By Sandra Wallman
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Extra resources for Ethnicity at Work
There's not much to a Gorgio' s life- working Monday to Friday the same time in the morning to the same time in the evening. Then the man gets drunk on Saturday. He has sex once a week that night and a lie-in on Sunday. At the end of it all, the man's given a gold watch! Even short-term contract work on farms is resented: I like calling for scrap. aloes all day. I'd rather work for myself than a farmer or someone else. But this is as close as Gypsies come to wage-labour. The men of wealthier families dismiss farmwork as 'women's work' and relegate it to their wives (see Okely, 1975b, footnotes).
This caused as much dislocation of Jewish family businesses as did the wartime loss of personnel to the armed forces. The post-war years provided a much more favourable atmosphere for Jewish ambitions. There was rapid economic growth, and a climate of tolerance and goodwill which was itself a reaction to the Nazi holocaust. In the industrial sphere, the introduction of the five-day week widened the occupational opportunities for the Orthodox by making their sabbath a nonwork day across the country.
There is the story of a Gypsy who made a deal with the Devil: In those days Gypsies traded in salt- it used to be dear. The Devil gave this Gypsy a barrel rif salt which never emptied. One day it spilled over and filled the world. It's like that man who touched everything and it turned to gold. The moral of the story, I suppose, is, you must watch what you're getting. Follow through the deal. Think it out. The Devil is in essence the Gorgio. Deals with the devil Gorgio must be made with infinite caution.
Ethnicity at Work by Sandra Wallman