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Underage Gypsy weddings in Russia

Kalderash Gypsies live without running water in their own settlements on the outskirts of villages, apart from their Russian neighbours. Although they speak Russian as well as Kalderash, they lead very different lives. Whom they marry, where they live, and their future jobs are determined for them at an early age. RTD goes looking for the secret that keeps their identity alive.

Find out what it’s like to be a modern teenager living by ancient rules in RTD’s documentary. Attend a Kalderash Gypsy wedding where the groom is twelve and the bride is bought with gold coins. Hear a young couple who had an arranged marriage a year ago describe how they felt about each other. While Cassandra, the wife, must put aside her dreams of becoming a nurse to do chores for her mother-in-law, her husband, Yasha, learns about computers and the rules of football in an attempt to break the ice with local Russian boys.

Related: Underage Gypsy weddings in Russia: the one tradition that’s not dying out.

RTD also follows specialists in Gypsy culture as they recreate the traditional singing and dancing that has made Russian Gypsies famous. They try to record Kalderash Gypsy songs that even the old ladies have forgotten. Yet, although their art is dying out, values and relationships still hold the Kalderash together.

Related: Fact and Fallacy: History, beliefs & culture of Russian Gypsies.