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Gypsy wife becomes world’s youngest grandmother… at 23


This story is, is… I don’t know what to say just yet.  From The Daily Mail…

  • She gave birth at 12 to daughter who fell pregnant at 11
  • She says marrying young is ‘tradition’ in Romanian gypsy circles
  • A gypsy wife has become the world’s youngest grandmother – aged just 23. Rifca Stanescu, from the village of Investi, Romania, told how she gave birth to her daughter, Maria, while only 12. Rifca Stanescu, from the village of Investi, Romania, told how she gave birth to her daughter, Maria, while only 12.

    Rifca, now 25, told the Sun: ‘I am happy to be a grandmother but I wished something else for Maria – and something else for me.  That’s a revealingly sad statement.

    ‘Ion is a good boy – and he is already engaged to a girl aged 8. Boys are always good to have – they don’t have to suffer as much girls I think.’  Also revealingly sad. Born in 1985, Rifca defied her family’s wishes and ran away with jewellery seller Ionel Stanescu when she was 11 and he was 13.  A year after they were married, Rifca fell pregnant with Maria.

    She said: ‘I wanted to marry him, so I agreed, and of course after we had spent the night together then there was no way anyone could separate us. I had been promised to another boy’s family since I was two years old but I didn’t want that.’

    In gypsy culture virginity is greatly prized and women are married young so that new husband’s can be sure their new wives are virgins who affect a good dowry from the families of prospective husbands. Loss of virginity means a deal is cancelled.

    She added: ‘Before that there was a lot of fighting – once my father had even attacked my husband with a knife. He wanted him to pay 500,000 lei in compensation. My family even took me home but after three days I ran away again to be with him.’  After Maria’s birth, Ionel’s family paid Rifca’s father a dowry and all was settled.Maria’s birth made Rifca’s mother a grandmother aged 40.

    Rifca said she begged daughter Maria to stay in school and finish her education.  Maria decided to follow in her footsteps and marry herself. Within six months she too had fallen pregnant with Ion.  She told how in Romanian gypsy community it is common for couples to marry young.  Rifca added: ‘I did not try to stop my daughter getting married because this is the tradition, it’s what happens.’

    The youngest British grandmother was an unnamed 26-year-old from Rotherham, Yorkshire whose 12-year-old daughter gave birth in 1999.  Thanks, “T” for the tip.

    4 thoughts on “Gypsy wife becomes world’s youngest grandmother… at 23

    1. Ooof, I know it’s a different culture, and ours isn’t all that hot to begin with, but you know, there is something to be said about options, something that our society takes for granted, but, still, we have them. Unless you live in a REALLY insulated community, which I have seen in NYC itself.
      For me, it’s a sad story.

      Listening: Hermeto’s Daydream by Medeski, Martin & Wood (Modern Jazz)

      • haha… come on… choices at 2 and 8? lol

        I think this is a very sad situation. That grandmother looks like she’s lived more than 23 years too. She doesn’t look happy or fulfilled in the least. I will always say– men have it much better than women.

    2. Its the cluture, I’m tradtional navajo, we marry young and have children young. I was considered a old maid cause i married at 23

    3. I was very sock to read it, cos in my tradition we regard does from 2-15 years old as babies. They have to go through some initiation of becoming adult, such as how to catch, making garden constructing houses on their own, because if they are married they cannot rely anymore with their family they one with given skills in initiations should live an independent life by supporting the family and their younger ones. The suitable age to be married after initiation ceremony is between 26-35 yrs.

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