Lithuanian Gypsy Community ‘Gypsy Bonfire’

Lithuanian Gypsy Community ‘Gypsy Bonfire’

Chairwoman: Ariana Bagdanavičiūtė
Address: Ribiškių Didžioji g. 2-3, Vilnius

The community was registered on 20th of June 1997. During the entire period of work, ‘Gypsy Bonfire’ actively participated in solving topical issues of the Roma society, actively cooperates with the Vilnius City Council’s Municipality, the Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Children’s Foundation.

Community representatives participated in Human Rights and National Minorities international conferences.

The project “Formation of Young Gypsy Worldview” was carried out. The goal of the project was the development of spirituality by developing the gypsy culture and integrating the Roma into the common life and culture of Lithuania. It was carried out together with the Vilnius City Municipality Social Care Center and Guardianship and Benefits Center. 

Several summer camps for Roma children have been organized by the efforts of the members of “Gypsy Bonfire”.

On 25th of August 2001, in the park ‘Vingis’ in Vilnius, the community organized a historical celebration dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Roma’s arrival to Lithuania. It is a historical fact that 500 years ago, the Polish king and the Grand Duke of the GDR, Alexander, announced a privilege to the gypsy voivode Vasilis, according to which the country’s Roma received self-government and the right to roam freely within the state borders. Also, in 2012-2015 the community implemented the project “Bahtalo Drom” for the employment of Roma. About 240 Roma participated in it, 30 were employed.

For the first time in Lithuania, the community organized the commemoration of the International Roma National Day dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of the appearance of Roma in Europe – “Roma Millenium”. Also, on the initiative of the community, a conference of Roma leaders of the Baltic countries and Belarus occured. It was dedicated to the International Roma Day. The participants of the conference, together with the Lithuanian society, celebrated the significant date and provided guidelines for cooperation.

The community “Gypsy Bonfire” is one of the founders of the Roma Community Center.