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We have all heard the term “gypsy” thrown around but no one really knows what it means.

Most of us conjure up the Disney version; a guarded, mysterious woman draped in layers of clothing with bangles adorning her body. First of all, let us deal with the biggest misnomer about gypsies—that there is only one genre and they all go by the same name.

Marrying outside of your tribe is considered blasphemy.

Modern day women are not really encouraged keep their chastity belts on anymore.

TLC’s hit show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” created a stir among viewers, due to the crazy, outlandish brides that graced the show.Young girls are expected to marry between the ages of 16 and 18, although some Roma are now saying that only 18 is an acceptable age. These marriages are generally arranged by the boy’s family, who look for a strong Roma girl to join their family.Tradition holds that a girl should have no more than four boyfriends beforehand, and she is encouraged to turn down suitors multiple times before eventually giving her OK. As with many close-knit religions and groups, it is very important that Romani marry other Romani.All we know are strewn facts from a reality show and bits of bits of typecasts that we have picked up along the way.The world fell in love with the idea of modern gypsies in part because of their secrets.The reality show based on Gypsies, “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”, suggested that this was common place.

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