Roma Empowerment Through Heritage

Roma Empowerment Through Heritage

Three musicians with guitars and an accordion and four women dancers wearing traditional Eastern European dress.
Romane Cierhenia are a family group of Roma musicians and dancers from Poland.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

Dyddiad a ddyfarnwyd
Awdurdod Lleol
Glasgow City
Ando Glaso
Rhoddir y wobr
This pilot project trained volunteers including young Roma people to record heritage and ran a Roma cultural heritage festival.

Established in 2016, Ando Glaso (Romani for ‘in tune’) works to celebrate and strengthen Roma heritage and culture in Glasgow.

Alongside preserving living heritage, this project helped people from fragmented and marginalised Roma communities to come together and learn from each other.

Forty-eight people were filmed sharing what Roma cultural heritage means for them, from food and marriage to music and singing. In one video, Jana Puskova and her siblings demonstrate traditional and modern Slovakian Roma dances including sladak and cardas.

Two performers play a horn violin and a whistle
Taraful din Glasgow, a band based in Govanhill who hail from the Bihor region of Transylvania, use traditional instruments like horn violins in their Gypsy music.

Staff and volunteers were trained to collect the oral histories and record and edit videos, which have been published on Ando Glaso’s OPA! online archive and the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive.

Working with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, four young Roma people did seven-week placements to learn about the heritage sector in Scotland and the techniques used when working with intangible cultural heritage.

In August 2022, Ando Glaso hosted its first Roma Cultural Festival, a two-day celebration of Scotland’s vibrant Roma and Traveller culture. Music, dance, storytelling, workshops and exhibitions were enjoyed by 500 attendees, and 42 Roma people participated as performers, tutors, staff and volunteers.

One participant said, “When you have festivals like this, the culture doesn’t die. The culture gets healthier.”

Watch a short documentary film about the festival