Romani (gypsies) integration in Spain

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    Sep 19, 2011 9:36 PM GMT
    This article is a year old, but it's still a current issue in Spain. I was talking about this earlier with my parents while reminiscing about our old life in Spain. Most immigrants in the late '80s and early '90s were from Morocco, Philippines, and Ecuador. Eastern Europeans (particularly Romanians and Bulgarians) did not start migrating to Spain in massive numbers until after 2000. Romanians now outnumber Moroccans (an impressive feat they accomplished in just 10 years), which were formerly the largest immigrant group since the '80s. Now what to do with all the Romani from Central and Eastern Europe?

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2019316,00.html

    One thing this article fails to explain is that there's a pretty big difference between native Spanish Romani (Gitanos) and recent Romani from Eastern Europe (Roma). Gitanos have lived in Spain for centuries, and so most are pretty well integrated into Spanish society. Obviously they've largely impacted Spanish culture through the arts such as dance and music, particularly flamenco and other Andalusian folk dances. These are the 'gypsies' Spaniards seem to tolerate. The Roma of Eastern Europe are a different story since many of them lived in isolated communities in terrible condition in their home countries. It's bad enough their countries didn't want them, yet Spain doesn't want them either. They have been the brunt of much xenophobia in Spain and other EU countries lately.

    It's interesting how we talk about discrimination of various groups of people. While many parts of the world have made some progress on their attitude towards Jews and blacks, nobody in the world (seriously, NOBODY) wants gypsies in their country. It's pretty unfortunate that urban, sedentary societies feel threatened by them. Actually, I don't think their mobility or isolation are even the problem (or at least not the main problem). Some of their traditions and rituals are illegal in many countries, particularly those of courtship and marriage. Many Romani groups tend to marry as minors, and bridenapping is commonplace. Men in Romani communities have absolute power over women, and unfortunately most women just accept it as that's the way it is.

    Note: Most Romanian immigrants in Spain are not ethnic Roma. However, the vast majority of Roma in Spain are from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czech Republic.
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:22 AM GMT
    pocketnico saidWhile many parts of the world have made some progress on their attitude towards Jews and blacks, nobody in the world (seriously, NOBODY) wants gypsies in their country. It's pretty unfortunate that urban, sedentary societies feel threatened by them. Actually, I don't think their mobility or isolation are even the problem (or at least not the main problem). Some of their traditions and rituals are illegal in many countries, particularly those of courtship and marriage. Many Romani groups tend to marry as minors, and bridenapping is commonplace. Men in Romani communities have absolute power over women, and unfortunately most women just accept it as that's the way it is.





    I agree that the discrimination is unfortunate. But I also agree that some of the cultural practices don't help either. I'm not sure how it is in Spain and the rest of Europe, but Gypsies are often a retailer's worst nightmare here in the states. They are talented, organized and completely fearless. When you see a bunch of the women walk in, you know you're going to have bad inventory. The older ones with the big skirts that don't speak English well load up while the younger ones fan out and distract the staff. They even have special pouches under the skirts to stuff their loot.
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:28 AM GMT
    More than anything these immigrants must be frustrating to Gitanos because they have nothing to do with gypsies from other parts of Europe.

    It's also really frustrating to Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants who aren't ethnic Roma because many Spaniards are quick to accuse all of them of being gypsies.
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:35 AM GMT
    When I was a kid in Cádiz, I remember there were plenty of Gitanos in the city. Many of them owned and operated bars and flamenco clubs. Others were street vendors who usually sold very nice stuff like flamenco costumes, guitars, castanets, fans, and jewelry. I don't remember any of them being threatening at the time. But I suppose things have changed with the recent wave of immigrants.
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said The older ones with the big skirts that don't speak English well load up while the younger ones fan out and distract the staff. They even have special pouches under the skirts to stuff their loot.



    Maybe you have explored this already but places like TJ Max and Marshall's require that a person check the number of clothing items before they enter into the changing room. They are given a number such as "5" on a larger plastic card that they must return and then return the same number of clothes when they exit the changing room. The check in person is a bit overwhelmed as they are always counting clothing times as people enter and exit the changing rooms.

    Just a thought?


    That's not how they work. They prefer hitting smaller stores that may not have cameras. They do not usually use fitting rooms. The younger ones engage the staff while the older ones very quickly drop stuff into the pouch hanging between their legs.

