Traveller Pride Week aims to keep the Traveller identity alive
Traveller Pride Week
Traveller Pride Week is an annual two-week initiative celebrating and promoting Traveller’s contribution and achievement across Irish life. It is comprised of both local and national events.
The events are designed to create a greater understanding and acceptance of Traveller culture in Irish society. Travellers can express who they are without fear of discrimination from settled people. The events serve to highlight the many diverse talents and traditions within the Traveller community and our shared culture.
The awards celebrate Traveller achievements across the country and the contribution that Travellers make to Irish society. The aim is to instill pride and raise expectations within the Traveller community while also highlighting some of the obstacles that exists for Travellers in wider society.
The awards are presented for achievements in education, community, enterprise employment, youth, sport, music and culture. The winners are recognised for their passion and hard work. They often serve as role models by inspiring other Travellers to engage with participant projects and promote a positive Traveller identity.
We do this by exploring the trades and traditions of our ancestors, from tinsmiths, wagon makers, chimney sweeps, musicians and singers, to horse dealers, fortune tellers and crepe flower makers. We acknowledge traveller women selling secondhand clothes to settled women and strong mothers rearing large families. We also recoginse campfires where everyone who camped by the roadside would come together in the evening for storytelling, singing, history discussions, and tracing back through seed, breed and generations of other people.
Following our formal recognition as an ethnic group, it is hoped that Traveller Pride events will encourage and focus the government’s attention on preserving Traveller history and heritage, similar to the way settled people’s shared history is preserved and respected.
Traveller Pride Week is a pathway for the Traveller community to liberate itself from the oppressive structures and low expectations of wider society which often create barriers and delay opportunity for Travellers. It gives Travellers of all ages and genders a sense of pride and affection as a community.