Celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month in Hackney

Explore the history, culture and language of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Hackney next month and find out more about the borough’s history.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities across Britain will be celebrating the second Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Month (GRTHM) throughout June 2011 to raise awareness and explore history of the largest ethnic minority community in the European Union.

Britain’s 300,000 Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have lived, worked and travelled throughout Britain for over 500 years, yet little is known about their history and culture. The result is a widespread ignorance about who they are, which sometimes turns to hatred, fear and misunderstanding.

Throughout the month, Hackney Council together with the Learning Trust’s Travellers Education Service, Hackney Homes, London Gypsy and Traveller Unit and Irish Women s Centre will be holding a series of entertaining, interactive family events to help raise awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the borough.

Highlights include the launch event at Hackney Central Library, Thursday 9 June, from 4.30 to 6pm, where Hackney’s Mayor, Jules Pipe will present awards to winners of the poster competition, attendees will also get to watch Irish dancing and refreshments will be available. Exciting children’s treasure hunts reading groups and story telling sessions have been arranged in libraries. The Rio cinema will also be screening Into The West -two young boys and a stallion set off on an epic adventure towards Ireland’s west coast.

On display at the council run Hackney Museum is The Road to Hackney. Ali Dunn’s photographs of three generations of New Age Travellers and their journeys to Hackney. The exhibition is free and runs until 2 July 2011

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, and Culture said: “Hackney has a wonderfully diverse community that we are keen to share and celebrate. I urge everyone to join us and be part of the national celebrations for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month to find out more about Hackney’s vibrant history.”

A full list of the Hackney’s events to raise awareness and explore the history, culture and language of Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities is available at: follow links to Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month library listings for the programme of events.

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