    This video shows something very similar to the technique they use here. Though they rarely work with men, normally only other women. When they do work with men, the man usually enters seperately and comes to the counter for a difficult return usually stolen merchandise without a receipt. Sometimes if it's only one associate he'll politely take a gift card for the sale price of the item. If there are a lot of associates present, he'll often demand cash and throw a tantrum to draw everyone's eyes to him while the women work.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5f0_1258756533
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:53 AM GMT
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said The older ones with the big skirts that don't speak English well load up while the younger ones fan out and distract the staff. They even have special pouches under the skirts to stuff their loot.



    Maybe you have explored this already but places like TJ Max and Marshall's require that a person check the number of clothing items before they enter into the changing room. They are given a number such as "5" on a larger plastic card that they must return and then return the same number of clothes when they exit the changing room. The check in person is a bit overwhelmed as they are always counting clothing times as people enter and exit the changing rooms.

    Just a thought?


    That's not how they work. They prefer hitting smaller stores that may not have cameras. They do not usually use fitting rooms. The younger ones engage the staff while the older ones very quickly drop stuff into the pouch hanging between their legs.

    This video shows something very similar to the technique they use here. Though they rarely work with men, normally only other women. When they do work with men, the man usually enters seperately and comes to the counter for a difficult return usually stolen merchandise without a receipt. Sometimes if it's only one associate he'll politely take a gift card for the sale price of the item. If there are a lot of associates present, he'll often demand cash and throw a tantrum to draw everyone's eyes to him while the women work.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5f0_1258756533


    Oh my! Just a few weeks I read on El País how a number of Latin American immigrants (particularly Amerindians from Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador) have been engaging in the same style of 'gypsy thieving' to sell stuff at outdoor markers for much cheaper.
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    Sep 20, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    pocketnico saidhttp://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5f0_1258756533


    Oh my! Just a few weeks I read on El País how a number of Latin American immigrants (particularly Amerindians from Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador) have been engaging in the same style of 'gypsy thieving' to sell stuff at outdoor markers for much cheaper.

    Not sure what their exact mechanism of turnaround normally is, but selling it on e-bay is often a prefered method for other shoplifting rings.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:01 AM GMT
    The_Guerrilla_Sodomite said
    pocketnico saidhttp://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5f0_1258756533


    Oh my! Just a few weeks I read on El País how a number of Latin American immigrants (particularly Amerindians from Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador) have been engaging in the same style of 'gypsy thieving' to sell stuff at outdoor markers for much cheaper.

    Not sure what their exact mechanism of turnaround normally is, but selling it on e-bay is often a prefered method for other shoplifting rings.


    Uh well, Amerindians tend to be the poorest and least educated groups in Latin America. I imagine many of them don't have access to a computer or aren't literate enough to use one. Many of them can't even speak Spanish.
  • str8hardbody9

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    Sep 20, 2011 1:07 AM GMT
    I noticed when I went to London & Berlin for 3 weeks vacation there are so many Gypsies mostly from Romania & Bulgaria. I went to Piccadilly Square & Oxford St there are tons of Gypsies begging for money mostly older women. I went to Starbucks & had coffee and I noticed this young men approaching my table and begging for money. I said NO and he say some words in their language as if he was so mad. He got two newspapers on his hand and begging for money. All of sudden he was stealing my new Iphone 4. The lady next to me said oh he stole your cell phone. I run after him and he was so fast. I did not realized that he was stealing my phone. I was so furious because it was my first day in London the rest of my trip I have no cell phone. I'm glad he did not steal my wallet or else my vacation will be ruined.
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    The one thing I'll give Romanian and Bulgarian gypsies credit for is that they learn Spanish quite easily, unlike the British expats! God, there are so many Brits who've lived in Spain for decades and CANNOT speak a single word of Spanish! Yet quite a few Romanians can become fluent in a couple of months (although granted Romanian is a Romance language like Spanish while English isn't).
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    Sep 20, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    There is one reason people started taking the Jewish people seriously: Israel.

    Once you have your own patch of dirt, things start getting better.

    You can do things like develop nukes, stand an army, develop culture and a sense of place.

    Perhaps the Romani people should travel work towards that.

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    Sep 20, 2011 1:19 AM GMT
    Inostrankan saidThere is one reason people started taking the Jewish people seriously: Israel.

    Once you have your own patch of dirt, things start getting better.

    You can do things like develop nukes, stand an army, develop culture and a sense of place.

    Perhaps the Romani people should travel work towards that.



    That's never going to happen because there isn't a single, uniform Romani culture in any one geographical location. Even though though migrated from India during the Middle Ages, they adopted the languages and religions of wherever they settled. So all the Romani groups are culturally and linguistically different from each other. At least the Jews were bound together by Judaism and the revival of Hebrew.