It is difficult to have much sympathy with someone so well dressed, kneeling in pathetic supplication on a padded, well-made bag. Was that your intention? How beautifully clean the streets are. How elegant the architecture. How impossibly civilized the atmosphere, and to think it is only possible because the climate has been stable for ten thousand years. It’s disturbing to speculate on what will happen now the Holocene Age has ended. The etymology of ‘dime’ is interesting, from Old French disme, from Latin decima pars, the ‘tenth part.’ The U.S.A use of the word for a ten-cent coin’ dates from the late 18th cent.
These beggars, mainly Romanian gypsies, are diving the opinions also here in Finland. Some of them are seemingly well-dressed, some are visibly poor. EU’s citizens’ freedom to travel within EU gives them the right to seek better living conditions, but the discussion about making begging illegal goes on. My point: visualizing the unequality, especially during the season of giving and good will (though that should not be limited to this time of the year only).
Ah, yes… Gypsies. I have great sympathy for most of them, especially for those from Eastern and Central Europe, they’ve been persecuted for centuries, and Romania is particularly corrupt. My comment is possibly unfair, because in effect they have been treated in a similar way to the indigenous people of all the colonialised countries – like vermin. And although they are semi nomadic by nature, they have as much right to live as those who want to build permanent dwellings. Perhaps they will fare better than us when the weather turns against us. I think we can only ban begging if there is a strong welfare safety net for everyone. Overpopulation, that’s what it boils down to.
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