Gypsies And New Age Travellers

Last night i watched a couple of documentaries, my favourite kind of movies, and i thought i would share some of them with you.(they are all quite long, but it’s pissing down today in Melbourne and it’s cold in Europe anyways and anyways they are pretty good.)

I started watching this one, on the so called New Age Travellers. Personally, i haven’t heard that term mentioned when i was living in the UK, sounds like something the BBC would come up with..

The documentary shows you a bit about the history and the developement of the movement and about its interactions with the authorities and each other. It’s not too bad actually for something that is made by the BBC.

 

Then i started watching this one about Irish travellers and an impending eviction. Haven’t finished it yet, but it looks pretty good.

When i first heard about Irish travellers, that was quite a headfuck to me. Up until then i only heard the term “gypsy” applied to Sinti and Roma People, so i was fascinated to hear about white, catholic, Irish travellers, we don’t have anything like that in Germany and i don’t think anywhere else in Europe. So it’s pretty UK specific and i found that very interesting.

 

Which of course, brings me to the show Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. I only ever seen small excerpts of the show and thought it would be some trashy reality tv show like Jersey Shore which i could watch to kill my brain after all these serious documentaries. But it was nothing like it! It was actually really well made and interesting. The episode i watched talked a lot about gender roles in the community and about the expectations that are put onto young girls and grown women. It talked about real life stories without the excessive use of ridiculous stereotypes and sensationalism. It isn’t like super radical of course, but it’s pretty good.

 

It seems to be important that young girls are taken out of school often by the age of 12 and then married by the age of 16, from which point on they basically become housewives.

Before i knew about Irish travellers, i only ever seen the hippie types that travel around in caravans. And of course your average families and retirees with their camper vans(which isn’t the same, of course). I just find it funny that a lifestyle(travelling), that is so different from societies expectations is still so ultraconservative in some ways.

So, i’m definitely hooked on that one.

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