Most of us conjure up the Disney version; a guarded, mysterious woman draped in layers of clothing with bangles adorning her body. We picture her next to a wagon, perhaps, for everyone knows that gypsies are travellers, right? The stereotype of a gypsy man is far worse; he steals things. He is probably carrying some sort of big knife. First of all, let us deal with the biggest misnomer about gypsies—that there is only one genre and they all go by the same name. This is completely false and leads to a lot of incorrect generalizations.
Both of these troupes have a lifestyle that centers on being nomads, but they are two culturally and ethnically different groups. Irish Travellers hail from—you guessed it—Ireland. Roma Gypsies hail original from northern India but entered Europe sometime between the eighth and ten centuries. The stereotype of a Gypsy from the 19th century was that they were stupid, poor folks who did not have the mental capacity of a child over Obviously this is not so, but the stigma of the Gypsy being uneducated is unfortunately true, especially in females.
This was true in traditional Gypsy cultures but is also true in the modern Gypsies; a sad phenomenon that leaves many of illiterate. The life of a nomad does not lend to traditional education, so Traveller children in general are not taught any higher education than their parents are capable of teaching to them. Somewhere around 6 th grade is as high as most of them go. This is, unfortunately, exactly what it implies.
It's just one nasty boy they showed. It sounds absurd to most of us that there are still modern day marriages that are arranged, but to the Romani, this is still common place. Young girls are expected to marry between the ages of 16 and 18, although some Roma are now saying that only 18 is an acceptable age. Tradition holds that a girl should have no more than four boyfriends beforehand, and she is encouraged to turn down suitors multiple times before eventually giving her OK.
The girls are taught they will be married. Not if but when. As with many close-knit religions and groups, it is very important that Romani marry other Romani. Marrying outside of your tribe is considered blasphemy. Modern day women are not really encouraged keep their chastity belts on anymore.
Obviously this is not so, but the stigma of the Gypsy being uneducated is unfortunately true, especially in females. It is a big tourist draw. Young girls are expected to marry between the ages of 16 and 18, although some Roma are now saying that only 18 is an acceptable age. The go-to source for comic book and superhero movie fans. There is no one who will have your back, who will travel with you, protect you, entertain you—like family.
Chastity is no longer something that most people admire. Most women have done it by the time they get married, and have had multiple partners. But Gypsy women are supposed to have v-cards, and most of them stick to this notion. There may be more incentive for them to marry, and marry young, because of this. With the average Gypsy marrying in their teens, it does help explain this occurrence.
Although girls are allowed to showcase their commodities through clothing, dance moves, and hair styles, they are taught to look and not touch. Many Gypsy women make their impressions on their mates the first time that they see them, which is partly why they pay so much attention to the way they are presented. They were loud, they were demanding and their dresses were outrageous. The bigger, the better. The puffier, the better.
The more glittery, flashy, lavishly decorated dress—the better your standing. Although this is a competition, it should be noted how much this tradition brought women and family together for the pride of the bride. This might sound strange, but young Roma girls are actually encouraged to dress provocatively. They are taught to tease the boys and attract suitors.
They are not even supposed to kiss before their wedding day, which seems to go against the sexually explicit way that they dress. Boys are allowed to do it before they are married, but are taught that their future wife should have her v-card. But Roma is a culture—it might seem foreign to us but it is how they operate.
The females are taught to dress in flashy clothes—dressing modestly is not in their nature. And yet, girls are taught to be chaste in their behavior. It is what it is. There are certain parts of Gypsy culture that have stayed true, and some that have changed with the times.
Historically, if you were a Gypsy, Romani or Traveller, you traveled. Although Gypsies lead nomadic lifestyles, generally most of them live in apartments or houses. This does not mean that they stay in one place the entire year, for many of them travel to find work or to visit family for extended periods. But their home is still a base for them to operate from, and a place for them to settle, however temporary it may be.
Furthermore, older Gypsies are less able to travel, and younger family members need to have somewhere for their elders to reside. Remember, family is very important. For both Romani and Travellers, domestic violence rages within their cultures. The numbers that we have are quite staggering. What exacerbates this problem further is that Gypsies are conditioned not to trust an outsider, so calling the police when it comes to domestic violence, is out of the question. Furthermore, because it is so common, the problem is not met with a lot of sympathy from the community. Ok, apologies first of all if this isn't the correct place to post this but I figured I'd try anyway.
Her grandmother was a gypsy. Now, since I've been dating her, I've been getting into a lot of arguments with my parents who happen to be from Hungary for dating her.
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Their logic is that since she's part gypsy, I should stay away as far as I can and break it off with her. And that if things were to get serious, I would be bringing shame to our family. To me though, her background was never something that bothered me in the slightest. Simply put, she really is an amazing person and someone I truly enjoy being with. However, I also value my parents opinions and I feel bad for how upset they've become. Needless to say, I understand that my parents would also share this view since they grew up in it.
My question is, has anyone else gone through something similar? Been on the other side of this. My father is of gypsy origin. The mothers of two of my exes expressed their dislike of me before they even met me: I understand their caution. I'm cautious as well. I've had plenty of extremely unpleasant, even outright disgusting encounters with ethnic gypsies and developed xenophobia.
But if at closer inspection I find that my fear was unnecessary, I let go of it. If they are not willing to do that even though your girlfriend displays no negative traits whatsoever, then your parents are just, well, not nice people. I know this is not politically correct at all but I'd definitely be cautious and get to know the family beforehand. Gypsies may have a bad reputation in Hungary but I've always thought that their origins, story, music, and some aspects of their culture are fascinating.
Besides, you're in America now, if you're parents have decided to enter into a melting pot such as that they need to leave their prejudices behind. The actions of some gypsies don't fall on your own Esmarelda. Her genetic make-up doesn't curse or limit her potential in life. Tell your parents they ought to get a DNA test, it's very possibly that one of them has some Roma ancestry, whether they admit it or not. When I was younger, I too was in the same situation being American-Hungarian. My parents also were vehemently against dating anyone that wasn't full-on Hungarian and event went as far as avoiding groups of people that don't fit their particular religious beliefs.
Just curious, are you from Hungary?
As I mentioned, this hatred towards gypsies seems to be very prevalent in Hungary. The hate towards them is very prevalent and very irrational. Gypsies are the most integrated part of the Hungarian society. They are hard working, they avoid crime and fights like the the plague. Their culture is based on the respect of private property, harmonic together living with neighbours etc. I have no idea why anyone in Hungary or of Hungarian descent would not like to marry into a Gypsy family.
Racism can be the only valid reason I'm afraid. What kind of bullshit are you writing here?!? Crime rates are highest in gypsy neighbourhoods, statistically speaking.
This is also patently false. They, - like many other cultures, it's true - consider themselves the "chosen people".
There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but they believe that all things therefore belong to them. This means that stealing from non-gypsies is not unethical because they are just taking what is theirs. I haven't gone through this situation, but I had to stand up for myself against my parents on various occasions. The thing is, there is no place for arguing. They are free to state their opinions however racist and dumb that might be but that's all. You live your own life, not theirs.
You don't have to convince them. And if that means having a bad relationship them, then first, it is their choice to make it so make this clear, too ; second, it's the lesser of two bad things. What is her family like? I'd worry about that more and would say fuck you to MY parents. Well, without going into too much detail, her parents are recently separated after 25 years of marriage. So when you say Hungarian, you mean Hungarian heritage for both yourself and the girl and all of the involved live permanently in the US?
In my understanding American Gypsies are just like any other group with heritage: