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Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Reveal 12-18 feb2011

Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Reveal 12-18 feb2011

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Published by Julie Thrasher
Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Reveal 12-18 Feb 2011 Article.
Article giving reaction of Gypsies to their representation in the programme.
Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Reveal 12-18 Feb 2011 Article.
Article giving reaction of Gypsies to their representation in the programme.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Julie Thrasher on Mar 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/02/2011

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'4.\(rEa}-f, l.'a D. {.{a/'itr''{*-r i
iil,r'
1 WE'I
weillos
ll
usl
TVI
Big
FatGypsyWeddings
hisenthralled
the
nation,
butthe
realityofTraveller
Iife
has
been
hidden
under
those
giant
pinkdresses,
says
Caroline*
henCaroline
(not
her
real
name)went
to
her
local
priest
recently
to arrange
her
son's
First
HolyCommunion,
she was
turned
away.
And
she
soon worked
out
why.
Since
the
TV
documentary
series
Brg Fot
G
ypsy
Weddings
began
on C4 last
month,
shebelieves the Traveller
community
has been
tainted
-
a
viewshared,
she says,
by many other
Travellers.ln
orderto
speak
out,
Caroline
has
insisted on beinganonymous,for fear
of
reprisals from
familiesfeatured
in
the show.
'lt's
mad, but
just
saying these
things
couldgetme
killedi
says
Caroline,
who
is
in
her
30s.
'lf
I
were
identified, l'd
have
to
gointo
hiding
with
my
children.
Disrespectingpeople
in
thecommunity
endsinbigfist
fights.
'You'renot allowed to
criticise
another fumily.
They
would
say:
"Who
are
youto
contradict
meand
myfamily?"'
Atfirst,
the
mum-of-seven
was
Christine Bleakley
sentuptheshow
on
Daybreak
a
TV
series
about
her
community.
She says:
'lthought
it
was
goodthat
people
would
be
made aware
ofTravellers. We
suffer
a
lot
of
discrimination.
You'realways
scared
that
the neighbours
willfind
out whoyou
are
and
the
kids
willget
bullied.
'Wecan't even book
wedding
receptionsunder
our
real
names.
lfthe
venue finds out,they cancel.
Justbecause
one lot ofTravellerstrashed somewhere,everyone
else
has
to suffer.'
Now,
though,
shefeels
the
show
has
been
an
embarrassment
for
Travellers.'Millions
have
watched
it, but
all
anyone
is
talkingabout
are
the
dresses.
We're
a
laughingstock,'she
says.
'WhenChristine
Bleakley wore
a
bigpink
wedding
dress
on Doybreok, it
was
veryinsulting.
You
wouldn't
dare laugh
atan
lndian woman
in
a
sari.'Lots
of
Travellers
phoned
up
the
programmeto
say
that wearen't
like
that.
But it's
too
late.'Theyhaven'tshown
theweddings
and
Communions
where
Travellers
wear normaldresses.
Even
theshow's name
is
wrong.
Most
of
thefamilies onthe show
are
lrish Travellers,
not
gypsies.
Gypsiesare
Englishl
Carolinewishes the
show
had
shown the harsher side
of
Traveller
life.
t'
Her
own
life
has been far
from
easy.One
of
10
siblings,
she
wasborn in London.
She
has
an lrishaccent, but
has
never
been
to
lreland and
has
always livedin
a
house.'lt's rubbishthat
wechoose
to
live
in houses
-Travellers
can'tget
on
tothesitesany more and
are
forcedto
live in
houses.
Therearen'tenoughpitchesand councils
refuse
to
make new ones.
I
used
to
dress
for
First
Communion,
itwas
a
hand-me-down
or
borrowed.'l
didn't
agree
with
thefamily onthe showwhodid the
Communion
service when
the little
girl
was
six
-
she was far
too
young.
Letting
her
get
a
spray tan
was
disgusting,
too.And
she
shouldn't
have
beenshown
on TV
in her knickers.'
Like
many
of
thegirls
on
the
show, Caroline left school aged
13
to
help her
mother
raise
her
siblings,
and
at
17
she
married
a
fellow
Traveller. She
has
suffereddomestic violence and
has
spenttime
in
women's refuges.
'l
didn't
wantto stay
in
school,
I
just
wanted toget
married
likeall
theother
girls.
My
wedding
dresswas big and
white, but
not
as
big
as
the ones
in
the show. Only
girlswho
had run
awaywith
a
bloke
didn't
wear
a
white
dress.
'l've
been
through
hell.
I
can't
go
travelling about
in
the
summer
fit
literacy
classes in
around
with
the children,
just
togive
them
cooking,
cleaning and caring
for
that
feeling of being
a
Traveller.'
the
kids. The
manof
the houseHer
own
First
Communion
is
not supposed
to
help,
which
is
was
nothing
like
the
elaborate
frustrating.
lf
you
say
something,exhibitions
shown
on
the
TV
it
causes
trouble.
l'm
trying to
show.'l
went
to
a
Catholic
school,
bring
my boys
up
to
be
morewhereyoulearnt
your
prayers
and
responsibleand considerate.recited them.
You
didn't
get
a
big
I
want
things
to change.'
Caroline feels
these
issues
were
loston
the show.
'ltt
allbeen
about laughing
at
us.
Many
Travellers are
very religious,
but
they've
just
shown kids
dancing
around in revealing clothes.
That
isn't Traveller
culture.
'Those
littlegirls
have
watchedtheir
older sisters dancing
to
Beyonc6.
A
lot
ofthe
party
clothes
have been copied from shows like
Strictly Come
Doncing, and
thewedding
dresses
fromJordan.
'ldon't think
the familiesrealised how it
would
come
across.
And
I
think
some
of
the Travellersexaggerated
things,
like
the
boywho claimedyou
can
drink from
the
age
of
I
1
.
I
bet
he
feels
silly
now.
Really,
they've
all been
exploited
by
the
cameras.'
Caroline
strongly
believes
the
show
will
only
cause
trouble
for
Britai
n's Travel
lers.'Social
services
aresure
to
be
talking
to some
of
thefamilies
featured.
lt's made
it
harder for
the
rest of us.
Everyone
is
talking aboutTravellers now
-
but
for
all
the wrong reasons.'El
@"
read
and
write
properly.
l
can't
K,
F,r
H"
\
.,t
t:t
H

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