Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel - On land, just outside aan den IJssel, is the wedding started gypsy king Koko Petalo. The festival lasts three days, with hundreds of guests from Netherlands, Belgiƫ, France, Italy, Spain and Hungary.

Petal, King of the Gypsies in Western Europe with a small ten thousand followers, married this afternoon at 22e birthday. His bride, the 19 year old gypsy princess Cisella Nina Atanasio. The ceremony is performed by the grandmother of the bride.

The bride wore a special bridal gown from Paris. She wore a crown and lots of gold jewelry worth tens of thousands of guilders.

Pigs on the spit

The party was noteworthy mention in all respects. Prior to the party were 90 pigs, 950 chickens and countless barrels of beer and bottles of berry wine.

Children could take a ride on the pig. Shortly afterwards, the animals were killed with a dagger. Then they were put to the spit. The beer was not only drunk from glasses, but even in boots.

There was lots of music. In most cases there was guitar-, violin- and hear accordion music, made by the guests themselves. A notable change was the Rotterdam rock band 'Red Skyscrapers "that rock- and played music twist.


The wedding also attracted plenty of interested, That had nothing to do with the party.

"Hundreds and hundreds of motorists, mopeds, cyclists and walkers came aan den IJssel to catch something of the colorful exotic feast. Also from the Rotterdam-Gouda highway they were trying to see something. "

(Het Vrije Volk, 31-08-1964)

On the highway arose files, because people glimpses trying to catch the party. Police struggled to to drive traffic.

Not all wedding guests were all attention from the outside appreciate.

"Especially the father of the groom, senior Petalo, it was occasionally to bar. Armed with a short stick, he would then run along the fence - consisting of cars parked bumper to bumper - and chase back anyone pushed too far with short shrill orders.. Nobody hit some evidence in the wind: the small, thin man instilled in young and old in awe. "

(Het Vrije Volk, 31-08-1964)

Some of the visitors came to honor the new gypsy king and his new queen. He is the successor of King Fernando Westhiner who recently died in Sliedrecht.

The civil and ecclesiastical wedding is next month, concluded in Rome. Thereafter, the couple live in a bungalow in Hook of Holland.

Hoe ging het verder:

The honeymoon were shattered. Op 2 September Petalo is declared bankrupt by court, after an argument with a car dealership over a bill not paid. Three days later he arrested, During a lunch with his new wife.

Later gives Petalo in an interview with Het Parool to, Which All stories about marriage somewhat exaggerated and there were some question marks over how much the mandate of the king Petalo 'was exactly.

Petalo is a champion in the 70s for the Gypsies in Netherlands. He regularly came into the media in its struggle pitches for caravans and residence permits for Roma and Sinti.

His struggles made him frequently collide with authorities, For example, in Vlaardingen and Rotterdam. He was in May 1986 arrested when the encampment of Petalo's the Kanaalweg was dismantled.

Petalo later sentenced that year to four years in prison for defrauding an insurer. He died in 1996 at the age of 53.


The Telegraph – 31-08-1964 – Gypsy King Koko Petalo married on birthday

Het Vrije Volk – 31-08-1964 – Gypsy King Petalo married in Nieuwerkerk

The Time / Maasbode – 31-08-1964 – Week-long celebration in Nieuwerkerk aan de IJssel

Het Parool – 12-09-1964 – The gypsy'King’ no king

Author: Dave Datema

story number: 124

published: 28-08-2019

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