CULTURE AND IDENTITY
Promoting and celebrating the distinct culture, identity, history and heritage of the Traveller and Roma communities in Co Donegal.
- Traveller identity, culture, and tradition – hallmarks of the Traveller community – continue to make major contributions to Irish society
- While there is wide diversity within the Traveller community among Travellers’ shared cultural elements are language, music, a tight-knit community, nomadism, big families and a commitment to the extended family, religion, respect for older people, caravans, horses, and a number of crafts, including the making of colourful flowers with paper, tinsmithing, and hawking.
- Travellers have their own language, Cant – also known as Gammon or Shelta – which is a key element of Traveller heritage.
- Travellers brought music, songs and stories from town to town and also developed their own unique styles of singing, storytelling, and playing musical instruments.
- Roma are residents and citizens of countries all across Europe so there is no single Roma culture although they share a bond of nomadism and discrimination with each other and with the Traveller community.
- We develop local initiatives and participate in regional and national events which promote collective confidence in Traveller and Roma pride and identity in Co Donegal.
- In 2021/2022 our Still Here Still Proud initiative celebrated the distinct culture, identity and history of the Traveller community post the COVID pandemic.
- The annual Traveller Pride event provides an opportunity to celebrate Traveller history and culture with a wider audience .
- Regular initiatives for the Roma community including tapestry and quilting workshops with local artists celebrate a distinct aspect of Roma culture and bring the community together in a creative setting.
- DTP works closely with culture and arts settings such as Donegal County museum and the Regional Cultural Centre to host exhibitions. In 2022, exhibition on Roma genocide in World War 2 at the Donegal County Museum shone a spotlight on a little known and dark period of Roma history. The same venue hosted the Still Here Still Proud photographic exhibition which celebrated Traveller lives in Co Donegal.
- We work to manage and deliver a communications strategy that promotes and raises awareness of the Traveller and Roma communities in Donegal and Ireland.