Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month: Culture

As part of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, Aberdeenshire Council is sharing information on a series of themes throughout June. This week: Culture
Gypsy/Travellers – with their distinctive way of life, vibrant culture, traditions and unique languages, such as the Cant – consider the travelling lifestyle and strong family ties to be part of their ethnic identity and culture. 
There is a strong oral culture manifest in traditional song and ballads and storytelling, and we have gathered some information below where you can find out more about this protected community whose culture has been passed on throughout the generations.
Films and dramas
For an overview of the history of Britain’s Gypsies, Romas and Travellers, a good place to start is the short, colourful animation Roads From The Past, from Travellers’ Time Films.
For a Scottish flavour, BBC’s The Social features an interesting piece on why Rabbie Burns is important to the Traveller Community, presented by Scottish Traveller, Advocate and Social Justice Campaigner Davie Donaldson.
Aberdeenshire is the focus of a piece looking at musical culture, with words from Tony Robertson: Ballad Lands: Jonny O' the Brine - Sam Lee discovers the roots of this ancient Traveller song.
And as part of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, the group Friends, Families and Travellers has released the full theatre production of Crystal’s Vardo, which his available throughout June.
The story uses dance, drama, humour and music to share the rich culture and diverse history of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Live sessions
There are some live discussions during June as well.
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Identity in Conversation takes place Thu, Jun 11, at 7pm.
What’s in a Word? Languages of Travelling People takes place on Wed, Jun 24, at 6pm.
You can register for the free sessions via Progress in Dialogue and further information is available from
To find out more
Article 12 Scotland and the Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP) are jointly celebrating on the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month website which features the latest information on what’s happening throughout June.