Hackney celebrates Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month
Hackney Council is celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) this June with 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.
To help explore the history of one of Hackney’s oldest communities Hackney Council is working with Yagori Dance school to host a workshop and performance as part of the Dalston Children’s Festival on 1 June from 1pm, which will include dancers with twirling colourful skirts, live musicians and traditional singers.
Saeeda Kasym, Romany Gypsy Performer and Teacher at Yagori Dance School said: "Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month gives us the chance to come together and celebrate our wonderful community, bringing people together and introducing them to something new. I would encourage everyone to come along on 1 June to have fun and explore the Romany dance and music. Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month is a great opportunity for us to share Romany culture with others.”
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 of racial abuse.
Alongside the performance extravaganza in Dalston Square, Hackney’s libraries will be hosting a colouring competition around the theme of dance and music. The artwork was created by young Traveller Mary Reilly in conjunction with Hackney artist Claire Ward Thornton. Prizes will be available for the top three artworks.
Hackney is proud to take part in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month again this year, it is a great way to celebrate the diversity of our borough and gives residents the chance to learn more about the rich history and thriving culture of our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
History month events:
1 June, 1pm, Dalston Square: Roma Gypsy Dancing - Learn some moves and watch an amazing performance from the Yagori Dance company and celebrate Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month.
1-30 June, Hackney’s Libraries: GRTHM Colouring competition, artwork created with young Traveller Mary Reilly. Prizes will be available for the top three entries to the competition.
For more information you can contact Sherece Walker of Hackney Housing’s Travellers Service on 020 8356 5396; firstname.lastname@example.org.