In early July a group of four Swedish girls from the Muslim/ Kurdish and Swedish community along with two youth leaders came back to Ireland following the Irish exchange to Sweden last year as part of the international project called “Breaking the Pattern” which examines women’s roles in each community.

During this week we participated in a wide range of activities. We went to Balrath Woods, Causey farm, Tara Hill, Newgrange and Knowth and to Dublin where we did a scavenger hunt and went to the cinema and had a pamper evening. We talked about our cultures, traditions and the similarities and differences between us. We found that Irish Travellers and Muslim communities would have more in common in terms of births and marriages and the rearing of girls and the roles of women within our communities.

Michael McDonagh gave a talk on the origins of Traveller culture and some of our practices and beliefs. The Swedish girls were particularly interested in this.

Some comments from the girls:

“I had a really nice week, I got more friends and it was really funny. I have done a lot of things that I don’t do at home in Sweden. Thank you for everything. Had a really, really nice week with you.”

“Everyone has really taken very good care if us! Thank you very much” Emilie

“I had a brilliant week and great fun. I would do this programme again” Katie

“We got to know a lot of the girls a lot more when they were telling their stories. It was a very good week.”

“I’d a brilliant time, there were great activities.” 

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