” This [tattoo] is something that’s important to me … I always will remember where I come from, never to forget. “

Caleb interviews Toby Gorniak

Toby is a Polish Romany Gypsy, whose family moved to England when he was a teenager due to persecution in Poland. Toby is now a professional hip-hop dancer.

List of questions, with timings

0sec. What was your favourite food?

Perogies that my granny used to make. She made the biggest and most delicious ones. The young children used to sneak in the back and she’d give us loads. Then she’d feed the men and older boys.

31 sec. Did you watch any bare-knuckle fights?

In our culture it is very important to know how to fight. To protect ourselves and our families. I was trained and taught by my uncles and my cousins. I was taught not to use it for little things, only use it if you have to.

56sec. Did you ever fight?

Yes, I had to fight to protect my family on many occasions.

1min 10sec. Where did you live in Poland?

In a house, a massive 2 bedroom house. In Poland it is different to England. In Britain you have a front room, and a dining room and stuff, there you just have a massive 2 rooms that we all lived in, 6 of us, with a kitchen and toilet separate.

1min 40sec. Do you have any tattoos of God?

Yes. This is my life journey. To remind me of where I come from, my culture.

2min 5sec. Do you wear Rosary beads and bracelets?

Yes, I do. I have some specially made for me. I am a Catholic. I don’t go to church, I believe that God is everywhere so I can always chat to him.

2min 28sec. Were your mum and dad brought up on a [Gypsy] site?

No. Most of my family live in houses. My great-grandparents travelled in a caravan, but my gran and mum lived in houses.

2min 41sec. Are you full or half?

Full Romany

2min 47sec. Do you know any Gypsies down here on sites?

No, not on sites. I don’t mix much. I work, and I have 6 children so I am very busy. Only if Gypsies come from different countries, they come to visit. Because I am a dancer people want to come to me.