A mix of old and new technology. Horse power on modern running gear. Photo by Peter van Beek. Click the image to view the photo album.
Peter van Beek has documented the difficult life of nomads in a modernizing Europe. Fear, stereotypes, and unfamiliarity dominate their way of life and place them into a partially self-imposed, marginalized portion of society. Although there is terrible poverty, he documents family life and survival of these remarkable people.
Simple shelter as used by our ancestors since the beginning of time.
It isn’t easy being a nomad in a modern technological world. There is easy place for this lifestyle.
The world has changed but many traditions have not.
There are certainly exceptions to nomadism. Many Romany cling to their traditions and morph them into a new lifestyle. All of our people have done this.
But it isn’t all oppressive poverty “By collecting and selling iron they get very rich and build their own village with huge palaces where they started living.” While settling down, the community keeps it’s own unique sense of style.
Hard work and some flexibility can make assimilation slightly easier.
Ethnic identity shows in this vernacular style.
Beautiful young women with a foot in both worlds.
“Many Kaldarash people (the coppersmiths) still wear colorful clothes, living in a beautiful traditional way. In some villages, time seems to stand still.”
From Peter van Beek’s website:
“The only nomadic gypsies in Europe live in Romania, the country that joined the European Union in 2007. Living a hard life in Romania these semi-nomadic people hold on to traditions and rituals. Amongst them are story-and fortunetellers, musicians and coppersmiths. Despite a law against nomadic life these gypsies still live in their harsh and remarkable way.”
Images found at Peter Van Beek Photography. Check out his beautiful work and consider buying his book about the Roma: