In the Year 2000:
Gypsies are everywhere in Romania. Maria here is one of the selling gypsies who, in every season, walk through our village singing "Pots For Sale!" She's from the county Salaj.
Going price for a pot: enough walnuts to fill it twice.
There are several classes of gypsy, even within Roma (as they like to call themselves) society.
One of the more affluent groups, and the ones who can travel to the West, are the musicians. Here the Mera Gypsy Band plays for the MaraMusical Festival in Botiza. We knew of them because they'd been to America.
Also affluent are those who sell fine products like rugs and who live in houses.
And as everywhere, there is bias in favor of lighter skin.
It took us a while to feel comfortable, as they don't have the same personal space we're used to.
But we finally plucked up the nerve to stop in Roma villages and talk with them. In Romania, depending on which region, they speak Romanian, Hungarian, as well as their native language (Roma).
It was worth it. Or perhaps you could say it cost us -- we ended up buying skirts.
We encountered these gypsies in the Szekely region and it's amazing how similar their skirts are to the Hungarian skirts in the Kalotaszeg region.
Gypsies know where the selling is. Here they've come to the Sighisoara Medieval Festival to peddle their wares where they know westerners will frequent.
An old Hungarian woven shirt for sale at the Medieval Festival.
Poorer Gypsies migrate with covered wagons. These gypsies have things to sell, but are just as likely to make their living by begging.
The children start young, pan handling tourists.
After we feed them, they look happier.
But on the street, it can be a grim scene.
Gypsies camping at the Moisei Saint Mary's Pilgrimage.
Gypsies selling mushrooms by the side of the road.
Roma wait in line at McDonalds.
The staff is happy to let them order, but won't let them sit at the tables.
Perhaps because of this discrimination, many of the newer generation of Roma do not dress in traditional clothes.
Or perhaps they just like the MTV fashions.
Some gypsy kids try to make money washing windows.
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