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My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding


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#1

Major Misfit

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Posted Apr 14, 2011 @ 3:15 PM

I've been watching the episodes on YouTube, but thanks to TLC, they'll be airing on TV starting May 29. Apparently they're looking to film American gypsies? Had no idea the culture was present in this country.

I loved this show not only because only because of the crazy dresses but also because it truly was a documentary series and not a "reality" show. I'll leave it to TLC to ruin the American-filmed episodes.
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#2

la llorona

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Posted Apr 14, 2011 @ 9:18 PM

Oh wow-- sounds fascinating! I'll definitely have to catch the UK version.

Apparently they're looking to film American gypsies? Had no idea the culture was present in this country.


The Gypsies in the U.S. are Irish Travellers, I believe (most of the Gypsies I knew of in England were Irish Travellers too-- not Romani). And I was under the impression that they're even more closed off than the British Gypsies, so I'm hoping for some real cultural insight here and not a bunch of manufactured drama and fame-whoredom.
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#3

Nittany84

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Posted Apr 14, 2011 @ 9:44 PM

I'm hoping for some real cultural insight here and not a bunch of manufactured drama and fame-whoredom.


Having watched the UK edition on YouTube, I think it is safe to say you will be disappointed. The show doesn't even really explain the difference between travelers and Roma.
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#4

ElectricBoogalo

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Posted May 1, 2011 @ 7:38 AM

I see that the Pnina Tornai stripper fairy dresses are popular in the Traveller/Gypsy community.

Kind of amusing/incongruous to see a man driving a horse drawn wagon while on a cell phone!

Did anyone see the royal wedding special? According to wikipedia it's called Big Fat Royal Gypsy Weddings and aired on April 29th.

I'm not sure how I feel about the American version of this show, but I'll give it a chance just to see the insane dresses.

Edited by ElectricBoogalo, May 1, 2011 @ 7:41 AM.

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#5

fostersmom

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Posted May 1, 2011 @ 12:25 PM

I remember seeing a Dateline kinda show about Irish Travelers in America quite a few years ago that said there were clans in Georgia and Florida.

Why am I not surprised TLC is all over this.
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#6

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Posted May 1, 2011 @ 2:11 PM

I have seen all the episodes. They are on Youtube posted by CobraUK. They are really hilarious. The show mainly depicts travellers. The romany community in the UK was really upset that they were lumped into the group.

My favorite highlights include the communion outfit and limo ride, the battery lighted wedding dress, and the poor teenage girls admitting that they do not know how to read. It also showed some really barbaric mating rituals as well as stripper clothing on 6-8 year olds.

I think the american irish travellers live right outside Hilton Head Island and they live quite nice. In fact there was some buzz to the community several years ago because a mall security camera taped a toddler being beat down by her young mother in a luxury vehicle. They were a part of that community.
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#7

JCVinEden

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Posted May 2, 2011 @ 7:59 AM

I remember seeing a Dateline kinda show about Irish Travelers in America quite a few years ago that said there were clans in Georgia and Florida.

Why am I not surprised TLC is all over this.

I posted a long time ago that TLC should cover Travelers weddings or child beauty pagents. That's okay -- I won't charge a finders fee.
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#8

Britty

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Posted May 2, 2011 @ 8:19 AM

My favorite highlights include the communion outfit and limo ride, the battery lighted wedding dress, and the poor teenage girls admitting that they do not know how to read. It also showed some really barbaric mating rituals as well as stripper clothing on 6-8 year olds.


I think the communion dress was my favorite. The weddings are one thing because they tend to be gatherings within the community, and the bride is an adult (sort of). The first communion was all the regular little girls in their plain white dresses with no makeup plus this one traveler girl who looked insane.

The one thing I learned from the series which completely fascinated me is that while these girls dress like streetwalkers (and dance like full contact lap dancers) beginning at the age of 6 there is zero premarital sex allowed and no real dating.

I also found it sad that there is so little education. Not just the girls that can't read, but the boys seem to care even less. At least we saw a couple of girls who were older, could read/write, and had some job skills. I imagine there is a lot of domestic violence that is tolerated by these girls.
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#9

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Posted May 2, 2011 @ 9:09 AM

I read that Joan, the 22-year-old bride from the first special, recently left her husband when she was 8 months pregnant. I can only think there must have been domestic violence or something equally awful in her marriage for her to leave in that way.
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#10

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Posted May 2, 2011 @ 10:08 AM

I think the communion dress was my favorite.


