June is Gypsy, Roma & Traveller History Month (GRTHM) celebrating the diverse ways in which the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities add to the vibrancy of life in the UK and recognises the varied contributions that these communities have made to British Society historically and today.
With coronavirus restrictions still in force across the country a set of online resources, activities and information have been produced to help celebrate, educate and raise awareness of GRTHM and to help to tackle prejudices, challenge myths and to raise the voices of Gypsies and Travellers in wider society.
- Crystal’s Vardo is a play about a young Romani Gypsy who travels through time in her Grandad’s Vardo to unravel the history of her ancestors. It is perfect for children and adults alike. However, coronavirus (Covid-19) has meant that many will miss out on this year’s performances, so to make sure everybody gets a chance to see it the play is available on YouTube from 1st – 30th June 2020 and there are Watch Parties on the FFT Facebook page, at 7.00pm Thursday 11th June and 5.00pm Sunday 28th June.
- Twinkl has some great classroom resources, made with Traveller Movement.
- Download this education packwith activity sheets and audio recordings for Key Stage 2 and 3 children, from the Romany Theatre Company.
- There’s a great selection of stories or storybooks about Gypsies, Roma and Travellers on the KidsOwn
- Hear the stories and experiences of Roma people from across Central Europe, who live in London on the Roma Oral History websitefrom the Roma Support Group.
- An animation on the history of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers
- With older children, you could explore ‘The Porajmos’, which is the name for the genocide of Roma and Sinti communities during the Nazi regime.
- Arrange a film night for your local community group to raise awareness about the experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. The Ballad of the Travelling People, or these oral historiesfrom Oblique Arts are a great watch, or you can find some other options in this list from the British Film Institute.
Pictured: The grandparents, aunties and uncles of our own Service Director of Learning, Inclusion and Skills, Pauline Anderson in front of the wagon- late 50’s in Cork.
Pauline says: “My grandfather made the barrel top wagons and my mum used to help him. My grandmother kept all the horses and had 11 children. I have 72 FIRST cousins! My mum never went to school…yet I became a head teacher and a director!”