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UK Irish Gypsy Culture - Unique Insight?

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posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by squizzy

I get a little confused with the word traveller
If they travelled and only stopped in any 1 place for say 1 week and then moved on without leaving any distruction or rubbish I am sure people wold be more tollerant of their lifestyle. If they just moved only 2 miles away people would not be so against them because it is when they stay for months on end that the problems grow. Surely traveller means you travel, not set up a static home for years on end.
If you only want to travel during summer months, as one of the families stated then do like some people, go onto a caravan site with your trailer and pay for it like the rest of the population does, geez there are enough people who have mobile holiday homes and do this.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:46 PM
reply to post by zerbot565

Good point you made there and I totally agree with you as I am sure most people do, we are pretty much discussing all types of travellers,gypsy etc but particularly the ones in the series.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:48 PM
They are a degenerate, largely criminal parasitic subculture, with few redeeming features - only no-one in the modern world has the balls to say so.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:50 PM
Additional insight: Saying no is a sign of weakness

This article expands on much of what I and other posters have recently detailed.

In addition to providing additional information about the role of females etc, the article details bare knuckled fighting:

While it may look like an impromptu violent outbreak on a stretch of tarmac, the fights are so pre-arranged, there's even a 'fair play' referee to enforce a strict set of rules. Explaining the rules, community leader Paddy Doherty said: 'A fight could last five minutes or two hours. you've got to fight till you drop.'

As well as male attitudes:

After attending the christening, Paddy was asked by the TV crew if he could be filmed pushing his new godchild's pram around and he refused. Insisting no man would be seen with a pushchair or pram, he declared it would be an 'embarrassment'.

And external perceptions of the community/culture:

During her five years at the hotel, Violet kept her traveller identity a secret from her manager Sunni - only telling them the truth on her last day of work. After she declares: 'I'm gonna live in a caravan... I am a gypsy,' a stunned Sunni said: 'You are..? Bl**dy hell... eh? Shocked me there a little bit. Everybody's got the pre-judgment. It's changed my opinion of gypsies if they're settled. In a work environment you can't have people moving on. She's always been reliable and dealt with the guest efficiently.'

A VERY interesting thing to note is the difference in life expectancy - something which hasn't been referenced in this discussion previously:

Poor healthcare provisions contribute to a shorter life expectancy for travellers. Shocking statistics show over half of travellers do not reach the age of 50.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by JohhnyBGood

I think you will find plenty of people DO have balls to say so if that's what they believe as I know some who have ended up in hospital for doing just that with a negative remark.
This is partly why they have the reputation. They started to frequent a local pub and decided it was THEIR pub and pretty much stopped anyone who wasn't part of their community from going into it. Even the poor landlord was beaten up and hospitalised. The police were called most night due to the trouble they caused when leaving late at night, way past drinking hours by the way. It eventually closed as they wrecked it, hosptalised the landlord and the brewery shut it down. Some legacy that particular bunch left.
I must add as previously stated, all gypsy travellers are not of the same ilk.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:56 PM
reply to post by squizzy

ive seen the first few ep´s ,

i find it very funny that slowly the younger generation is waking up that you cant just loaf around all day,
heck there where even some doing work in real jobs which is very rare ,

as for the land "grabbing" / camping , its really a shame most of them dont realize its paid by others (tax payers)
to clean up after them ,

ive meet a few good but the majority of them ive meet cant say i feel anything for them,

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by squizzy

I totally understand where you're coming from - this is something I've struggled to understand for years... and still do to a certain extent.

However, since watching these programmes I started wondering where could they actually travel to? Gone are the days that they could pitch up in some farmer's field for a week or two. In that respect, I feel their hands are somewhat tied. It appears to me that they're travellers who cannot actually travel and remain within the law.

