Don’t Call Them Gypsies

A cart is packed as the Romani family leaves for their next stop. Lagos, Portugal

Romani life; cart, tent, horse and family

The life of a group of Gypsies looks hard, but very romantic.   We have been living a stone’s throw from three large tents with real Gypsies.  They have been camped in the field in back with their horses, carts and family.  We watch them, amazed that their life lived from the back of a horse cart, traveling from place to place, still exists in 2013.  And so close to the solidly middle class homes of Chinicato.

They are, to be correct, the Romani people and have lived in Portugal since the 2nd half of the 15th Century, there are 30,000 to 50,000 in the country.  These are the most hated people in Europe. I was amazed when I went to Google to see some sites on them; it goes way beyond “don’t let your daughters near them”.

This morning after picking up the day’s bread, we took a path by the soccer field that would lead us quite close to their camp.  We passed a group of blossoming trees filling the air with a wonderful scent.  Were they apple?  Cherry?  No, it was some kind of nut.   After looking one nut over carefully we realized it was an almond.  These trees are everywhere, blooming like crazy and we have been wondering what they were, mystery solved.

The citizen stops me and points through the bushes, a sheep with her lamb was less than 50 yards away hiding in the shrubs.  She was still breathing heavily and the baby couldn’t stand.  Mama was licking the lamb getting it to nurse and was clearly uneasy with our attention.  We worried about this newborn’s safety, what if one of the dogs that run freely around the neighborhood should come across it?  Where was its flock?

new mom

Just a few steps later, a Romani delegate was sent to check us out and ask for a Euro, we had spent all our money on bread and didn’t have a Euro on us and he went back to the family.  We watched as they packed their lives on their horse drawn carts and pointed their horses east to the next empty pasture.

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7 Responses to Don’t Call Them Gypsies

  1. Great story!

  2. Mrs. Keith Olbermann

    At least they didn’t try to give you back the “gold” ring you dropped!

  3. This is absolutely fascinating. How I envy you this adventure. Tell us more about the community and your new dwelling. carol

  4. Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include almost all important infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

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  6. Amore ora improvvisamente trovano scrivere lettere d’amore che forse meglio , almeno un po ‘ allettante è innamorato in passato , almeno una volta nel corso anima gemella Come un vecchio detto : non dura per sempre , solo cura di avere .

    (English translation by google: Love now suddenly find writing love letters that perhaps better, at least a little ‘love is attractive in the past, at least once during soulmate As an old saying: it does not last forever, only care to have.

  7. Merci, my Romani neighbors appear and vanish periodically. When their tents are set, horses grazing I watch from my terrace. They move in the modern world, but are not a part of it. I am amazed and enchanted at how firmly their cultural ties bind them to their past.

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