Celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month in Hackney

Traveller caravans at the beginning of the century

Traveller caravans at the beginning of the century - Credit: Archant

A lively Irish dance workshop, a fun-filled Gypsy sing along and walking treasure hunt tours of Hackney are just a handful of the free events laid on for June to celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month.

A Gypsy family at the beginning of the century

A Gypsy family at the beginning of the century - Credit: Archant

The idea of the month is to break down misconceptions people may have about the largest ethnic minority in Europe, by exploring and sharing its its rich culture.

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 10 UK Gypsy, Traveller or Roma children reporting incidences of racial abuse.

There are an estimated 300,000 Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in Britain with a community of around 800 in Hackney including 400 children.

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The 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.”

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Meena Mongan, a member of the Traveller community in Hackney added: “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.”

Highlights include:

Circus skills with Roo and family, the internationally famous circus stars living in Hackney. Learn hula hooping, juggling and more, at Homerton Library in Homerton High Street from on Tuesday June 7 from 4pm to 6pm.

Travel the Musical Romany Road with Tatcho Drom: A music and singing workshop for the whole family taking place in Hackney Central Library in Reading Lane, on Saturday June 18 from 2pm to 4pm.

An Irish dancing workshop and performance in Homerton Library on Thursday June 16 from 4.30pm to 6pm.

A pottery workshop for all of the family, make your own Crown Derby style bowl at Hackney Museum in Reading Lane, on Thursday June 2 from 2pm to 4pm.

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