Although of course I could be very wrong. But I'm here to learn, so that's cool

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:04 PM
reply to post by lizziejayne

I noted your comment about life expectancy. Just a few observations and thoughts here,flash cars do high speeds, they have no regard for speed limits or road rules. In a previous episode one was seen driving on the pavement to get past blocked trafic as some poor person was in the road being tended to by paramedics. PD's son was killed on the road, maybe driving too fast or reckless, I dont know so don't want to say it is fact in any way just a thought. have. Lots have no Tax on their cars so I guess no insurance either.
The men seem to drink all the time that they dont work so I am sure alcohol plays a major role in deaths either through disese or reckless acts whilst under the influence.
They seem to just adore the junk food, nobody I ever met wanted a McDonalds for brekkie on the morning of the wedding lol. The trailers are sprayed with so much cleaning fluids and aerosles and suchlike they probably die young from inhaling it all the time, sure can't be good for you to be breathing polish all the time.
edit on 8/2/2011 by squizzy because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by squizzy

Death by fast cars, beer and a can of pledge... I can think of worse ways to go, lol

It's a shame the article didn't expand on the life expectancy aspect - it would have been interesting to find out more about causality.

I appreciate what you say about the apparent risk-taking and lack of health care; I suppose we could add bare knuckle fighting to the list. After seeing the state of Pacquiao after his fight with Margarito, the absence of gloves cannot be good!

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by lizziejayne

I wonder if they use our health service or their own tried and tested methods of medicines or first aid hmmmm another point there, pay no taxes on the money you make should be a closed door to the services you should receive, but that would make us bad uncaring people, rather to be overly compassionate and have everyone live here off our services free of charge(sarcasm)
I think we could go on all night but I do note that there seems to be more negative than positive regarding the ones shown in this series.
Also noticed the huge wad he used to pay for the furniture.
Funny how some people like brag how much they can afford to buy their new didning furniture for and show it off and yet these keep it quiet from one another. wow I do like to add points don't I ?

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:25 PM
reply to post by squizzy

I didn't notice the wad of cash! Cheers for pointing that out

It wouldn't surprise me if a multiple government departmental investigation (HMRC, DWP etc) follows soon on the tail of this series. They seem to do well out of such shows - I recall someone on the X Factor and someone else on Wife Swap didn't do well in that respect as a result of their 15 minutes of fame...

I agree that there have been more negative portrayals (or at least confirmation of stereotypical perceptions) this time around. It's been interesting to note that many others within the community/culture have already started distancing themselves from what has been shown. I'll have to find the link to share.

p.s. I think it's one of those point adding evenings (or at least early mornings)

edit on 8/2/11 by lizziejayne because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by lizziejayne

now sorry but I really am ROFL. They do try and haul then up in court for flagrantly ignoring the laws but they just give a false name or dont turn up to the hearing because they can always move on and disappear. Most can't read or write anyway. I think this is one of the major problems that they always seem to be able to *get away * with breaking any law they like and that is what lots of people see and are against. If you have a recording of tonight episode watch when they are in the furniture shop and you will see the wad. They don't have bank accounts they only ever use cash , gold or precious stones.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 07:34 PM
reply to post by lizziejayne

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh now I know why I see them always digging up the roads lol, maybe there are diamonds and gold near the surface and we mere plebs have not thought to look

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by lizziejayne

No, I haven't seen any of the episodes.
I keep on meaning to watch a bit on 4OD but never get round to it.

There are two permanent camps where I live.
In addition quite a large number have moved into permanent housing.

They hold non-gypsies, (gaje, gorgers), in nothing but contempt and have a complete disrespect for our laws and our customs.

Confrontation has been commonplace for lots of years culminating in several deaths.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 09:05 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

Thank you for sharing that

Personally, I feel that's a massive and unfortunate missing from these programmes - the interaction (and impact) within the wider community.

I know the show focuses primarily on the wedding aspect, but I think Channel 4 have missed an invaluable opportunity there.

posted on Feb, 12 2011 @ 01:32 PM
I think the poster who made the point about it the better behaved traveller communities not wanting to mix with the bad element is entirely true and as such you will often find differences of opinion as to the perception of travellers.

