Posted by susan on January 18, 2001 at 18:41:08:
In Reply to: Yeah. Fairly or not, Australia's rep for racial harmony is about level with Alabama's posted by Diarmuid on January 18, 2001 at 09:14:47:
I used to live near North Augusta, SC and I remember a group of people their who were labeled Irish Travellers. I had never heard of this group before. It seemed strange to me as a newcomer that a group of people would be singled out like this in a community. I guess it was easy though when you consider that they all lived in the same area and did not mix much with anyone else. They lived either in trailers(utter poverty) or great big expensive houses. I noted this because it was such a contrast. The trailers were on one side of the street and the big houses were on the other. All of the houses had a statue of Mary in the front yards. Both houses and trailer's windows were covered with tin foil. I did not undestand this practice (I guessed it may have had something to do with their religion? Offshoot of Catholic? If anyone can explain this I would greatly appreciate it) but in South Carolina something like that will be noticed.
The over all general feel towards this group was one of distrust. Whenever they would come up in local conversation people would emphasize that they were weird, gypsy like people who did not marry out of their circle and did odd jobs for a living. Also I remember hearing that they did not put their money in banks and that they were cheats. How biased is that? As I say I did not really meet anyone who called themselves a traveller and all of this information except what I observed myself is hearsay. I did not have anything against them myself. I just observed that other people did. I was just curious about their culture and background. I wondered mainly what the tin foil was for. I myself am of Irish/Welsh decent....
It was really interesting when I read your post that travellers are disliked in Ireland. I thought it was just racist SC.
I had not thought about them in years. I live in another part of SC which is more urban and not so racist now.
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