I was watching the Channel 4 documentary last night ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ with an element of horror mixed with amusement. We had 17 year olds getting married in HUGE pink dresses lit up with flourescent lights (not joking), 6 yrs old getting spray tans for their holy communions and a couple shopping for their first caravan.
It’s so strange hearing about different cultures to your own. Your first thought is “how they can live like that?!” But to them it’s perfectly natural and a great way to live. They would think the same about the way that I live!
Photo from Channel 4
What I found the most interesting about their culture was how traditional they were with relationships – girls had to travel in packs to be sure their pure reputations could not be tarnished and once they kissed a boy the marriage was being planned. That couldn’t be more different to how things generally are today – it’s usually the case that nothing is off limits. And yet with that all the girls seemed to wear extremely skimpy outfits. A stark contrast and once that goes against most of our society’s thinking – dressing like that = tart or similar nasty word.
But one thing I admired about them was their passion for keeping their culture alive, for their community, for sticking together. Thats’ one thing I think society is sadly lacking in general over here in UK, especially in London where I work. So I thunk we can learn something from the travelling community even if we are first tempted to laugh at their antics on the TV show, and that is trying to be there for each other more.
What are your communities like? Is there something we can learn from the way you guys live?