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Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer

Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer

Dec 1st, 2018, 11:19 PM
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
@ menachem: I have no doubt that what you say about Bali is true. I don't believe I said anything that could be construed as suggesting that the Balinese -- or any other people -- reveal themselves fully to anyone, tourist or otherwise. So, for example, I wasn't at all surprised to be prohibited from visiting many sacred parts of Pura Bekasih or to find that certain temples in Ubud were closed to tourists during certain ceremonies. I also know that I had no expectation of being asked to join a Balinese celebration being held for a Brahman prior to cremation, and indeed, my desire to avoid intruding was sufficient to prevent me from doing more than stepping inside the compound to show my respect and my appreciation for the invitation. I also know that there are marked cultural differences in who is welcome to what. For example, while Easter is among the holiest of dates in the Christian calendar, I'm sure you know that people from all over the world, and of all faiths (or lack thereof) head to Spain for Semanta Santa and are made to feel welcome, even if not introduced to the most holy of sacraments. Corpus Christi is a major pilgrimage in Cuzco, and tourists are welcomed to join in the public festivities, even if not invited to join in the processions. Rightly or wrongly, the gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer is mentioned in MANY guidebooks and on-line resources as a "don't miss" event. I asked for information about that event, and am glad that StCirg was kind enough to provide a reply that was sufficiently responsive to allow me to know I would not want to intrude on that event. Simply telling me that "it wasn't for me" -- particularly when you know nothing about me -- told me absolutely nothing except that you had no desire to provide useful information. Bringing Bali into the discussion, and then lecturing me about it, hasn't led me to a different conclusion. To paraphrase, there's a person behind the fašade accessible through a question on Fodor's, and that person could be far different than you assume.
Not lecturing, just pointing out. It also interests me, why you choose to respond to me at length, claiming/justifying/arguing that it is ok for you to attend such ceremonies. Tourism is not a right. Attending people's ceremonies is not a right.

Would you barge into a synagogue right in the middle of services on Yom Kipur and start to take photographs, videos, what have you? Of course not. The same principle operates here. It's a religious service from beginning to end and Gadjos have no place there. That it takes place in the open air makes no difference. Myself, I'm mightily interested in the entire ceremony also because it correlates so closely to similar ceremonies in India (the image of Sarah is called "Kali", the "Black One" etc ). But I also know enough of Roma and Sinti culture not to encroach (ritual purity and contamination by "outsiders" are important aspects to this)

All that being said: it really surprises me how you react to this. A simple "no, it's not for you" is unacceptable, apparently.
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Dec 1st, 2018, 11:31 PM
  #22  
kja
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@ menachem: I do NOT assume it's my right -- that's why I asked. When you said "not for me," I had no way of knowing WHY you said that -- because I'm from the U.S.? Female? A solo traveler? Someone who isn't fluent in French? (All things you could easily have learned by checking some of my trip reports.) Simply to be contrarian? (which is not unheard of on Fodor's.) You chose not to provide the cultural context that would have allowed me to understand. And it seems to me that you are also responding at length, for no apparent reason other than to preach. JMO. I didn't know that this particular festival was considered a deeply religious event by a group that does not welcome outsiders -- but even if I had known its religious significance, the other examples I provided show why I wouldn't necessarily assume that outsiders were unwelcome. You chose not to provide that information. It would have been useful -- as evidenced by my response to StCirq, who did respond. Your assumption that I assume that tourists have the right to do whatever they please is, frankly, insulting and unnecessary. You might take a bit of your own advice to look beyond assumptions.

Last edited by kja; Dec 1st, 2018 at 11:41 PM.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 04:38 AM
  #23  
 
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I guess The Guardian is completely insensitive, since they seem to consider it a fun event for tourists.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...tival-camargue
kerouac is online now  
Dec 2nd, 2018, 05:24 AM
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
I guess The Guardian is completely insensitive, since they seem to consider it a fun event for tourists.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...tival-camargue
It also misspells the Camargue, multiple times.
Nonconformist is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2018, 05:29 AM
  #25  
 
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But not in the title at least.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 05:39 AM
  #26  
 
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It is the Graudian after all
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2018, 09:22 AM
  #27  
 
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menachem: >>All that being said: it really surprises me how you react to this. A simple "no, it's not for you" is unacceptable, apparently.<<

I think you are totally out of line here. You have provided lots of good info but you initial response was absolutely (100%) useless. Why you think it isn't 'for you' would have helped. Just 'it ain't for you' could be reasoned, sarcastic, trolling or who knows what.

>>why you choose to respond to me at length, claiming/justifying/arguing<<. You are also responding at length and arguing, are you not?? kja has clearly explained her experience, and has accepted reasoning from StCirq (and you even) so no reason to be in attack mode.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 09:52 AM
  #28  
 
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Gosh, it didn't need to be so difficult. It was a reasonable question from a reasonable traveler with a reasonable outlook on how she might behave in a particular situation, one that isn't an every-day one. I tried to give reasonable answers. I'm not sure I agree with the Guardian that it's a fun event for tourists, but neither is it something to be shunned. I hope she goes and at least gets a glimpse of it.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 10:10 AM
  #29  
 
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I agree with St Cirq. Go to see the black Madonna and if seems ok to be around the festivities, stay. One thing about traveling solo is you can be innocuous. Unnoticeable. Even if you do not see the procession it sounds like there will be good music. If the energy is not right, you will know.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 10:14 AM
  #30  
 
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Last edited by xcountry; Dec 2nd, 2018 at 10:26 AM.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 11:45 AM
  #31  
kja
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Many thanks to kerouac for posting the kind of report I’d been reading that made the event sound like a fun and festive occasion; to janisj, StCirq and rialtogrl for their support and encouragement; and xcountry for the laugh.
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