Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2020

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) celebrates 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.

Since 2008, GRTHM has been celebrated throughout the UK over the month of June. GRTHM shares the history, culture and language of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities, as well as other Travelling communities including Showmen and Boaters. Through celebration, education and raising awareness GRTHM helps to tackle prejudices, challenge myths and to raise the voices of Gypsies and Travellers in wider society.

Schools, libraries and museums around the UK throw their support to GRTHM each year providing activities and information which support the aims of challenging stereotypes and supporting community cohesion.

Covid-19: This year, as we practice social distancing, online resources will be more important than ever. Feel free to share these links with your friends and networks, this GRTHM.

  • Crystal’s Vardo can come to your home this year! 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. Find out how to watch it online here. If you would like to make an enquiry about booking Crystal's Vardo in future, contact [email protected].
  • Crystal's Vardo teaching materials include information on the cultures and histories of Gypsies and Travellers, along with children's activities.
  • Download these brilliant classroom resources from Twinkl, made with Traveller Movement.
  • Download this great education pack with activity sheets and audio recordings for your Key Stage 2 and 3 students, from the Romany Theatre Company.
  • Share this excellent timeline of Gypsy Traveller history in Scotland with your class and learn about the historic struggle Scottish Gypsy Travellers have faced battling for equal rights.
  • Collect some stories or storybooks about Gypsies, Roma and Travellers to share with young people throughout the month of June, at schools or youth clubs. You can find a great selection on the KidsOwn website or get some Richard O’Neill books to add to your collection, some also have free resources to go with them.
  • If you work with young children, 'An ABC for Travellers' is a perfect resource for helping young Gypsies and Travellers learn the alphabet.
  • Check out the brilliant Roma Oral History website from the Roma Support Group. Hear the stories and experiences of Roma people from across Central Europe, who live in London.
  • 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 histories from Oblique Arts are a great watch, or you can find some other options in this list from the British Film Institute.
  • Make a plan to visit a local exhibition or museum like the Boswell Romany Museum in Spalding (but only when lockdown is lifted!).

More resources, tools and ideas are available here:

Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history month in schools - This guide from The Centre for Education and Youth identifies the key things to remember when teaching and celebrating GRTHM.

Roads from the Past - This Travellers' Times film is a perfect concise introduction to the histories of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust - Learn about the historic persecution of Roma communities and the devastating impact of World War 2 on Roma and Sinti communities in Europe.

Travellers' Times - This Gypsy, Roma and Traveller led publication is a great way to hear and share the voices of members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

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