I was puzzled by all of the references to "travellers" in the media because I thought the correct spelling was "travelers." Turns out that's only the correct spelling in the United States. In the UK, Canada, and Australia, the correct spelling is "travellers."
One of the things that struck me about the program last night was the disappointment one young engaged couple experienced when they were shopping for a trailer to serve as their new home and couldn't find one without a "commode." Evidently, they don't believe in indoor toilets, saying it's unsanitary (I think they used the words "filthy" and "disgusting") to have a toilet located anywhere near a kitchen. It sounds bizarre -- but logical, I suppose.
I remember that my grandmother always built an outhouse whenever we moved to a home with indoor facilities in Korea and Japan. My mother never used the outhouse, but my sisters and I had to. I still don't know whether my grandmother was guided by the same line of reasoning as the gypsies or she had been urged to keep us out of my mother's bathroom.
Actually, Zuzu, I haven't watched TV since I returned from 2 weeks in Iowa...so that's about 3 or 4 weeks without TV. It's in the upper 90's here and I've been having to water daily which is not my favorite thing to do. Hence the water hose remark.
But I am familiar with the movie by the same name.
No, no, no. The movie was "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." This is a show about the Irish Travellers and Romany culture in England. It caused a sensation in the UK and is now being shown here on the TLC channel.
The program focuses on rites of passage in the culture and doesn't answer some ticklish questions, such as our natural curiosity about the sources of income for these communion and wedding gowns that weigh 70 pounds and are covered by animatronic butterflies. The filmmakers couldn't delve into those matters because the subjects had the final say on what could and could not be shown.
Most of the men refused to appear on camera, saying it could hurt their "business interests," but that seems to be a dead giveaway that the business is illegal. I saw a report on the lifestyle of Irish travelers in the United States years ago on 20/20 or some other investigative journalism show. They're scam artists. They don't live in trailers in this country. They live in compounds, huge gated communities filled with splendid mansions. Apparently, spraying a driveway or roof with water and charging the homeowner for a super-duper impenetrable coating is a highly lucrative trade.
I see that we're cross-posting again, Sharon. Here's the schedule:
Here's some additional information on Violet Anne, the girl who seemed so different from the others. She worked for a living before she was married, didn't rush into marriage at 16, and didn't dress like a hooker, but she's a Romany Gypsy rather than an Irish Traveler. Nevertheless, when the caterer of her wedding tried to collect on his bill, he was threatened by her family instead of being paid for his services.
I hear so many stories about the travelers swindling people out of money, and I get the impression their dislike of outsiders is how they rationalize it. Assuming that is a typical source of income for them, it should come as no surprise that they would be discriminated against.
Some of those bridesmaid dresses look like drag costumes, tacky, but kinda fabulous, LOL.
Neal, they would make fabulous drag costumes and that's really how they should be worn -- just for fun and never taken seriously.
Barb, it is amazing except that it's not that difficult to keep your virtue intact only until the age of 16, especially if you never go out into the general population without a chaperone. The boys and men at those weddings and other events are also travelers, and I shudder to think what would happen to them if they tried for more than a kiss from the girls.
Do you think they might all be stunted in some way? The entire community seems to share a junior high school mentality.
I had the same thought Zuzu. They remind me of modern Appalachian culture, where I've always gotten the impression that the limited gene pool of the area has stunted the potential of many individuals. As adamant as they are about marrying within the traveler community, it would stand to reason that some evidence of inbreeding would occur. The way these girls dress to attend a wedding makes me think of proms and high school dances in eastern Kentucky.