The Gypsy Fair has come to our little country town. A few steps from the car and a spell is cast as the small park area is transformed. Ornately painted trucks and buses liven up the otherwise cool day in Southland, like banks of colourful wildflowers. Wondering through the various handcraft stalls that are tended by women in flowing dresses and dangling jewellery, you find perfect handcrafted wooden toys, the candy floss maker weaving his webs of sugar on a stick. Listen to the jingle in the air that is carried on the wind by the wind chimes sculpted from recycled knives, forks and spoons. Miniture windmills whirl and twerl on the fresh breeze and fire magic is performed with a rod of molten glass, the consistency of golden syrup, as the blower creates the perfect glass ladybug. There is a certain magic in the air as an invisible web of childhood joy sails through the park. Squeels of laughter and delight from children everywhere with huge smiles as they tussle with sticky candy floss on a stick. Silent onlookers are drawn into the rhythm of the flute and the guitar as the singer pours his heart out to the crowed. In a booth in the corner inquisitive souls learn the secrets of their lives in the palm of their hand. Taste buds are tantelized by the smell of the fresh aroma of coffee and fries wafting past. Another busy day in Southland for these wondering nomads.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 April 2011
Featured 20th April 2011
The Gypsy Fair
Gypsies or Gipsies (from Egypt, because of an inaccurate idea that Gypsies came from a so-called Little Egypt), a traditionally nomadic people with particular folkways and a unique language, found on every continent; they often refer to themselves as Roma. Their language, called Romany, belongs to the Indo-Iranian family and is closely related to the languages of NW India. Their blood groupings have been found to coincide with those of S Himalayan tribes, and genetic mutations they possess are otherwise found only among Indians and Pakistanis. Gypsies worldwide are estimated to number between 10 and 12 million. In the course of their wanderings, Gypsies have occasionally mixed with non-Gypsy neighbors and have sometimes settled down, but they have clung tenaciously to their identity and customs. Their physical type has remained largely unaltered; most Gypsies are dark-complexioned, short, and lightly built. Their bands are still ruled by elders. Gypsies have usually adopted the religion of their country of residence; probably the greater number are Roman Catholic or Orthodox Eastern Christian. It is believed that they came originally from NW India, which they left for Persia in the 1st millennium Probably during their sojourn in Persia, they became divided into three main tribal divisions: the Gitanos, the Kalderash, and the Manush. Later they moved northward and westward, and are recorded as first appearing in Western Europe in the 15th cent. Alternately welcomed and persecuted by civil and religious authorities, they moved from country to country until they had spread to every part of Europe by the beginning of the 16th cent. They arrived in North America in the late 1800s.
In modern times, and especially since the beginning of the 20th cent., various nations have attempted to end their nomadic lifestyle by requiring them to register and to go to school and learn trades. Some 500,000 perished in gas chambers and concentration camps during World War II. In 1956 the Soviet Union decreed that the last wandering Gypsy bands in that country be gradually settled in places of their choice. The countries of E Europe, where the great majority of Gypsies live, adopted similar measures under Communist rule, and most Gypsies eventually found economic and social protection, if not full acceptance. However, following the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, persecution of the Gypsies arose once more in E Europe, and by the early 21st cent. most faced increased discrimination and lived in poverty. In 2005 eight E European countries and the World Bank backed a ten-year program intended to improve the Gypsies’ socioeconomic status.
Information on Gypsies from: http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encycloped...
The Candy Man
Candy Floss Joy