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UK Irish Gypsy Culture - Unique Insight?

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posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by lizziejayne
 


Why do I get the impression there will be no huge dress or cake or but a shining new vehicle with the squirreled away money? Light hearted joke

edit on 1/2/2011 by squizzy because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by squizzy
 


Light hearted joke or frighteningly accurate prediction


You should be posting over on the Prophecy & Predictions board!



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 03:30 AM
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I dont know about UK gypsy culture, but here in eastern Europe they are viewed very negatively. High criminality, about 70 % unemployment, uneducated and procreating like rabbits. When welfare was lowered some time ago, we had to send our army to reinstate order.

Some of them are very nice people, and I have deep respect for those because of the conditions they had to pull themselves out of. Sadly, those are an exception, not a rule. Also, their traditional music, dresses and other culture is indeed beautiful.



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


I think it's fair to say that the general perception of the culture is primarily negative in the UK also.

While for some that perception is based on experience, for others it's largely based on assumption or myth. For me, that's why these documentaries have been so enlightening - they've provided an actual insight into the lives and values of at least *some* within that culture. Confirming some of my perceptions and challenging others, it's been an interesting journey for me



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 03:48 PM
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Some additional insight: After the Wedding

Role Expectations



One bride-to-be Lizzie, who had been taken out of school at 11 to concentrate on doing the housework and looking after her siblings, said: 'I think I'm ready to get married. Your life completely changes. I reckon I'll be okay though.

'We ain't going to be doctors, lawyers or anything. Housewives, that's what we're going to be. I can read if I take my time. If I read quickly I can't. But I think that's enough for travelling girls.'


The "Tradition" of Grabbing



The show had already documented the 'tradition' of grabbing - where men grab girls, sometimes violently, in a bid to kiss them as part of their courting rituals.

Last night, even more 'grabs' were shown, other with the victims screaming whilst their hair was pulled and they were forcibly carried away.


To further clarify, one of the girls referenced above was actually physically carried (while screaming), out of a wedding party into the car park and bundled into the back of a van. The above link contains photos of this particular incident - although it doesn't represent what I consider to be the startling nature of what actually happened.



One traveller lad, who was shown travelling with a bunch of boys to 'hunt' for girls at the gypsies' annual Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, explained: 'Girls won't give you a kiss straight away so you've got to beat them for it.' He added: 'You've got to bend its arm, you've got to punch it. There's no friendly way of putting it.'


These remarks demonstrate (for THIS boy at least) how his poor perception and expectation of women has been strongly embedded early in his life - he can't even refer to a woman as "she" or "her", but chooses to use the term "it". She's not a person - she's a unit, an asset, an object. God help whoever he marries.



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 04:19 PM
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Odd. One would think that in any culture that views women as chattel, one would have to buy the cow before one milks it, so to speak. Does a guardian grant permission to the boys, or is it a first come, first served sort of thing?



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 05:05 PM
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reply to post by 23refugee
 


From what I gather, the "grabbing", whilst insistent and physical, will only ever result in kissing attempts - and possibly successes. Any sexual contact before marriage is not allowed and is supported by the chaperoning of girls until married (although it seems the chaperoning doesn't extend to instances of grabbing).

As I understand, "grabbing" is the way that couples get together. If a girl "succumbs" (for want of a better word) to the "grabbing", courting will follow and a wedding take place soon after.

One thing I found particularly interesting is that "grabbing" is instigated only by males and forms the sole basis for any coupling. Therefore, a female's choice when it comes to her spouse is limited only to those males who choose to "grab" her.

Similarly interesting are the apparent contradictions embedded throughout the entire process. E.g. There can be no sexual contact prior to marriage. However, it's okay for females to dress provocatively in order to secure a suitor. It's similarly acceptable for a male to engage in physical insistence in attempting to find a partner, by dragging her away and attempting to kiss her.

It's hard to explain how contradictory the entire process appears, unless you see it first hand.
edit on 2/2/11 by lizziejayne because: typo



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 06:30 PM
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I'm reminded of certain aspects of the culture in my part of Appalachia.
The little girls look straight out of "Toddlers and Tiaras", sans the communion, and I'm no stranger to the nice ride-crappy trailer way of life. I guess the "grabbing" makes sense in a way. If she can whup him, they probably won't make a good match.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by 23refugee
 


I just Googled "Toddlers & Tiaras" as we don't have that term over here in the UK.

Man that's some creepy stuff!



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 06:07 PM
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Creepy is an understatement. If you want to see scary, google Mia Channels Madonna On “Toddlers & Tiaras”. It's a snippet from the season finale of the show. I can't seem to make it link. It casts the Travellers in a better light, at least.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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Nice one of my favorite movies of all times is Snatch it is nice to see some more opening on the Gypsy culture out there. In fact that is where one my fav. Phrases ever comes from, "Happy badass!" I use it daily.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 06:22 PM
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s+f for well laid out thread. i've seen a bit of the tv show, i found it quite depressing. so many contradictions.
gypsy's have a bad reputation in uk, this program just proves people were right, gypsy culture is not good in any way.