Mine too. It was such a bizarre contrast between the other little girls in their sweet little communion dresses and the Gypsy girl whose dress was so massively over the top that she could hardly walk in it.

I found the original episode and the series very interesting and entertaining. The fact that the girls had zero interest in education because all they ever had any prospects of being is a wife was sad. Why waste time on an education when all you need to know how to do is clean and raise kids.

I agree that there is probably quite a bit of tolerated domestic violence, especially seeing the "grabbing" courting ritual. That made me very uncomfortable to watch.
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#11

IMOutrippin

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Posted May 2, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

I read that Joan, the 22-year-old bride from the first special, recently left her husband when she was 8 months pregnant. I can only think there must have been domestic violence or something equally awful in her marriage for her to leave in that way.


I felt bad really bad for her too. I think her parents were cool with her not getting married, they no longer "travelled" and they actually had a house. I think Joan had to settle for the loser due to her old age of 22 and because of their society's expectations of marriage. Luckily her parents support her decision 100% and welcome her baby into their home.

The one thing I learned from the series which completely fascinated me is that while these girls dress like streetwalkers (and dance like full contact lap dancers) beginning at the age of 6 there is zero premarital sex allowed and no real dating.


The society is full of contradictions. I also remember from the show Josie and her hen night in Lanzarote with her sisters and her mother. All the attendees (including the 9 year old sister and 34 year old mother) wore bejeweled sequined string bikini tops that would frighten Shakira and Beyonce. They were dancing very suggestively at an English Pub in one of those low rent vacation haunts catering to the Jersey Shore clientele of the UK. IMO due to personal experience, I have found many british men on holiday in Mallorca and Barcelona to be lewd and disrespectful even when you're wearing a t-shirt and jeans. These girls have the right to wear these clothes and attract attention however don't they get that they are attracting bad kind? I don't care if you're a virgin it's just tasteless.

I feel so bad for these girls. They get taken out of school when they're 11-12 to clean their caravan and take care of their siblings. Most of them can't read beyond Dr. Seuss and they have to get married by 15-17. Their husbands and dads don't even have the guts to appear on camera... god knows what they're hiding.
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#12

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Posted May 3, 2011 @ 9:24 AM

In the episode where 15 year old Cheyenne and another girl (whose name escapes me now but is similar) are asked what they're looking for in a husband, the first thing they say is someone who doesn't sit on the couch all day (meaning he has a job). Their wish list also included: doesn't drink at the pub all the time, doesn't cheat on you, and doesn't beat you. So not only do they leave school so they can clean and cook, but their dream man is someone who has a job and doesn't beat them? High hopes, girls, high hopes.

It makes me sad to know that's how low their standards are. Those things were never on my list of Things I Want in a Man because I would never stand for any of that crap. I feel like these girls need to be introduced to the Chris Rock principle about not applauding something that you're supposed to do.

I did find it ridiculously hilarious that these girls' wedding dresses were so poofy that some of them couldn't walk down the aisle next to their dads. There was the dad walking ahead and then the girl in her gigantic dress trying to shove her way past each pew. And those dresses also made for great father-daughter dances and first dances - holding your arms out because you can't get any close due to the size of the skirt? Wow.

I already watched all the episodes posted by TheCobraUK on youtube (as well as fifth episode from S2, Bride and Prejudice, which I watched elsewhere) but no one seems to have the special royal wedding episode posted anywhere yet. I guess I'll have to wait and see if TLC airs it.

I already had my mouth open in shock when I saw the bachelorette party outfits (described by the bride to be as "Spanish") but then I saw the mini stripper outfits worn by the tiny girls at the communion party and I was just speechless. I mean, what can I possibly say besides WTF?
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#13

larapu2000

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 9:48 PM

Wow, I can't wait to watch the UK shows on You Tube, and to watch this when it comes out. My sister and I are fascinated by the Roma/Gypsies/whatever name they decide they wish to go by this year, and there is an excellent book out there for anyone wanting to learn more about the culture in Europe called Bury Me Standing.

