Does learning new things mean losing touch with who you are? Gypsies and Travellers might be the best learners the country's got to offer. Picking up skills quickly, mastering new trades and adapting to new ways of making a living is how our cultures have survived for centuries.
Every day, at home or out at work with relations, is a chance to pick up new craft that will stand us in good stead for life. And we've weathered worse economic storms than the one that's blowing up at the minute. It's something every Traveller has a right to be proud of. Nowadays, more and more young Travelling people are facing up to the benefits of literacy. There's written tests for everything from chainsaw safety to your driving theory test.
But learning and education haven't always gone hand in hand for Travelling people. Schools, and the people who tell them what to do, have tended to think they know best about what we need to learn.
At the same time, our culture has been written out of the history taught in schools. I went to school for 17 years. In that time there was 15 minutes dedicated to Gypsy history, and that was a poem about Romanies choring hares from a farmer's land. Not a great start.
It's no wonder, then, that a lot of Travelling parents might worry about how their children's experience at school. If our children spend time in a place where they're not respected, how can they be as proud of their heritage as they should be?
In this film, you'll meet people of different ages, all of them Gypsies. They've all had different experiences of school and learning outside the family. Education has never been a smooth ride for Travellers. But this film looks at how we might be able to take skills from schools and colleges and combine them with all the talents we gain in the family.
Schools are there for us as well as everyone else. And we have a right to the upper hand qualifications can give us.
Be Roma or Die Trying has been created and performed by young Roma. It is a journey through their heritage and across London, examining Britain's ignorance of Romany culture while celebrating the new life Roma youth from eastern Europe are making for themselves.