Girls are trained to change from a child to a housewife. From a very small age, they are taught to cook clean and keep the house. There is not much else to do since they are pulled out of school by the time they are 11 or 12 years of age. The Gypsy population in the UK is comprised of two major subgroups: Roma Gypsies trace their heritage back to Northern India while the Travellers primarily come from Ireland.
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Both these nomadic groups have views on education, courting, occupation, and community. A typical Gypsy girl would be taught about being self-sustaining and not being dependent right from an early age. For some, instead of going to school, they were taught about the arts, music and dance.
Their education was learning about wildlife and nature, how to cook and how to survive. Many could milk a goat and ride a horse and could identify ink caps, puff balls and field mushrooms and knew where to find wild watercress and sorrel. By the age of eight or nine, they could light a fire, cook dinner for a family of 10 and knew how to bake bread on an open fire. The beginning of the Gypsy woman's life is spent planning her wedding which will generally happen between ages If women are in their 20s when they get married, they are beginning to be thought of as an old maid.
The outfits the women wear are quite revealing. While these girls are taught to reveal their bodies to attract men, they are also taught on not to have a sexual relationship with any men besides their husband. If they disobey this trend before marriage, they are generally marginalized and shunned. Traditionally a girl should have no more than four boyfriends beforehand, and she is encouraged to turn down suitors multiple times before giving her consent. In the present times when the concept of family is failing, gypsy children are taught from a very young age that family is the most important.
Children grow up in an environment of unquestioning obedience and respect to their elders, so much so, that their marriages are fixed by the parents and the boy and girl just go ahead with their parents' decision. Even after marriage, the bride and the groom stay in the groom's parents' house for the next two years or at least till the first baby is born.
The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and postpartum emotional doldrums are never accepted as excuses for being rude to the elders in the family. Traveller kids have a strict Roman Catholic upbringing, and their culture in general, means that any form of talking back to their elders will not be tolerated. It is a cultural distinction that sets them apart from the modern day families that surround them. Children are taught at a very early age that the elders in the community are highly respected and anyone who is rude to them, is looked down upon by the entire community.
Families ensure that they visit the elders regularly and should anyone be hospitalised, the entire extended family takes on as their responsibility to look after them. It did nothing much to bring out the real problems that gypsies and travelers face. According to an article published in theguardian. Bindel, who interviewed a few women there, met Kathleen who lives with her six children in a three-bedroom trailer, is fairly typical of an Irish Traveller woman, except that she is separated from her husband.
Along with many other Gypsy and Traveller women in the UK, Kathleen was a victim of domestic violence. She now feels safe because she has male family members living on the same site. The rate of suicides among Traveller women is significantly higher than in the general population, and life expectancy is low for women and men. And as many Traveller girls are taken out of education prior to secondary school to prevent them mixing with boys from other cultures, illiteracy rates are high, says Bernie O'Roarke, outreach and resettlement worker for domestic violence charity Solas Anois. Since gypsies are very private about their lives and do not mingle with the "settlers or settled people", not much is known about their laws and rules.
Since they live as a community, everyone is expected to obey the laws. According to the mirror. The law serves to protect traveler interests, rights, traditions, and ethnic distinctiveness. These rules and law have been very instrumental in preserving their culture. Both Romani and Travelers follow very strict rules when it comes to who they marry. All Gypsy girls are required to stay chaste until their wedding night.
The women hardly ever stand up for themselves even as they endure years and years of mistreatment, only because it is a law in the community that they cannot and should not trust strangers. They even refuse medical aid, vaccinations and health checkups for the same reason.
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Share information with our partners to provide targeted advertising and social media features. Data Shared with Third Parties We do not sell or rent your personal data to third parties. When the bottle is emptied, it is refilled with wine or brandy for use at the wedding celebration. The mere fact that two people have agreed to live together and share their lives together constitutes marriage and no formal ritual is required. Some tribes of Gypsies do perform wedding ceremonies. In some marriages the bride and groom will join hands in front of the bandolier and promise to be true to each other.
A few Gypsy wedding rites are centered on bread. In one rite, the bride and groom each take a piece of bread and place a drop of their blood on the bread. They then exchange and eat each others bread. In another ritual, the young couple sit down, surrounded by relatives and friends. A small amount of salt and bread is then placed on the knees of the bride. The groom takes some of the bread, puts salt on it, and eats it. The bride does the same. The union of salt and bread symbolizes a harmonious future together for the groom and bride.
