British Studies Web Pages
New Age Travellers
This set of activities, produced by Ewelina Beczała, Magda Sosna and Ewa Wiewióra, with the support of Ewa Komorowska, explores some of the issues surrounding people who have chosen an alternative lifestyle.
"I love this bus
Read the poem and discuss the following questions. Work in pairs. You have 10 minutes to do this task.
1. What kind of people is this poem about?
2. What can you say about their lifestyle?
3. Where do they live?
4. How do they feel about living there?
5. What does the word "she" refer to?
6. Why do you think the writer has chosen the word "sanctuary" to refer to home?
7. Can you find ways in which the writer talks about their home as if it was alive?
8. Who do you think the "some folk" mentioned in the last line might be?
Having answered the questions, work in groups of four and prepare a short oral description of the Travellers. You have 5 minutes to do this.
Now learn more about the people you have described from the passage below.
The Macmillan Encyclopedia 2001 describes NEW AGE TRAVELLERS as ”young men and women who, with their children, lead a nomadic existence, often professing beliefs in Eastern religion (especially Buddhism), meditation and the occult, astrology, homeopathy, organically grown food, and green issues. The attitudes originated on the West Coast of the USA and can be traced back to the hippie movement of the 1960s. In the UK New Age Travellers move around the country in convoys of dilapidated vehicles, sometimes camping illegally on private land. For many the lifestyle they espouse is an escape from unemployment or homelessness in the inner cities although others come from relatively prosperous middle-class homes or have dropped out of universities. Most claim to be disenchanted with the materialism of modern life. They are usually resented by conventional members of society, who accuse them of accepting the benefits of the welfare state without contributing to them, and of antisocial behaviour, such as drug dealing, and of failing to give their children a proper education”.
Now work in pairs and discuss what new information about New Age Travellers you have found in the encyclopedia entry.
Read the following opinions on Travellers:
Kate, UK, has been a traveller for
Work individually. Referring to the above texts, the encyclopedia entry and your own experience complete the table. Compare your notes with your partner.
Imagine that a group of New Age Travellers or
Gypsies have moved into your village or town. Working as a class,
think of possible problems that might have arisen in connection
with the six issues in the table since their arrival and make a
list of these.
If you want to read some background on New Age Travellers, click here.
|Produced in Poland by British Council © 2003. The United Kingdom's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.|