Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Heritage learning resource

A partnership between Romani Cultural & Arts Company and Cadw

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company and the agency for Welsh heritage, Cadw are pleased to announce the release of a primary school learning resource that will bring the heritage of an oft-misunderstood group of communities in Wales, the Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers, into the mainstream of Welsh statutory education. The Gypsy, Roma, Traveller heritage learning resource has been a year in the making and has been created by using the lived experiences of real Romani and Traveller people in Wales, or those with a strong connection to the country, to present a very different picture of these communities than the one so often misrepresented in the popular media and press.

‘It is so important to acknowledge those groups and communities that have been “hidden” from Welsh history, and the national narrative of nationhood, land, and people. Amongst the most marginal and ignored, frequently despised, are the Romani and Traveller communities in Wales and the U.K. generally, whose only appearance in histories and chronicles are almost always discriminatory, negative, and stereotypical in their depictions. This resource is intended to allow primary school age children and their teachers to see things differently, from real-life experiences and actual individuals…’ Dr Adrian Marsh

The heritage learning resource for primary schools is made up of a number of differing sections, with an introduction to the history of the Romani and Traveller peoples, as specifically related to Wales. The life experiences, as recorded through in-depth interviews conducted with Welsh Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers; some are now living in far flung places (such as Austin, Texas or Baku, Azerbaijan), whilst others are engaged in passionately protecting their heritage through their writing, poetry, language courses, and songs. Like the Welsh people themselves, who have travelled the world over, Romani and Traveller people from the country have been part of the migration that has led to Welsh people being found in Patagonia, Latin America or New Zealand and Australia, or just over the border into Chester, or further afield in London.

‘I am very happy to receive the materials [Gypsy, Roma, Traveller heritage learning resource for primary schools]… and look forward to seeing them used in schools across Wales…’ Polly Groom, Cadw

Cadw has funded this important work to ensure that the Romani and Traveller communities are represented in the modern Welsh population, with their language, culture, traditions, and spirituality. Living alongside the majority population, and even outside the minority ethnic populations that have been part of Welsh society for over a millennium, Gypsies and Travellers, and more recently Roma, have pursued their lives in the hopes of providing for a better future for their children, and of maintaining their language, culture, and traditions just as Welsh people do.

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