A few years ago I used to work for a local authority, and as I did outreach ITC literacy work, one of the groups I visited was the official local authority travellers site. They were not keen on outsiders but as I was bringing laptop computers onto the site, that had a range of software, including the driving theory test, I managed to build up a bit of trust, and was soon working with the kids and the older teenagers (notably the adults were not interested in learning anything!). The young boys particularly wanted the driving theory test and the girls were very keen on help with homework. The adults, though not participating themselves were keen for me and a colleague to provide a homework club, and whilst there was no expectation of any of the kids passing exams, they did want the kids to stay in school till 16 and learn what they could.

One day I had gone along and there had been a bit of a drama, mainly that this particular family had turned up and wanted to pitch...The family had a bad repuation and all of the other residents were totally against it, basically saying that if the site manager (who was a council employee and not a traveller) let them on, then they would all leave, 12 families in total! The site manager refused the incomers as they had more trailers than the official number of pitches available and when I was talking to him afterwards, he'd said he was glad that had been the case, because the rest of the residents would have left, then immediately more members of the "bad" family would have turned up, totally taking over the site, wrecking it and causing lots of problems in the surrounding area.

However, the families that were there were no problem at all, I regularly left my car unlocked with expensive equipment in it on site and nothing was ever taken. The building that the site manager was based in also had a kitchen and meeting room (that I used for my classes) had a no dogs rule, and that was always adhered to, similarly dogs were prohibited from running loose round the site, and other than one occasion, I never saw any dogs running round during all of my visits. I generally found everyone to be polite and the site was well maintained, clear of rubbish, junk etc.

On the other hand, a group of travellers moved into a car park area on the seafront in my town. The area soon became a no go area, the rubbish was piled high and they were running riot in the area, threatening people who were just walking past etc...nightmare! The police eventually moved them and the council installed height barriers at the entrance to the car park so they wouldn't be able to take trailers back onto the land again. But illegal camps pop up all over the place in my area and the story is always the same...utter devastation to the area and a small fortune to clean up after them and put preventative measures in place to prevent them coming back.

So I suppose there is good and bad, but unfortunately it is the bad that most people see, and sadly there are large numbers of them who have no respect and will continue to cause problems.

posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by destination now

Thank you so much for sharing your experience - it's certainly a valuable insight

So I suppose there is good and bad, but unfortunately it is the bad that most people see, and sadly there are large numbers of them who have no respect and will continue to cause problems.

I totally agree. As with any community, it's always those who provide the negative projection who are taken as representative of the "whole".

One thing I find particularly interesting is that many of these "negative" behaviours/attitudes are not confined to only this culture/community. For example, I know of many (probably best described as what we in the UK would know as "proper chavs") with a very similar approach to life . The only difference is that the latter's approach is not deemed "traditional", organised or based on a cultural rationale.

posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 01:37 PM
Please find additional information here: ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is fuelling hatred’: Traveller organisation criticises Channel 4 hit for causing 'embarrassment'

The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain has spoken out regarding the apparent "narrow and unfair" portrayal by Channel 4's successful documentary series:

The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain has said its members are ‘extremely disappointed and angry’ about the show’s portrayal of the community’s way of life and has called for a right of reply.

We are hearing about the deep sense of embarrassment and shame many have been left with by such a narrow, misrepresentative and unjust portrayal of their community and culture.

Meanwhile, those outside the community have expressed their dissatisfaction about what they consider to be an "easy ride" by the documentaries:

Others have suggested that travellers have been given an easy ride on the show with no analysis of where their money is coming from - and some of them have had their faces obscured.

Similarly, those who have been inadvertently associated with those who have been represented, have also spoken out:

The series has also drawn complaints from Romany Gypsies who said the show suggests most travellers in Britain are Irish even though only 10 per cent of the community is actually from Ireland, according to the Travellers’ Times website.

They also provide clarification, reiterating the OP who highlighted a distinction between Gypsies, Irish travellers etc:

Even the show’s name is wrong. Most of the families on the show are Irish Travellers, not gypsies. Gypsies are English.

