Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 13:06 UK
Gypsy culture celebrated in Cardiff Bay
Children from the Shirenewton site show some circus skills.

Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month has been marked by a day of activities and performances in Cardiff Bay.

The event at the Pierhead Building on Tuesday included circus skills by children from the Shirenewton site, Irish dancing and storytelling.

Local Gypsies demonstrated the traditional skills of flower making, fortune telling and basket weaving.

The organisers were aiming to build on the success of a smaller scale event held for the first time last year.

The youngsters from Shirenewton performed work they have prepared with No Fit State Circus, while animation company Cinetig offered workshops based on their film of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history in Wales.

Children from schools in Cardiff took part in a competition earlier this year to design posters to promote the event.

Positive view

Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month has been held in England for a number of years with the aim of breaking down the barriers of mistrust and to create opportunities for young Gypsies to thrive in the world.

Isaac Blake

It came to Wales for the first time in 2009 with a small scale event in Cardiff Bay.

This was followed by the creation of a Romani Cultural and Arts Company based in Cardiff, which aims to promote a positive view of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture.

A similar event including performances, talks and demonstrations was held at Newport's Riverfront Theatre earlier this month.

The celebrations in Wales have been led by Isaac Blake, a Cardiff-born Gypsy who has made a career as a contemporary dancer and choreographer.

He was delighted with the response and support of community organisations to create events which involve people of all backgrounds.

"It's about having a space where Gypsies, Roma and Travellers can come together and invite others to celebrate and learn about their culture - promoting a positive picture and breaking down barriers," he said.

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