The informal joyous festivities celebrating the marriage can go on for several days. A huge feast is served on these occasions.
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There is an open fire over which whole pigs, sides of beef, game, chicken, or goose are roasted. There are huge platters of fried potatoes and boiled cabbage stuffed with rice and chopped meat, with herbs and garlic. Drink too is served generously. There are songs and dances Wedding gifts almost always consist of money.
Some families may save much of their money to present as gifts at weddings. These money gifts will help the new couple start their new lives together somewhat financially secure. When the celebration has ended, it is time for the groom to take his bride home. The brides family kisses the girl and they weep as they unbraid her hair, a symbol for her new marital status. Her new mother-in-law helps the bride knot her diklo, or headscarf, a sign that she is a married woman. She is never seen again in public without this diklo, headscarf.
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The bride moves into the husbands home. The mother-in-law guiding her and the bride is expected to take an active role in the household. Not until the birth of their first child will the couple move into their own home. Not until they are parents will they be able to refer to each other as husband and wife. Before then, they use only their first names with each other or in speaking about each other. The birth of a child is a special event. A new child ensures continuation of the family line and adds to the respect of the family. During pregnancy a gypsy woman is cared for by the women of the tribe and the husband takes over all her duties.
The woman at the time of birth is taken to a birthing tent, and is at this point the responsibility of the midwife and her attendants. Various customs abound for birthing rites and vary from tribe to tribe and eve from midwife to midwife. One rite among some tribes involves the untying of certain knots, so that the umbilical cord will not be knotted. Sometimes all the knots in the expectant mother's clothing will be undone or cut. At other times, the expectant mother's hair will be loosened if it has been pinned or tied with a ribbon. Other symbolic rituals involve the formal recognition of the infant by its father.
In some Gypsy tribes, the child is wrapped in swaddling on which a few drops of paternal blood are placed. In other cases, the child is covered by a piece of clothing belonging to the father. It is traditional in other tribes for the mother to put the infant on the ground. The father picks up the infant and places a red string around it's neck, thereby acknowledging that the child is his.
In some tribes the mother cannot be seen by any man except the husband before the baptism. The husband face restrictions too. He will often be prohibited from going out between sunset and sunrise so that he may keep away from evil spirits, called tsinvari, which might attack the infant during the night.
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These infants might attack the new mother also. These spirits have also been known to posses the mother causing her to do harm to those she loves. In one such incident the mother became possessed and killed half her campania before she wound up being killed. Only other women, and never the husband or other men, are allowed to protect her. The baptism takes place two weeks after the birth. During this time period the mother and child are isolated. Before the baptism, the baby's name cannot be pronounced. The baptism has the baby baptised in running water to cleanse it.
It is massaged with oil to strengthen it and in some cases amulets and or talismans are used to protect it from evil spirits. After the purification by water the baby is formally a human being and can be called by a name. This name, however, is only one of three that the child will carry through his or her life.
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The first name remains a secret. Tradition has it that this name is whispered by the mother, the only one who knows it at the time of birth, and it is never used. The purpose of this secret name is to confuse the supernatural spirits by keeping the real identity of the child from them. The second name is a Gypsy name used only among the Gypsies and didikai, or Gypsy friends. The third name is a name used when dealing with non-gypsy.
The child is raised by the entire tribe, and it is the responsibility of everyone in the family unit to help raise the child. The growing child plays at will.
The child has a special place in the family, adored and cherished by his or her parents. He or she learns whatever skills can be acquired by the mother or father, first by imitating them, and finally, by helping the parents whenever possible. He or she learns the ways of the Gypsy, too, by observation and at a certain point, participation.
Further training in later years is done in whatever skills they seem most interested in and in what they excel in. All Gypsy tribes have customs and rituals regarding death. Spirits surround us all of the time.
For the Gypsy, death is a senseless, unnatural occurrence that should anger those who die. A Gypsy must not die in his or her habitual place, home or dwelling. Gypsies traditionally move the deathbed in front of the tent or caravan, usually under an improvised canopy. Tears and lamentations are publicly displayed.