and festivalgoers, we spent our time talking, explaining why this or that aspect, or revealing other aspects that people did not see. For music learning, this proved essential, because the girls who had come to study the violin were at first completely helpless in front of the musician who played without a word, without even looking at them. Similarly, we explained to the musician, after a few hours of solo playing and shy gestures here and there from his apprentices, that it was necessary to slow down the rhythm and to accept that girls could play the violin, even if this profession was exclusively for men. And it worked, at the end of the festival, the young violinist girls played with them, finally accepting to play false notes, and, therefore, often succeeding in playing right. This festival liberated music and dance for many Westerners, initially "shy". 

    The festival-goers left admitting that they did not expect the experience they had had, that they had come only for music and dance, and that it had touched them and almost destabilised them to know the life challenges of this community. We explained to them that music cannot be separated from living conditions, and most of them (with rare exceptions) understood that the celebration was even more beautiful in full knowledge of the facts. The community of Ceuas welcomed us with great generosity, and embraced us into the depths of their joys and sorrows that constitute their knowledge of living together. After only a few days, with my colleagues, we found ourselves reacting passionately like the Roma, changing our emotional state quickly, and improvising at every moment, fully following the changes of situation that were happening all the time. We were only able to step back when we left the village, maybe…

    Thank you again from all our hearts for making this possible.


  • Hello from Transylvania

    Dear friends,

    Only one month is left before registrations will close. We have 27 guests already, and we're expecting a little more by the end of the month. They are Romanians, Hungarians, French, English, Americans, Finnish, Germans, Estonians, Bulgarians, Moldavians. Sounds good!

    And Shanyika, the Roma organizer, has decorated a barn which will shelter the "dining room." I hope you like it.

    Te aven baxtale ! (May you be lucky)

  • Update from Transylvania

    Hello everyone,

    In Ceuas, work has started in order to prepare the arrival of festival guests. Showers and ecological toilets are being build. Everyone in the village is talking about the festival, and making arrangements. 

    Registrations have been abundant, and there are only a few places left until we reach the maximum number of guests.

    We'll keep updating you with important information. Should you wish to follow us more closely, and discover songs and fun stuff related to Roma culture, please follow our Facebook event :


    A BIG THANK YOU to each and every one of you who made this possible :

    Adrian Fedoreanu

    Alexandra Magearu

    Alexandra Panda

    Alexandru Evanghelidis

    Alina Turco

    Andrei Costea

    Andrew Pekarik

    Ania Godefroy

    Aniel Ban

    Anne-Marie Bourgeois

    Annie Lamand

    Annie Sornaga

    Annie Sornaga

    Audrey Loeber

    Aurelie Arque

    aurelie gaillard


    Catalina Pacurar

    Catalina Pacurar

    catherine nguyen

    Charles Stepanoff

    Charlotte Marchina


    Claire Bustarret

    Clara Motteau

    Cristiana Tautu

    daniele barthelemy

    Daniele Jumet

    Delia Duca Iliescu

    Dror Warschawski

    Eleonore Viadieu-Nauwelaers

    Emanuele Fontanesi

    Evelyne Ribert

    External support

    Francis Chateauraynaud

    Francois Carbonel


    Frederic Marchal

    Geraldine Sommier

    Grit Friedrich

    Gwen Rouvillois

    Ioana Timpa

    Jean-Christophe Belotti

    jean-francois zani


    Julie Lacombe-Deschandol

    julien brygo

    Juliette Gay

    Lilia Khelifi

    Luc Vitorge

    Malgosha Gago

    Marine Leduc

    Marion Julien

    Martine Goumard

    Michel Lombardo

    Michel Lombardo

    Michel MANUELIAN

    Michel Vittot

    Michele Gagnon

    Nais Calmettes

    Nicolas Kasprzyk


    odette BARAIS

    Oliver Muller-Cyran

    Olivier Leclercq

    Olivier_jacques BERNARD


    Philippe Johannin

    Philippe Veniel

    Pierre Godefroy

    Pierre Merville

    Raimund Olbrich

    Rares Dragan

    Rebecca Villaret

    Remi Servat


    Robert Dagany

    Roxana Moldovan

    Samantha Lavergnolle

    Sara Guedj

    Silvia Ricciardi

    Simon David

    Stephan Buchi


    swanie Potot

    Sylvain LABOIS

    Timothee Dury

    Tudor Vlasceanu


    Veronique Merville



  • We've made it !

    Dear friends of the heart,

    With the help of each and every one of you, we've managed to reach our goal and even to surpass it. We are all very touched and even more determined to continue our actions.

    If you want to travel right now to our lovely village, here's a radio show that Lison Merville - our very new responsible of cultural policy - recorded for Radio Grenouille. The discussion is in French but the sounds are pluri-linguistic. Enjoy!   


    We'll keep you posted regularly on major events.

    You did great !

    Infinite gratitude,

    The Ceuas Roma people

    The organizers : Shanyika Mezei, Piroska Darvas, Alina Turco

    The cultural policy team : Lison Merville, Clara Sfez

    PS - The registration for guests is now officially open.

  • Shanyika and Angela, a Rromani couple

    Now that our festival is a success, I would like to officially introduce Shanyika and Angela, the power couple who is behind all this. When I first arrived in their house one and a half years ago, I discovered that a lot of ideas I had about Roma were wrong. For instance, that marriage at a young age should be banned.  

    Married for 14 years, Shani is now 32 years old and Angela 29. They have 2 children, a 13 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. When I was sleeping in their home, I heard the parents talking and talking in their room, before going to sleep at night. So in the morning I asked them if they were fighting. They started laughing and told me they never fight. Since I didn't believe that could be possible, Shani said with a blink of an eye that whenever Angela is mad at him, he waits 5 minutes and then he makes a joke. And Angela replied that when Shani goes away with his music jobs, it is a good thing because they miss each other. All decisions, they take them together, and then they share their tasks. I've had a few great humanity lessons when talking to them.

    What they have achieved might be something close to true family love. This must be why I felt so happy in their home.