not all who wander are lost.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Word Wednesday : Gypsy (EXTENDED VERSION)

So I was checking the "comments" on my site, and saw that someone commented on Wednesday's gypsy blog. They were from England, and informed me about the following:

"Hi from England, here in the UK Gypsy travellers are one of the most persecuted ethnic minority's with some of the lowest health and educational achievements, gypsies are still pushed from pillor to post. when Gypsies do try and buy land and settle down 95% of planning applications are turned down compared to 85% past for the settled community despite being here in the uk for over 500 years it is a banded about term but in the UK the term Gypsy implies ethnic status and protection under law. kusti bok."

I had no idea that the Gypsies live such a difficult life and are/were subject to such prejudice. I started doing some digging, and found some GREAT information at BBC's site. The link is - and it really has every bit of information about Roman Gypsies Roots - their language, their struggle, their traditions - their history to present day.

You can read personal stories about Gypsies here:

To read about their AMAZING history:

A gypsy without a horse is not a gypsy:

The changing relationship between Gypsies and their horses epitomises the profound changes that have occurred in the Traveller lifestyle in the course of one short generation.

When the horses and caravan gave way to the lorry and trailer something changed forever. A way of life that had remained essentially unchanged for centuries suddenly came to an end, and with it went centuries of tradition and culture.

Today horse ownership amongst Gypsies is on the increase and the relationship is being rekindled in a modern context.

Older Romany Travellers recall the days when the horse was virtually a member of the family and when life was led at the steady slow pace reflected by the sound of hooves echoing along country lanes.

Gyspy Horse On the day before hitching up and moving on, the caravan would be washed down, harness cleaned, brasses polished and horses groomed. No one who saw this proud cavalcade pass by would dare whisper the words 'Dirty Gypsies' under their breath.

The horse drawn days came to an end in the 1960s when Gypsy Travellers became motorised and the lorry and trailer replaced the old traditional painted wooden Gypsy caravan. It was a pivotal time as the old ways came to a close and the Gypsies embarked on a new journey which would eventually lead to sedentarisation and fears for the very survival of the Romany culture.

The 70s were dark days for the Romany Gypsies, there were not yet any official council sites and the round of agricultural work was drying up.

Lorries and trailers were now the norm and for a while the horse passed from the Traveller experience, but in recent years as the Romany culture has begun to find it's feet in new circumstances, horses are again very much in evidence.

"Kusti Bok" means "Good Luck" in Romany

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