Featured Resource: Journey Folki

Our Featured Resource for September is Journey Folki, set up 'to promote and perpetuate Gypsy and Traveller communities within Britain' and to provide a space for stories to be shared. The aim is 'to continue and further our respective communities with interesting, educational and inspiring articles on heritage, history, culture, customs, crafts and language. We hope to keep the Gypsy and Traveller ways of life alive and to inspire the younger members of our communities to do the same.'

Teachers, students and parents will find a lot of fascinating material here since a central part of the website's mission is to encourage families to participate in the 'learning is play and play is fun' scheme for children. 'The scheme includes storytelling and book learning and furthers the imagination, learning and education of both parent and child.' To this end, there are arts and crafts ideas, educational resources, and reviews of books for children aged 0-11. For older students, there are fascinating articles in the History & Language sections including an A-Z of the Romani language and a feature on the root of the language and the influences. Did you know, for instance that 'kushti', the Romani word for 'all right', has its roots in the Punjabi and Hindi word 'kushi', meaning 'happy'? The section on The Holocaust and the treatment of Europe's Romani population by the Nazis in an attempt to create a 'Gypsy-free' Europe is an illuminating – if painful – read giving testimony to an often ignored aspect of The Holocaust.

On a lighter note, there are many traditional recipes, including Nettle Soup, Campfire Bread and Stuffed Baked Shooshi (Rabbit) as well as, herbal remedies, soaps, beauty products and household solutions. You can also enjoy one of the tales in the 'Stories around the Yog (fire)' section.

The site is packed with information about many aspects of Gypsy and Traveller life and culture - there's, music, poetry and art. There are discussion forums (including one for young Romanis) and an events calendar. In fact, there is so much fascinating material on the site that it's possible to spend a great deal of time extracting nuggets like Barrie Law's snapshots giving insights into the lives of Yorkshire's Gypsies. And did you know about the Gypsy heritage of famous people like Yul Brynner, Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplin and Mother Teresa?

The Journey Folki website is a treasure trove of historical information and contemporary insights for members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities and non members alike. According to the founders of the site, 'We are devoted to the understanding and communication between ourselves within the Gypsy and Traveller communities and other communities within Britain and welcome all to participate in a spirit of harmony and mutual appreciation.'

copyright © Runnymede Trust and individual authors.