In the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina the Roma (also called Â Romani people) have lived here for more than 600 years. They arrived in the territory of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina by the 14th and 15th century, and then adopted Islam as the majority confession during the times of Ottoman rule (15th-19th centuries).
Already then, Roma were stigmatized and had to live in settlements outside city boundaries and that same situation continues today.
When walking through the streets of Mostar, here and there you can see a few Roma children walking and trying to get the attention of the tourists. The children arrive to the city each morning and spend the whole day walking around, gathering money from tourists. Sometimes they sing and their voice attracts attention, most of them have the rhythm in their blood as it is well known that the Roma people have always been great street performers and musicians.
In the Old Town and near the Old Bridge in Mostar, there are performances on public place for gratuity almost every day, especially in the summer days.
If you see those young ones, give them a round of applause. Do not give them money as they will forward it to their parents and get nothing for them. If you really want to help them, go the nearest grocery store or bakery and buy them something to eat.
Tourists should also be careful on how they approach the children. During the spring and summer seasons, the Roma children are most active in the Old Town, FejiÄ‡eva and Franciscan Street, where they often beg and pickpockets.
The biggest number of Rome families is located in the area of BiÅ¡Ä‡e polje, which is located about 10 minutes away when driving from the center of Mostar.
In case you have missed it, take a look at our video where young Roma performer earns for living by singing on the streets of Mostar every day. His voice is a local attraction and this is how he earns for living.
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