Georgia (Europe) / Places We Go

Gypsy Begging Techniques At Work In Tbilisi, Georgia

I’ve observed gypsies engaged in some pretty ignoble behaviors, such as stealing donations in Berlin from a memorial dedicated to those killed attempting to cross the Berlin Wall. However, despite these prior observations, some of the extortion begging techniques of the gypsies in Tbilisi, Georgia still raised my eyebrows.

The picture below demonstrates one popular method:

abandoned gypsy baby

A gypsy mother will abandon her baby on the sidewalk for the day with a bowl next to him or her. Passers-by are expected to feel sorry for the baby and leave some coins for them in the bowl. However, there is nothing stopping any of these passers-by from snatching up the baby and making off with it. And there is nothing stopping the baby from crawling out into the street. And there is nothing protecting the baby from the elements. Or more practically – there is nothing stopping anyone from taking the baby’s coins either… Get the idea?

Another technique I observed, that was quite effective, starts when the baby is a few years older. The children, dressed in rags, will pick out a target and will hurl themselves at the person’s leg (or legs) and wrap themselves tightly around the target’s body with both their arms and legs. This will be accompanied by intense wailing, which maximizes the attention brought to bear on the scene. Simply to get out of an awkward situation, the victim will frequently relent and hand over some coins to be rid of the nuisance. This technique seemed to be particularly effective with men out on a date. The men don’t want to appear callous and cold by kicking a wailing child off of their leg and in every instance I observed, the men would immediately hand over money to the children.

The gypsies can be quite resourceful, no?

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7 thoughts on “Gypsy Begging Techniques At Work In Tbilisi, Georgia

  1. yes, I lived in Georgia as a Peace Corps Volunteer and the babies in the street were a common sight. However, the mothers were generally nearby, keeping an eye on either the baby or how much the baby was able to collect (I was never sure).

  2. You should better think about why “the gypsies” have to beg, as they are marginalized and discriminated everywhere in Europe. With your racist comments you make the situation worse, spreading non-reflected comments throughout the internet – all you do is reproduce racist stereotypes.

    • Oh, fuck off… You know perfectly well that I am not referring to ALL gypsies, but to the minority that engage in the types of techniques that I described above. And those techniques are interesting.

      I’m not sure exactly what a “non-reflected” comment is, but I am simply relaying what I have seen. Should I pretend I did not see these things in order to make sensitive individuals such as yourself happy?

      Also, racist? What “race” are gypsies? They have blonde hair and blue eyes in Ireland. Wouldn’t you say it is more of a culture than a race?

      Your “non-reflected” assumptions about me are completely off. I do not have a problem with gypsies. I find their culture fascinating and have a lot of respect for their resiliency.

      Go shop your phony, pious outrage elsewhere and stop taking yourself so seriously.

    • Yes,
      I totally agree, Since they are so looked down upon……it makes it kind of hard for the men to get jobs, leaving the woman and children to have to beg more.

  3. The problem is, your stupid page is one of the first that comes if you type in “gypsies tbilisi” at google. So I really had to write something, normally I wouldn’t even respond to stuff like that.
    PLEASE think at least a little bit.
    Reading also helps :)

    • Uh-huh… And what exactly does the article you linked to demonstrate that
      has any relevance to the techniques that gypsies use when begging in
      Tbilisi? You seem to have forgotten that my brief post was simply relaying
      behavior that was directly observed and was, in fact, not an opinion piece
      or condemnation of gypsies.

      It isn’t exactly news that gypsies often have a tough time and are faced
      with unpleasant circumstances. Your article merely unnecessarily reminds us of that fact.

      But why should we cover our eyes and pretend that some do not engage in the
      behavior I described? I obviously didn’t make that up…

      I find it puzzling that you would choose to get so worked up over my having
      simply noted the tactics of the gypsies I observed in action in Tbilisi. As I mentioned previously, I respect their ingenuity and perseverance and find the culture to be quite interesting.

      I suppose that since you reside in a prosperous nation that you must enjoy the luxury of too much idle time… However, regardless of whether it is coming from the right or the left, it is distressing to encounter one such as yourself that is so swift to call for the censorship of truths that make you uncomfortable.

      Do you find it odd that I allow you to post anything you like on here? I don’t believe in crushing dissenting opinions or even personal attacks, Phio, which must stand as a novel concept to you.

      There is no way to protect the feelings of every person in a prosperous society without subverting the healthy functioning of that society.

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