GRT History Month 2022 Round-Up 💫

🗓 June is “Gypsy, Roma & Traveller History Month” throughout the UK. So here’s a wee round-up of some interesting things that were shared this year ⬇️

Glasgow-based Romano Lav, a charity working to challenge discrimination & promote equality for Roma in Scotland, held various events such as a special Roma News & Views episode with themes of solidarity & resistance & “Astar e Iag”, an exhibition of Roma history & resistance which included work by local school children 💙♥️💚

Also, while not based in Scotland, Smith’s Kushti Podcast is well worth a listen too – she covers topics such as Romani Feminism, resistance & police brutality: listen here or wherever you usually get your podcasts 🎧

In addition to celebrating Romani history & culture, GRT history month also celebrates other Travellers including Scotland’s native Scottish Travellers. Tobar an Dualchais had some brilliant posts on their FB page, with particular highlights including: Scottish Traveller Belle Stewart talking about berry-picking & singing one of her songs; Scottish Traveller Duncan Williamson talking about a Henwife with supernatural powers; traditional Traveller crafts such as basketry & tin-smithing; legendary Traveller storyteller Stanley Robertson & “wandering singer” Jimmy MacBeath💧

Am Baile also put together a nice gallery of historic Scottish Traveller images & there was a brilliant article in The West Highland Free Press by the wonderful Jess Smith, Scottish Traveller & storyteller (who is also involved with the Heart of the Travellers charity) 📰

Jess Smith in action reminding us of the importance of passing down stories before telling a scary story about “burkers” herself ⬆️

Both Roma & Scottish Traveller cultures have unfortunately faced much discrimination & extreme prejudice over the years due to being different from the settled majority. The Moving On Song, sung beautifully by Sheila Stewart sadly tells of this. We should be doing all we can to stop this & to educate ourselves to make sure we’re not harbouring any misconceptions or prejudices. You can read a brief history of Scottish Travellers & Roma in Scotland here in this illustrated guide. You can also watch talks on Scottish Traveller history here & here 📚📺🧠

📸 Featured Photo credit: Pexel

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