Personally, I believe that what Channel 4 intended to be a fly-on-the-wall, car crash viewing of seemingly "over the top" weddings has evolved... it's emerged as a valuable insight for many into a usually secretive community. It's a shame that C4 didn't recognise the opportunity early in its programme development and expanded into:

(a) Clarifying the differences between cultures and the approaches to life, traditions and behaviours common within those communities
(b) Interactions and impacts within the wider community
(c) A more critical examination of some of the key issues that are evident or intimated - female submission, domestic violence, sources of finance and travelling when there are so many restrictions/constraints on doing so.

Unfortunately, at this point, I think the trust the programme makers now appear to have lost from the community (and inadvertently associated communities) will put a stop on any inroads into future documentaries on this very unique and interesting cultural insight.
edit on 15/2/11 by lizziejayne because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 01:04 AM
reply to post by lizziejayne

Yes, you are absolutely correct when you talk about stereotypes, and the entire travelling community, whether they be romany gypsies or irish travellers are tarred with the same brush whether they have done anything to warrant the label or not, whereas the "chavs" or "neds" as we call them in Scotland are defined by their actions, rather than as a group.

You are also correct about these stereotypes causing shame and embarrasment within the gypsy community. Prior to working with the travellers, I went to an information day, that was facilitated by Gypsy Community representatives and attended by a number of council officials and the police, and I have to say I was very impressed with the speakers, who gave an amazing insight into the lives of the gypsies. At one point one of the police officers talked about the mess of the illegal camps and mentioned that as well as the rubbish lying around, they found used sanitary towels and condoms. The speaker was mortified and said that within the true gypsy community that would never happen as they are meticulous about personal hygiene, they do not even discuss these things, let alone leave them out for everyone to see!

At that point she talked about the issues faced by gypsies of being lumped in with the less desirable element, who use their status as "travellers" to deflect persecution for their actions. Whilst she accepted that the overall term "gypsy travellers" was necessary to define the group, she felf that many of those who defined themselves as travellers, rather than gypsies, were the ones who caused all of the problems, although she did say that there were those within the irish travelling community who did adhere to the true gypsy lifestyle, but due to the overwhelming numbers of travellers who did cause problems, she could understand why the general public have negative perceptions of the entire community.

Although I haven't watched the series you are talking about, I had read about it, and was quite surprised that the gypsies had allowed such an intrusion into their lives, as they are very secretive and generally keep themselves to themselves. I knew however, that it would probably show the community in a bad light and that seems to be the case, which is sad because it was an ideal opportunity to show the more noble side of a community that gets a lot of bad press, and would maybe have given the public a better idea of where the real problems lie, rather than dismissing an entire community as being troublemakers. This in turn could have lead to a better understanding between the general public and the gypsy travellers, to work together to root out the problem element and enable
both communties to live far more harmoniously together. Although we had an interesting incident in the area I live last September, the gypsies who run the annual funfair, who have been coming to the area for decades had a problem themselves with the travellers, who had set up on the ground they use, just prior to their arrival. Typically the travellers had wrecked the site and the gypsies had to firstly remove them by force, then clean up the area themselves. It cost them a lot of money, and they couldn't open on the first night as the clear up wasn't finished. The gypsies who ran the fair actually spoke to the press, and sympathised with the locals who have to put up with these invasions on a regular basis, and said that these groups often caused them as many problems!

I noticed another thread on here, talking about the gypsies being the last group where racism against them is freely accepted, and I don't agree with that. It is not racism per say, more people reacting to what they see, and as people rarely see the true gypsy communities, only the devastation caused by irresponsible travellers, then that perception is in fact quite accurate, and sadly this documentary series seems to have done little to alleviate that perception.

posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by lizziejayne

Yay, just read that they are doing a new series that has already been filmed called *My big fat gypsy christmas and another series is being planned for future showing but no idea to the content of that one yet. Can't wait to see it. As most are reportedly God fearing catholics let's see how they really portray themselves on this one.

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