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by neonitus
 


You sum it up in a nutshell there - "so many contradictions". It is indeed an interesting mixture of incompatible attitudes and actions.

For me it hasn't been an entirely negative projection. For example, I used to struggle with the "traveller" label when it's applied to people who live in a static situation and don't have to pay the same council tax as me. Now, I have a better understanding of the restrictions on travelling in this day and age.

Similarly, I have a better understanding - to a certain extent - about why some of the attitudes, behaviours and activities prevalent within the community continue to exist in this day and age. I don't necessarily consider it to be a conscious choice, more an inevitable outcome from an environmental embedding that enables and encourages it to perpetuate. While many people (myself included) will still not deem many of these things appropriate and/or acceptable, at least this culture now has a wealth of people who now at least may understand a bit more about why. If that makes sense!

That said, whilst I've been taken aback by what appears to be a significant level of oppression, I've still been left with the impression that many of the underlying sentiments and beliefs were borne out of good intentions from the original culture. Whether the culture hasn't moved on from the "old days" or whether the "old ways" have been adapted/manipulated to ensure compliance in this day and age, I wouldn't know. And of course, my impression may be entirely incorrect. However, I would be interested in finding out how the travellers of today compare with that of the past - is it a lack of change from the past that maintains this oppression or the use of past cultural expectations adapted for successful use in today's society?
edit on 5/2/11 by lizziejayne because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by Golithion
 


I've never actually watched that film, despite meaning to over the years. I hang my head in shame sir!

That's my Sunday sorted - watch Snatch and compare it against these documentaries


BTW - Next week's episode focuses on the male lifestyle within the travelling community, including the culture of bare knuckle boxing. I'll try to link it up if you're not in the UK - you may find it interesting it if you liked Snatch.
edit on 5/2/11 by lizziejayne because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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I've been watching that show too, really interesting how the law allows them to be treated so poorly over there


Oh, and i recently stumbled on another gypsy show too...this one about romanian gypsies and child thieves..

www.independent.co.uk... 780881.html



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by 23refugee
 


You're right there - creepy is one hell of an understatement.

I know it's technically off topic, but I just watched that season finale and whoah, that crap is uber creepy. What's the mainstream view of stuff like this? Is it popular countrywide or does it tend to be isolated pockets of the community who participate/watch?



posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by oldgoat
 


Cheers for the heads up on the other show - I'll definitely check it out




I've been watching that show too, really interesting how the law allows them to be treated so poorly over there


Is it just the travelling laws you have in mind or other stuff too?



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by lizziejayne
reply to post by 23refugee
 


You're right there - creepy is one hell of an understatement.

I know it's technically off topic, but I just watched that season finale and whoah, that crap is uber creepy. What's the mainstream view of stuff like this? Is it popular countrywide or does it tend to be isolated pockets of the community who participate/watch?


It's fairly popular , yes, but everyone gawks at a car wreck, too.
The pageant lifestyle, while popular everywhere, does seem to be particularly embraced by the descendants of the Scots-Irish. This group shares some of the cultural qualities I see in these Travellers. They traditionally have some animosity toward government and aren't averse to a good brawl. They also share a history of being a somewhat displaced people. They're the people upon which the "hillbilly" and "redneck" American stereotypes were originally based.



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 09:47 AM
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Perhaps the problem is....the 'good' and 'bad' gypsies by definition of their life style can separate. Sure I found some of the things on big fat gyspy wedding disgusting like the grabbing rituals. But generally they seemed an okay bunch blady blah...

Well not the ones near where I live. The gypsy camp near me is known for the men there walking the local country park, asking girls the time before trying to steal their phones...or the girls patrolling town dishing out abuse to anyone and everyone.

When there was a crash just outside the camp a policeman was require to guard the ambulance doors while another watched over the ambulance. Social services and the like refuse to enter without police escorts.


Who would want to live with people like that? And well, the 'good' gypsies don't. There isn't a mix of the 'good' and 'bad' because they can separate which leads to some people saying gypsies are a top bunch of people. Whilst others find them to be scum for lack of a better word. And of course the voice saying they're all bad people will always be louder than the voice saying they arn't.



posted on Feb, 6 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by StevenDye
 


Cheers - that's interesting to learn


I wonder whether the split is based on differing interpretations of their cultural expectations/values etc? A bit like Christians interpreting the Bible differently or followers of Islam interpreting the Koran differently.

For example, if an expectation of travellers is to "look after each other", one group may interpret that as just that - look after each other. Another group may interpret it as looking after each other to the exclusion and opposition, and at the expense, of everyone outside the group.

So, in essence, this results in a group of people who have the same set of core expectations/beliefs that have been interpreted and realised in vastly different ways. Hence the split between what are perceived as "good" and "bad" representatives.

Alternatively, I could be looking to deep and it could just represent the simple value divide that exists everywhere in humanity


I suppose it's like with any culture - rightly or wrongly, the few who represent the culture in a negative light are inevitably the ones on which the entire community are judged. That's why I'm grateful to these documentaries for challenging my previously uninformed perceptions



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