Tiny homes

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

So-called “tiny homes” – and my God, tiny they often are – are all the craze in the “Western” world, it would seem, right now, in the second decade of the 21st century, and many families with children even downsize to those small and tiny dwellings which, in many cases may not be a bad idea. There are even, though primarily at present only intended for homeless (single) people, tiny homes villages – communities – springing up in some places with communal buildings, launderette, etc.

At the same time, however, almost everyone seems to be up in arms about the fact that Roma families in Eastern Europe “have to live” in small homes where all the kids, sometimes together with the parents, sleep in one bed and there are but a few rooms, if not just one, in the house.

A little like when the Gypsy caves in Sacramonte and Quadix were condemned by the authorities as “unfit for human habitation”, the Gitanos forced into apartment complexes, which did not suit their lives, and the caves then sold off to non-Gypsies as holiday homes and some even for permanent use. Just saying.

I am not against small homes, the opposite rather, as I can also clutter up a large one, and I think that many homes, in the USA and elsewhere, have gotten way too big and their footprint, both literal and environmental, also.

Most people, however, still see it the way that if you have a small house and your children have to share a room or, oh dear, they may have to share a bed or even the bed with the parents then you are poor, very poor, and, oh no, this can't possibly be, especially not when it is working class families or Gypsies. This goes especially for countries such as the USA, Britain, and some other places. Some of those tiny homes today, however, are taking tiny to the extreme. Small, even one-roomed, cabin kind of house is one thing but some of those are about the size of a sheepherder's wagon.

In those tiny homes into which many people downsize, even entire families with two or three kids, this is, shall I say once again, the norm, namely the family bed, with all sharing. But, hey, those are the modern well-educated folks and that's OK.

I am all for smaller homes and, yes, even, like in China and other places in Asia, for the family bed but what I cannot stand is the way that some people who live in small homes, whether out of choice or often not, and the whole family sleeping in the same bed, being told that they live in homes that are too small for them, and so on.

I am even and especially for the small homes communities – as some of those tiny homes are really a little too tiny that are in use there – for co-housing of larger extended families and intentional communities where the homes are mostly for living and communal kitchens and other common areas are also available. They would reduce the footprint in all aspects greatly. They are a great idea and far too many homes today are far too big.

My peeve is only with that the world seems to measure with two different kinds of scales here. When it comes to the hipsters and such like then downsizing to tiny homes is being applauded, even when this is with children. However, people who, to some extent by force of circumstances, are living in small homes, such as many Rom (Gypsies) then they are being castigated for living in such small homes.

Small homes are the way to go, I very much believe, and therefore rather than condemning the Rom (Gypsies) and their small homes maybe people could learn from them and, at the same time, help those Rom to better small homes. How would that be?

The family bed (more about the family bed in another article) is also very hip today among many of the “modern” families while not so long ago the very idea was being held as an anathema and people where the co-sleeping of parents and children is common were portrayed as backwards, such as in many Asian countries. In China this is still very common today for everyone to pile into the same bed of an evening, even among the urban dwellers, and for many a Chinese mother having their children sleep in separate beds, let alone in rooms away from the parents would be an anathema and a cause for mental anguish.

© 2018