This particular behavior is typical of that ethnic group. Does not mean they aren't sociopaths, just that they normally DO THAT!
It has something to do with superstitious beliefs about money of different kinds, that difference having to do with its origin ~ e.g. stolen money, earned money, interst paid on money on deposit, inherited money ~ etc. the only good money being that which is contributed (in this case, to yourself).
Way back in the good old days they used to worry about this incessantly ~ no one would take 'blood money', certainly not Christians ~ see this referred to several times in the New Testament. We have judas. We have the widow's mite. We have the money changers. And so on ~ those stories all reflect on money to one extent or the other depending on its origin or its use.
The Gypsies, coming from a Hindu background, simply added all that to their treasurehoue of superstitions to come up with the idea that to bury the dead you must have holy money!
I see. Wow. I would have never connected it to the sociopath thing (& I really wasn’t suggesting he is, either. It was more hyperbole to express the oddness of his apparent detachment. Like “unless he’s an alien...”)
That’s fascinating. And complicated. The concept of blood money, I understand, & Judas. Wow. I never give money that much thought, although I do have a (just me, personally) thing about not writing off donations. (I’m afraid it is removes the spirit of it, I guess)
As I said, I just didn’t think much about the appeal for donations because it’s so commonplace. Or they’re very common where I live.