Ever since I saw the documentary on TLC called "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" I have been extremely curious and interested about the world of "Gypsies".( Actually I may be using the wrong term because "Gypsies" may be used as a derogatory towards the Travelling community or meaning the Romani people.) The "Gypsy" focus is on a community called the Irish Travellers who reside in England and Ireland. The program showcase the events in a Gypsy girl's life (first communions, birthdays, etc.) all the way up to the biggest one of them all, the wedding. Gypsies girls are trained and bred from a very young age that marriage and being a wife/house woman is their role in life. They are sent of to be wed at a very young age. Engagements start at the age of 14 and if you aren't married by 16 you are considered old in the Traveller's community. Up until a Gypsy girl's engagement she must go out a find a mate. Girls are not allowed to seek the men so males follow the courtship ritual called "grabbing", in which they literally grab the girls and try to get a kiss from them. Many viewers find the show outrageous with the skimpy outfits, underage marriages, extravagant weddings, and trailer parks.
Having seeing the show myself (and becoming somewhat addicted) I would have to agree with some of what the viewers say...but what I noticed was that this was the Traveler's way of life, a culture that they have been practicing for hundreds of years. What I think I got most out of this show besides learning about the Traveller's Community was that we shouldn't be to quick to judge and while we- rest of society may not agree with how they live their lives we have to learn be respectful.