My Big Fat Gypsy Non Wedding…………………
The wedding that never was.
When I was born im 1982 , I was born the youngest daughter of a traveller family. It was understood from an early age that I would pass from my fathers ownership into my husbands. Gypsy girls begin to dream of marriage early from thier first confirmation onwards. First confirmation happens at twelve and you begin to think about marriage. It is never considered by anybody that you have your owm identity, your father owns you and then your husband owns you.
My parents were married when my mother was sixteen and my father was eighteen. My mother bought a dowry to her marriage which is essentially a ‘bride price’. This could be anything from cash, a trailer, horses etc. Thier marriage was extremely unhappy , my mother was beaten daily, worked all day to give all her wages to my father. Never once did she have a choice. Gypsy marriages are semi-arranged and once your married in the church you can never go back or leave.
When I reached the age of fifteen a man was seriously talked about for my husband. I was terriefied of marriage as to be married signified slavery to me(and still does) and I did not then and do not now wish to be married. I ran away from the campsite and did not look back. I have no idea what the consequences were for my parents but I ran and ran and kept running. I spent five years abroad and came back, when I spoke to my parents my mother forgave me but my father did not. I can never go back to my community so I have to live independently(which is great really).
I could never get married unless I was assured it was an equal partnership.I would never accept a traditional marriage, also I have to fit in with a society that has always scorned us and our people. I treasure my freedom , I can do anything I want without permission.That to me is the meaning of true wealth.