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Cielle Watjen-Brownon 18 May 2012
Transcript of Irish Travellers
From a letter to Channel 4, the producers of the show, one teenager states, “I am writing to you with the hope that you will stop ruining my life...I was confused when your ‘documentary’ about Irish Travelers seemed to feature an alien culture that even most Irish Travelers didn’t recognize...my 12 year old cousin was beat up on her way home from school by a gang of girls who were calling her a prostitute.”
The show is not making matters better for the already taunted and harassed community of Irish travelers. The program is depicting young girls dressed up in risque outfits, which can project the image that Irish travelers are trying to sexualize their children. In reality, he says, “...the only people who are sexualising our children are the viewers who watch them and think they are sexy.”
Irish traveler children dress up for special occasions, but can usually be found in velour track suits and homemade dresses, he says.
Irish travelers and gypsys are refereed to as the same thing, but in reality they are two very different groups. ecrets Misrepresentation by media The claddagh is the Irish marriage symbol with the heart symbolizing love, life's purest impulse, the hands of friendship clasped around the heart, coming together to nurture and protect. The crown is symbolic of loyalty, representing love's endurance throughout life.
More women than men, causes competition.
Marriages arranged by mothers as young as birth, but they are often broken off if they are arranged this early.
Even though they are arranged, there is usually approval from the couple.
Traveler men are usually 21 or older when they marry, but girls can be as young as 12 and averaged between 15 and 18, and are expected to be married by the age of 20.
As much as $200,000 in dowries from the bride's family to the groom's.
Marriage between 2nd cousins is allowed.
The dresses for an Irish traveller are expensive and extremely extravagant. Tiaras are worn by the bride, and the cakes can be up to 25 tiers.
All bride, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses have a "Vegas" look Priva e 'I have an Irish traveller background and this programme disgusts me. Yes we have a fondness for bling but this programme does not represent our culture as a whole.' Marriage Religion and Education Roman catholic, with a particular interest in healing.
There is a ‘Travelers code’ which dictates the moral codes they should live by.
54% of travellers have no higher than a primary school education. throughout history, there were traveller-only schools, with one teacher, regardless of the childrens ages.
It is hard for travellers to obtain a mainstream education, as they are highly discriminated against, which can affect their ability to get jobs and their motivation towards school.
There is also no presence of the irish traveller culture in schools, which can make the childern and their families feel unaccepted.
Many children lie about being Irish travellers, because they are afraid no one will want to be friends with them.
Many outsider children and teachers are ignorant to the ways of the traveller culture, therefore they are labeled as troublemakers and slobs, and are teased for being different. Daily Life Traveler children from age five are socialized to their future roles in the community.
Young girls learn to take care of younger siblings or cousins, clean the home, and manage money.
Young boys begin helping their fathers in their occupations at an early age, often traveling with the older men for long periods of time..
Residential units are usually composed of close family members. Grandparents, even when widowed, may maintain their own residence unless disabled. The grandparent whose health is poor will live with a daughter and her family.
The unmarried children continue to live with their parents until marrying.
The men are the masters of the house.
The woman’s job is to take care of her family’s needs.
Irish travelers have very strong morals regarding family.
Tight knit and keep to themselves.
May use trailers or motels or furnished apartments, depending on how many and who of the family is on the road, length of stay, and personal preference.
Use to use covered wagons and tents before WWII Hardships Because they keep to themselves and don’t stay in one pace for long, there is much prejudice towards their community.
Excluded from Irish commmunity, viewed as people who will move into a community and destroy it.
Thought to be always moving because they are running from the law, up to no good.
Irish travellers can be referred to as “Tinkers”, “Knackers” or “Didicoy”. More derogatory terms include “Pikey” or “Gypo”.
Average lifespan is 25 years younger than normal Irish individuals.
One third of Irish travellers live without access to basic facilities of sanitation, water and electricity.
Many traveler children barely leave the area they live in Where did they come from? Where are they now? A very controversial topic, the Great Famine(caused by a potato disease) or Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland made possibly made them homeless.
The travellers left no written documents on how they came about.
22,369 live in Ireland today, making up .5% of the population. 50% of Irish travellers in Ireland are between the ages of 0 and 17.
Between 15,000 and 300,000 live in Great Britain
There are groups of Irish travellers in Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas, but they are so secretive there is no estimate on how many there are(probably between 10,000 and 40,000)
Came to America during the Great Famine
Speak English and Cant