Traveller girl Mary Nicholson, aged six, arrives on her family's Romany Caravan at the Appleby Horse Fair on June 7, 2012 in Appleby, England.Appleby Horse Fair has existed under the protection of a charter granted by James II since 1685.Artur Conka’s film looks at the decaying Roma housing block in Slovakia cut off from water, gas and electricity he grew up in.
For example, Gypsy fashion for free-flowing clothes is guided by modesty, and strict cleanliness codes are common, developed through centuries of life on the road when hygiene was of utmost importance.
If you search for “Gypsy” or “Roma” on some websites, you’ll find story after story that perpetuates the myth that the GRT community is ridden with crime, tax avoidance and voluntary unemployment. Members of GRT communities are in fact statistically underrepresented in the mainstream prison population in the UK.
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It is one of the key gathering points for the Romany, gypsy and traveling community.
Appleby Horse Fair is attended by about 5,000 travellers who come to buy and sell horses.
They are considered an ethnic group under British law. The origin of Traveller communities is a subject of debate. Some travelling communities, particularly in Ireland but also in parts of Britain, use a language called Shelta, which is more widely known as the Cant.
Some say they come from families affected by Cromwell’s military campaign in Ireland in the late 17th century or who began moving from place to place during the Irish famine of the 1840s. It has been used as a term of abuse towards gypsies since at least the 16th century, and has its origin in the word pike, which, around 1520, meant “to go away from, to go on”. It includes “back slang” words such as “gop”, for kiss, which is a reversal of the Irish word “pog”, and "lackeen", for girl, from the Irish "cailin" or "colleen". The term “pavee”, for Traveller, is of Shelta origin. Travellers refer to non-travellers as “settled people”. Many Traveller men expect their wives to be virgins when they marry.
The best days for visitors who wish to see the fair are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.