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Hidden World of Girls: Turn on your radios now!

April 30, 2010

I love NPR–I love listening to it in the shower, on the train, and cleaning around the house. I love that, for the most part, NPR is not biased (maybe a little left-leaning)–and I know this is true, because I even got my libertarian boyfriend hooked. Anywho, NPR is more than just news. They have wonderful shows (like This American Life, Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me! & Car Talk), and have started this new segment on NPR Morning Edition called the Hidden World of Girls from the Kitchen Sisters.

The first segment was on NPR this morning called “Travellers” is about Irish gypsy girls. I’ve always had this mythical idea of travellers (or “gypsies”) having a negative connotation. But as the young women featured tell their stories, they are so much more than myths. To give you a little “peek” into this first episode, the Kitchen Sisters tells us about this first episode:

Travellers, sometimes called the gypsies of Ireland, the people of walking. They speak of non-travellers as “the settled people.” Mistrusted for the most part and not well-understood. Nomads, moving in caravans, living in encampments on the side of the road. They are the breeders and traders of some of Ireland’s best horses. And their tradition as “tinkers” or tinsmiths goes back hundreds of years. As times change in Ireland, and the notions of private and public space change and contract, the culture no longer accepts the Travellers on public and private lands and has begun to create “halts” where they can settle. Helen Connors lives in Hazel Hill, a new government experiment in Traveller housing on the lower slopes of Dublin Mountain, with her husband and 2 children. She is 21. She left school at 11 because the teachers said there was no reason to waste time teaching Helen and the other Traveller girls because they marry young, have a lot of babies. She says she never really learned to read in school. Girls are raised to dream of wedding days and dresses, some with 50 foot trains and an identically dressed mini bride as part of the procession. Their weddings are usually brokered by their fathers, with large dowries expected from the bride to the family of the groom. We visit a settled woman and her daughter who design elaborate Traveller wedding gowns. We travel to Cahirmee Horse Fair in County Cork where young girls with long hair spilling parade and marriages are made. We listen to these young women, their stories and music and explore some of the ancient and modern Traveller rituals clinging on the edge of the Celtic Boom.

Listen to the first episode of the Hidden World of Girls here. We can’t wait for the others!

If you want to share your own story for the Hidden World of Girls segment, click here.

3 Comments
  1. Erik permalink
    April 30, 2010 11:49 am

    I can’t even begin to express in words my love of NPR. If there’s a better produced program then Radiolab in all of history, I have not yet found it. For a really cool science perspective on sex and why men even exist, the Sperm episode of Radiolab is a must listen. Seriously. For example, did you know that ducks only have sex by raping? But female ducks have vaginas with all sorts of twists and turns and dead ends – so if they don’t like the duck that’s raping them, they can direct the sperm down one of the ‘trick’ canals. Pretty cool (evolution-wise, not the rape thing so much).

    I’ve been loving the Hidden World of Girls series. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Priscilla Delaney or Doherty permalink
    June 11, 2010 6:54 am

    When is tis series on, or is ter a repeat?
    I’m a fellow tinker meself & am proud, non-travelers r actualy caled cuntry ppl, gorgers, buffers or colliers. Am 17 and a marred women n ave bin 4 jus ova a year & am expectin twins in oct n cannot wait, could sum1 reply to me telin ms when tis program is on pls
    god bless x priscilla delaney or marred name priscilla doherty xx

  3. June 26, 2010 4:57 am

    This is good blog message, I will keep this in mind. If you add more video and pictures because it helps understanding 🙂

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