This chapter proposes that begging is seen by its practitioners as a kind of work which requires the bodily training and attention.
I draw this conclusion I draw this conclusion from my observation and participation in begging activities carried out by a family of Romanian Gypsies in Northern Italy. Firstly, I will give an overview of Romanian Gypsy populations and their mobility to Italy. Then I shall introduce the people of my study, the Cortorari.
They hold a Gypsy Woman Dating Site view of personhood as enmeshed in kinship relationships. Persons live up to a moral code buttressed by idioms of shame and honour.
These values underwrite the realms of gender, clothing and economics. A specific dress together with a strict division by gender of the economic activities and certain behaviour towards money lie at the core of the morality of kinship.
When they go begging, Cortorari renounce their customary dress for worn-out blackish clothing, believed to be characteristic of a generic beggar. By so doing, they symbolically renounce their ethnic identity and almost all moral values embedded in it.
Cortorari make a qualitative difference between home and abroad: moral sentiments define the first and economic exchanges, the latter.
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