Bling it

In the UK 'gypsy' is generally viewed as an offensive term. In Romania, it's used because Romanians don't want to be confused with the Roma. They make up a small percentage of the population and I am told they either acquire wealth through entrepreneurship or suffer grinding poverty, with little middle ground. Discrimination they suffer from regardless of wealth as riches are assumed to have been gained by corrupt means, even if that is a wildly incorrect view.

These gypsy homes on the outskirts of Hunedoara are an example of how gypsy communities are shunted to the edges of towns, reminiscent of South African townships. In between these elaborate designs there are very ramshackle brick and wooden homes, the poorest I have clocked so far in Romania, commonly seen with a pony and trap in front. This great variety of dwellings are mostly occupied by Romany gypsies.

One thing is clear: when there is money, these homes are blinged up to the max. A great example of how a minority tradition and celebration of a culture persists. It's almost like the Roma are chuckling at the rest of the town, when they have the multiple storeys and silver plated decoration to look out from, defying the condescending treatment they must receive. However not much cause for celebration in a brick hovel.

For lunch I had the largest slab of grilled pork neck that I could imagine. Hearty Romanian fare.

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