Posts Tagged ‘Romani’

I couldn’t possibly watch last nights documentary “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” without passing comment. The programme showed how young gypsy couples are married, usually at 16 years old, in a ridiculously ostentatious ceremony that Katie Price would be proud of.

The documentary highlighted the kind of life gypsy women are expected to live and it’s one the religious (especially Muslim’s) will be familiar with. Gypsy women must be chaperoned at all times and must not drink prior to marriage. This rule, not surprisingly, does not apply to gypsy men. Women are expected not to work and must fulfil the role of dutiful housewife; pandering to their husband’s needs. They are also encouraged not to pursue education.

The most worrying aspect of the programme was the “courtship” ritual practised by gypsy families. Young girls must stay in a group with their female friends and are not allowed to approach boys. When a boy likes a girl he will approach her and ask for a kiss; if she refuses then he can grab her and twist her arm until she agrees to kiss him. It made me sick to watch a 15 year old girl pinned up against a wall begging the gypsy boy to let her go while he’s trying to kiss her.

The fact that the parents of these children allow this to happen is appalling. To allow teenage boys to forcibly touch teenage girls is sexual assault. In any other group it would be reported to the police. I dread to think how many times it’s gone further than kissing. The worst part was hearing the girl talk about how she felt uncomfortable but there was nothing she could do. Where are the people protecting these children?