The truth behind My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

HAVING been drawn into the recent showing of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and like lots of others, I haven’t missed an episode.

This is partly do to being interested to see how the culture I grew up in was going to be portrayed and also to be taken back down memory lane if I’m honest.

Well, without wishing to pass judgement on anyone or to say who may be right or wrong in different circumstances to those I’m familiar with, I do have to say what a load of clap-trap!

There may be the odd element of truth here and there. Yes, we are a secretive bunch. We do keep our bargaining’ and buying private (mostly in case we want to re sell I believe) and life has been far from easy for many.

Fact is: People do pre-judge. Some travellers do cause havoc and mess. Meanwhile, others face prejudice and abuse for nothing more than the fact they want to live the only kind of life they know.


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The picture being painted on TV is not one I recognise from the gypsy lifestyle I know (and so said those I spoke to this week at a large family funeral) who have seen the extravagance, the gyrating young hips of mere children, and heaven forbid drinking and playing loud music in a cemetery? I’m sorry, but this would never happen for us. It would be seen as a very bad show of disrespect. Our dead are revered. But we just wouldn’t do it the same. Yet, others do have the right to choose their own way in their grief. Or in other things come to that. I can only say what I know from my own experience.

A little story, an instance, of how far from the truth it is from my memories and the strict way we were brought up in these things.

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When I was about 15 and wanting to go to a village dance with my friend it was a case of taking my skirt to school to change into later. But my enjoyment didn’t last long As my friend said ‘don’t look now but your mother is coming down the middle of the hall....’ And I was soon being dragged unceremoniously the full length of the place to be given a thrashing. Gyrating hips? I don’t think so.

Where are all the those people, backs broken dirty at the knees covered in fruit juice stains from a days (7am-7.30pm) strawberry picking? Or queuing for a bite to eat in the chippy with mud splattered togs and weather beaten brows after picking potatoes all day and slinging heavy baskets up into an old cart? Or trawling on their knees singling sugar beet in the full sun, up and down a 500 yard field of beet? The heat was unreal. But you couldn’t stop.

Oh, and we never saw a bit of lace. Not unless granny was selling it! I could write a book. And not a gypsy wedding in sight. Come on TV producers! Get into the real midst of gypsy life. Good or bad. Lets have something we all can relate to.

ROSIE MITCHELL

Via e-mail

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