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Thread: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    What the ...? I saw this. Wow is all I can say.
    I thought that a lot of the groups were staying on property that was not theirs or was land designated for other purposes. Seems like they are breaking the laws because they don't understand them or don't think that they apply to them.
    The grabbing stuff is horrendous. Men can be barbarians and clearly there are barbarians running this society.

  2. #12
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by causingchaos View Post
    Gypsy is an extremely derogatory word for this group of people. It would be like me and my girlfriends calling each other the B word but if someone else came in and started calling us that it would be very insulting.

    Anyhow, in the time I spent with the Roma community in Europe (albeit short but very intense) the culture is really unique and interesting. They are a nomadic people generally speaking but are generally very unwelcome due to stereotypes and what not where they go. Typically speaking they are treated as though they are second class citizens and are in some cases driven out of countries by governments. Children not allowed to attend public schools for example. Not allowed to get jobs etc.

    Since they are nomadic folks land is usually communal. Since they're kind of on the fringe and constantly moving they don't necessarily know all the land use regulations. Usually they'll live around the fringes of civilization due to not being allowed into the cities. Sometimes in a really sad little shacks.

    They have some traditional views on gender roles and some really catholic values like virginity. Which is why the kidnapping happens in part the other part is financial (dowry issue). Sometimes the "kidnapping" is more like the girl running away to be with a lover she wants to be with.

    Not all women are super traditional but many area deferring to the male for decision making.

    But anyhow that was my experience in the Balkan region with the Romani people. While it doesn't reflect the experience of all of them it is the reality for many of them.
    First of all I was under the impression that Hitler killed all the gypsies in Europe and only those in Bulgaria, Greece, Denmark and Finland survived.

    I did see a story about the gypsy children being pickpockets on 60 minutes. And when I was traveling alot in Europe the tour guides constantly warned us about the gangs of gypsy children who basically mobbed a person and picked their pockets. In fact two of the ladies I ended up traveling with had the experience on the metro in Paris.
    "When life gives you lemons, squirt lemon juice in your enemy's eyes."

  3. #13
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcata View Post
    First of all I was under the impression that Hitler killed all the gypsies in Europe and only those in Bulgaria, Greece, Denmark and Finland survived.

    I did see a story about the gypsy children being pickpockets on 60 minutes. And when I was traveling alot in Europe the tour guides constantly warned us about the gangs of gypsy children who basically mobbed a person and picked their pockets. In fact two of the ladies I ended up traveling with had the experience on the metro in Paris.

    The gypsies of Europe were marked for total annihilation by the Nazis, just as the Jews were, but like the Jews, some did manage to survive. I suspect their nomadic culture may have made them harder to track down and identify definitely as gypsies, but many millions did die in the same death camps as the Jews. Because their culture is largely a marginal one, less attention has been paid to their loss, however.

  4. #14
    FORT Fanatic beesknees's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    What station/channel does this program appear on? I saw a preview (can't remember where). Looks interesting. I saw a very interesting documentary on this issue a few years ago (someone mentioned that documentary upthread).

    Wouldn't mind reading a book written by a former traveller on this subject.

  5. #15
    FORT Fanatic beesknees's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcata View Post
    First of all I was under the impression that Hitler killed all the gypsies in Europe and only those in Bulgaria, Greece, Denmark and Finland survived.

    I did see a story about the gypsy children being pickpockets on 60 minutes. And when I was traveling alot in Europe the tour guides constantly warned us about the gangs of gypsy children who basically mobbed a person and picked their pockets. In fact two of the ladies I ended up traveling with had the experience on the metro in Paris.
    Wow, when I spent a month in Italy many years ago (mid 90's) there were TONS of gypsies in Rome (sorry if I'm using the incorrect term). The gypsies even dressed like the stereo typical gypsies seen in old Hollywood black and white movies from the 1940's & 50's.

    Swarthy-looking, white billowy shirts, playing the violin, shaking tambourines, etc. "Quaint" my friend thought, and the words coming to my mind were more like "sketchy" and "pick-pockety".

    I too have also seen the "60 Minutes" piece on gypsy children but I can't remember if it was before or after I went to Italy.

    Anyhoo, my Canadian friend and me were going to eat lunch at Mc Donald's (of all places) in Rome and out front there was THE CUTEST tiniest 4-5 yr. old gypsy boy with huge brown eyes begging for money saying he was sooo hungry. He was dirty.

    My Canadian friend wanted to give him money, I said No. We were sort of bickering back and forth and as we were walking, well, this little guy just skipped right along beside us, loo-le-loo-le-loo, and grabbed my friend's hand, not missing a beat. He walked right with us.

    Well, my friend's heart just MELTED! and she gave the kid 5 bucks. The boy spoke english pretty well and I told him "NO money but come inside and eat with us" which, of course, he declined.

    After giving him the money we were eating lunch at Mc Donald's, watching out the big front picture window while this little guy stood right on the other side of the glass and pulled a GIGANTIC AZZ wad of about $100 US dollars out of his pocket and handed it to an older boy. I told my friend "See!"

    An hour later we were shopping somewhere and my friend reached into her purse to pay for an item - voila! - wallet gone, passport gone, Poof! like magic. HUGE nightmare. We spent hours at the police station and hours at the embassy trying to secure her a new passport.
    Last edited by beesknees; 06-01-2011 at 12:03 AM.

  6. #16
    Christian,Mom,Teacher mom2's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    TLC Friday at 9 Central time.
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  7. #17
    FORT Fanatic beesknees's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    Oohhh, appreciate that big-time. Just went online to answer my own question about the channel/time, etc. and came across some HUGE tulled pink cotton-candy like wedding dresses with light up crowns. Funny and bizarre. Read an article by the premiere wedding dress maker to the Travelers.

    I was confused as to why some posters upthread mentioned wedding dresses that left scars and made brides bleed but I found out its due to the sheer weight of the dress itself (i.e. - 50 LED battery packs and many strings of lights sewn into the wedding dress itself). Standing by with fire extinguishers at the wedding just in case....SAY WHAT!?

  8. #18
    signed, sealed, delivered maude~flanders's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    My husband lived in Northern England for the first half of his life and they had a lot of experiences with gypsies. They would come to town and rob the residents blind. Then they would leave. Maybe that has something to do with them being unwelcome. This show is acting as if they are victims, when they are actually the ones who are creating victims. You know the kid who had a tree-trimming business? Those were the kind of jobs the gypsies would do, then they would steal everything in your backyard, shed, or whatever they could get hold of. One family actually had the shingles stolen off their roof!

  9. #19
    FORT Fanatic Holly in SoCal's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    I watched this show the other night too (both episodes)...wow! The communion girls and bride girls in their dresses looked like those little girls on that show that are in beauty pageants, but on steroids!!! I was appalled that they called themselves devout Catholics and were so strict about staying pure until marriage, yet they dressed and danced like prostitutes/strippers at all times. And to think that those little girls that were going through their 1st communions were spray tanned and made up to look like little hooches and then afterwards, dressed so sleazy and danced like all that was missing was the pole. How does that glorify the Lord? I'm not Catholic, but isn't that event supposed to be a very special and holy day in that religion? I can only imagine what Jesus would say if He was standing there in person as these girls were gyrating their hips in those short dresses. It was soooo perverse. Sheesh!!

    And was I the only one that noticed that almost ALL of the older girls and the women had unusually large boobs? Do they all get implants or is it just genetic? And they also all had the same stomach pooch and poor posture. Is there any inbreeding I wonder? I know they prefer to marry within their own community. No offense to anyone...but it was a little strange (the similarities I mean).

    I was also wondering...where do they get the money to have those fancy dresses custom designed? They must cost a fortune. Just having a wedding dress you buy off the rack altered can cost a pretty penny.

    Very strange and disturbing show, yet captivating to watch.

  10. #20
    FORT Fogey causingchaos's Avatar
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    Re: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilden View Post
    How interesting to hear from someone who actually has first hand experience with the culture. Much of what you've said echoes what I was reading on-line with regard to the way in which the show isn't necessarily an accurate depiction of the culture, particularly in terms of their marginalization and often resultant poverty.

    Actually, it's sort of amazing that the culture has survived at all, considering the odds against it.
    It was absolutely horrible to watch how these folks were treated where I was. They had little option for work options due how they are treated by majority society in many countries. And it was absolutely shocking that the kids were not allowed to go to school when I was there. NGOs end up working with these groups to get them the education and so forth that they need.

    Have to say after spending many many hours and days in a Roma community I never once got pick pocketed. Not one single time. Not once asked for money. While I know this occurs in cities (really tourists anywhere in the world are just giant targets for any fringey people) there is more to this culture than scams and pick pocketing.

    But really when you're not even allowed to live somewhere because you're entire culture is being driven out of countries what are the options? when there are laws that you can't have a living in a country... what is the option?

    What Hitler started the rest of modern society is finishing off with this culture and i find it profoundly sad.

    What I saw was a group of very traditional people trying their best to make it in crappy circumstances. I have friends who continue to work with NGOs that work with these groups. And I find the premise of this show sad as well. If they're going to show the culture show some of the external realities in places other than England (where it's likely a more acculturated group of Roma than in the rest of Europe).

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