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Šuto Orizari (Municipality, North Macedonia)

Шуто оризари

Last modified: 2023-03-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: Šuto orizari | skopje |
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[Flag] image by Valentin Poposki, 22 September 2021

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Presentation of Šuto Orizari

The municipality of Šuto Orizari, in short form Šutka, (20,800 inhabitants; 7.48 is one of the ten municipalities forming the city of Skopje. It is the only municipality in the world with a Rom administration.

Roms were elected for the first time in the Municipal Council of Skoplje in 1948. A few years later, they founded the sport club, Ekipe (Unity) and the cultural association Phralipe (Fraternity), which organized Rom music, dance and theater shows. The most famous member of Phralipe is Esma Redžepova, wordly renowned as the "Tsigane Queen". Esma Redžepova, born in 1945, dubbed herself "a Gipsy from the city of Skopje". Aged 13, she met during a sing contest in Šuto Orizari the Macedonian composer Stevo Teodosievski, who became her mentor and appointed her singer in his band. Their first big success with the song Čaj Šukarije (Beautiful Rom girl) and gave more than 12,000 concerts. They married in 1968 and founded a music schools for boys. Stevo died in 1997 and Esma abandoned concerts for a while; a few years later, she founded the band Teodosievski with boys from the music school. Esma's album Queen of the Gypsies has been selected in the group of the best 20 albums by the "World Music" selection and she was nominee for the Nobel Prize of Peace. She is the leader of the NGO Rom-Esma, whose aim is to promote the cause of Rom women (and Rom in general) all over the world.

On 26 July 1963, an earthquake destroyed two-thirds of Skopje. The Roms, who had been living since the 17th century in the borough of Topana, all moved to the hillside of Šuto Orizari, close to a garbage dump. They organized there their city, with an administration, shops and a cinema.
In 1996 Šuto Orizari was granted municipal statutes, according to the decentralization law. Romanes was adopted as its official language. Since 1999, more than 4,000 Roms expelled from Kosovo because they allegely supported the Serbs against the Albanians settled in Šutka.

Source: Sébastien Daycard-Heidet and Simon Mazurelle. "The city where the Roms feel at home." Le Monde, 11 March 2005

The documentary The Shutka Book of Records, made in Šuto Orizari in 2005 by the Serbian movie director Aleksandar Manić, strongly divided the inhabitants of the town, some of them feeling that the town was ridiculed, but was warmly welcomed in several international festivals and by the critics.

Ivan Sache, 19 November 2006

Flag of Šuto Orizari

The municipality has new symbols as are shown on its website. It shows a white flag with the shield centered.

Valentin Poposki, 22 September 2021

[Flag] image located by Valentin Poposki, 22 September 2021

Before the change of symbols (probably in 2020), the official flag was not in use for several years. Instead, the Roma flag was used on all official events, in front and inside the municipal building, including the mayor's office.

Valentin Poposki, 22 September 2021

Coat of arms of Šuto Orizari

[Flag] image located by Valentin Poposki, 22 September 2021

Former flag of Šuto Orizari

[Flag] image by Mello Luchtenberg & António Martins, 19 November 2006

The [former] flag of Šuto Orizari is vertical, in proportion 2:1, vertically divided green-blue, the colours of the Rom flag. It shows the Rom wheel and a yellow bridge, representing the Kamen Most (Stone bridge) over river Vardar.


The flag seems to have been derived from the coat of arms, as shown on the municipal website. The coat of arms is diagonally divided blue green with the red wheel in lower left corner and the five yellow rays radiating from it to the upper right corner of the shield. There is a four-arched white bridge in the upper part of the shield.

Ivan Sache, 19 November 2006