Hackney ,

Free events to Celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2016


Hackney Council is celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) throughout June with a series of FREE events exploring the culture of the largest ethnic minority community in Europe.

From 1 June GRTHM will help raise awareness of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and encourage residents of all ages to get involved with some of the great things it has to offer. There are an estimated 300,000 Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in Britain with a community of around 800 in Hackney including 400 children.

Hackney Libraries together with the Travellers Education Service, the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit, Hackney Housing Travellers Service, and the Hackney Museum will host entertaining, interactive family events throughout the month that will help explore the history of one of Hackney’s oldest communities; from an lively Irish dance workshop, fun-filled Gypsy sing along and walking tours of Hackney on the GRTHM treasure hunt – there is something for all.

Despite having a history in London spanning the last 500 years, most people know little of the rich culture of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Experts believe that ignorance may lead to misunderstanding and discrimination with nine out of ten UK Gypsy, Traveller or Roma children reporting incidences racial abuse.

Meena Mongan, a member of the Traveller community in Hackney said: “I love Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month it’s the best way of spreading the news about the beauty of our culture and a great way to bring all communities together as one. The events are usually fun and I look forward to going along to the different activities with my family.”

Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, said: “Taking part in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month is a great way to celebrate the diversity we are so proud of in Hackney. It gives everyone the chance to not only learn more about the rich history of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities but to get involved with a living and thriving culture through dance, song and art.”

History month highlights include:

  • Circus Skills with Roo and family, the internationally famous circus stars living in Hackney. Learn hula hooping, juggling and more- taking place 7 June at Homerton Library 4pm-6pm.
  • Travel the Musical Romany Road with Tatcho Drom: A music and singing workshop for the whole family taking place on 18 June in Hackney Central Library 2pm-4pm.
  • An Irish dancing workshop and performance on 16 June in Homerton library 4.30pm-6pm.
  • A pottery workshop for all of the family, make your own Crown Derby style bowl on 2 June at Hackney Museum 2pm-4pm.

A full list of events can be found online. Events take place at Hackney Museum, Hackney Central Library and Homerton Library. For more information contact Sean Glancy on 020 8820 7191; sean.glancy@learningtrust.co.uk; Website