Those dresses look insane. As someone mentioned above, it's a very contradictory culture. There are gypsies with ridiculous amounts of money that you would swear were starving to death. They will buy huge homes and let multiple families move in and desecrate the place. They have a strict code of law, but encourage pickpocketing in some areas. They want to be isolated, and get irritated when governments try to make them adhere to requirements, like birth certificates and education, but then they would have no customers to sell their wares to without the outside community.
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#14

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Posted May 4, 2011 @ 9:51 PM

I already have an obsession with pictures of Irish Traveller weddings. And now there's a show? Hip Hip Hooray!!!! Is it only on you tube?
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#15

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 5:45 AM

I finally got to watch a few episodes and...wow. I would have never have guessed that these girls were only 14-18 years old. If they weren't so stupid*, I would have placed them in their 20s. Why are they so developed? Do they only eat genetically modified foods?

And I've never had a communion, but I thought they were supposed to look virginal. These little girls look like a cracked out Scarlett O'Hara.

*Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh. But I couldn't come up with a better word. Case in point: brushing your teeth, in your wedding dress, in a parking lot. Maybe they just have limited scope.

Edited by JCVinEden, May 5, 2011 @ 6:14 AM.

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#16

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 7:35 AM

The contrast between their clothing and their conservative attitudes is really jarring, I agree. I remember the sister of the guy who was marrying a non-gypsy who said it was shameful to swear in front of a man and she would never do that. They're extremely strict, scarily so. I bought the DVD from Amazon UK (without any thought to region codes, duh! Had to watch it on my laptop) and watched all the episodes the other day after seeing the first one on Youtube. Unfortunately, the first show (the special before the series) and the Royal Wedding special were not included :( They are making a Christmas special this year, per Wikiedia! I was wondering about their bodies mostly. Is it just their bloodline or what, because all these girls are all hips and boobs and I can't help but think that contributes to their views somehow. I don't know how, but somehow.

Edited by carried away, May 24, 2011 @ 4:37 PM.

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#17

JCVinEden

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Posted May 5, 2011 @ 7:48 AM

these girls are all hips and boobs

Maybe they've evolved that way to hold up the clothes. It is strange not to see a single petite girl in the bunch.

And, how dirty can a caravan possibly be that you need a housewife and multiple daughters cleaning it all day? Unless you live next to a coal mine or a limestone quarry, there simply isn't that much dust.

Edited by JCVinEden, May 5, 2011 @ 8:37 AM.

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#18

MissGoldie22

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Posted May 20, 2011 @ 11:28 PM

I find it really hard to believe these girls are virgins until they are married, you don't walk around like a stripper/prostitute and than act like you're all pure. It's so disturbing to see little girls dressing and dancing like strippers, what parent would let their kids do that? Also the whole "grabbing" thing was like watching someone get molested it was so gross, i'm sure when a camera is not around it goes a lot further and those Neanderthal "men" do a lot more than steal a kiss from those girls. It's obvious women are not respected in this community, you leave school at 11, you clean and take care of kids at home,dress up like a tart to catch the eye of some creep,get married to some pig, clean at your new place, have kids, maybe get smacked around a bit, clean some more. The only good thing I saw were some of the wedding dresses, i'm a total girly girl and I want a big poofy sparkly white dress with lace and all the works.
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#19

Massiekur

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Posted May 24, 2011 @ 1:36 PM

The Royal wedding episode has been posted.
http://www.youtube.c...feature=related
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#20

becky4201

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Posted May 24, 2011 @ 3:21 PM

I cannot wait for this show. Already have my DVR programmed. This whole culture just fascinates me.
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#21

rapunzelchick

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 12:56 PM

I cannot wait for this show. Already have my DVR programmed. This whole culture just fascinates me.


Me too! I had never heard of Travelers in Europe or America until the FX series The Riches (the demise of which I'm still bitter about). I'm sure that was not necessarily an accurate depiction, but I ended up going online to learn more about Travelers and was hooked. Absolutely fascinating indeed.
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#22

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 1:30 PM

find it really hard to believe these girls are virgins until they are married, you don't walk around like a stripper/prostitute and than act like you're all pure. It's so disturbing to see little girls dressing and dancing like strippers, what parent would let their kids do that?


Seeing how these girls aren't allowed to go anywhere alone or without permission I can believe it. I'm sure other parents in the community help reinforce those rules and will let parents of any 'wayward' girl know if they saw her behaving a way she shouldn't. I don't believe that hyper-sexualized clothes means hyper-sexualized behavior. Within their community it's almost like their clothes act like peacock feathers and it's all about catching attention.
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#23

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 4:37 PM

Seeing how these girls aren't allowed to go anywhere alone or without permission I can believe it. I'm sure other parents in the community help reinforce those rules and will let parents of any 'wayward' girl know if they saw her behaving a way she shouldn't.


Sounds like the Duggar way! It's got to be all about the control.
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#24

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Posted May 25, 2011 @ 6:05 PM

find it really hard to believe these girls are virgins until they are married, you don't walk around like a stripper/prostitute and than act like you're all pure. It's so disturbing to see little girls dressing and dancing like strippers, what parent would let their kids do that?


I'm sure not 100% are virgins--no matter how restrictive a community, some will always find a way to get it on--but I wouldn't be surprised if most are. The provocative clothing and dancing seem to be about showing the goods to attract a mate. They mostly dance with other girls, right, not with guys? And the guys watch them all dancing? It's a mating display!
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#25

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Posted May 26, 2011 @ 10:48 AM

My DVR is set for the series. I've seen them all on youtube but I'm excited to watch them on my TV. Something tells me the dresses will look even more ridiculous on an HD big screen, and I can't wait.
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#26

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Posted May 26, 2011 @ 12:47 PM

The Gypsies in the U.S. are Irish Travellers, I believe (most of the Gypsies I knew of in England were Irish Travellers too-- not Romani). And I was under the impression that they're even more closed off than the British Gypsies, so I'm hoping for some real cultural insight here and not a bunch of manufactured drama and fame-whoredom.


My girlfriend worked in the cafeteria of a large metropolitan hosiptal for a time and during her training, she was given special instructions on how to deal with Gypsy patrons. I guess these particular Gypsies liked to play the money con-game of "Let's Make Change". They would give the cashier a $50, ask for change, then ask again and again hoping to confuse the person behind the counter. They would also speak so fast and with such a heavy mumble, as if to come across like they don't understand what the cashier is saying. At times I guess there where bands of them that would walk around the hospital, checking the coin return of every pop machine and pay phone. No clue if these Travellers were at the hospital to actually see someone but my friend and her co-workers think they just went to the hospitals because they are easy to get lost in (nobody bothers you in a hospital) and lots of potential to make some money (purses left out on tables, close quarters like elevators to pick-pocket).

I can respect tradition and truly believe in "live and let live" but I guess I'll eat those words to say that this "community" is so ass-backwards and trashy. Am I alone in the feeling that this is one massive line of generation after generation of inbreeding? I have watched the show on Youtube and really, there are very few people featured that sound even remotely intelligent or pulled together. It's really quite creepy.

Edited by Cream Cheese, May 26, 2011 @ 12:48 PM.

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#27

MissGoldie22

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Posted May 29, 2011 @ 8:26 PM

This show seriously takes women's rights back like to the 1800's or something.
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#28

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Posted May 29, 2011 @ 9:10 PM

It's not just Gypsies who play "Let's make change". It was one of the first things retail places used to teach new hires.
I think that the apparent lack of intelligence is really a lack of formal schooling. My Grandma and her siblings sounded pretty much the same, they left school around the 5th or 6th grade.
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#29

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Posted May 29, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

I'm honestly just surprised they let this stuff be filmed.

I'm also shocked that travelers are ok with the "big fat gypsy" appellation. My elder relatives, mostly deceased now, were from traveler families in England and they got really offended over the term gypsy since they *weren't* gypsies.
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#30

tea4904

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Posted May 29, 2011 @ 9:31 PM

Can someone tell me how the travellers afford these weddings/first communions? While the men in tonight's episodes have jobs, they seem to be low paying ones. The wedding and first communion dresses must cost hundreds of english pounds, let alone the limos and parties. Do they have credit cards or bank accounts or is it a strictly cash society?

Edited for spelling/punctuation!

Edited by tea4904, May 29, 2011 @ 9:35 PM.

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