Finnish Kale

The Finnish Kale (Romani: Kàlo; Swedish: Kalé; Finnish: Kaale, also Suomen romanit "Finnish Romani") are a group of the Romani people who live primarily in Finland and Sweden.

Their main languages are Finnish and Finnish Romani.

Finnish Kale
Regions with significant populations
 Finland10,000[1]
 Sweden3,000[1]
Languages
Finnish and Finnish Romani
Religion
Lutheran and Pentecostal Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Norwegian and Swedish Travellers, Lowland Scottish Gypsy and Traveller groups, Romanichal, Kale (Welsh Romanies) and other Romani peoples

History

Kolme romaninaista
Three Finnish Romani women in 1930s.

The original Finnish Kale were Romanisael who came to Finland via Sweden after being deported from Sweden in the 17th century. The ancestors of Finish, Swedish and Norwegian Romani are English and Scottish Romani, who were deported from the kingdoms of Scotland and England.[2][3] In 1637, all Romani groups were declared outlaws who could be hanged without trial; this practice was discontinued in 1748.[4] When Finland declared independence in 1917, all Kales received full citizenship and rights. During the Winter War and Continuation War, about a thousand Kales served in the Finnish military.[5]

Culture

Dress

Finnish Kale commonly follow their traditions in both male and female dress. Finnish Kale women choose personally whether to don the traditional dress or not at around the age of 15 to 20, and the choice is considered final. In case of nontraditional wear, modesty customs are still followed.

Back in the 19th century, Finnish Kale men dressed nearly identical to the ethnic Finn farmers, in a coat, slacks, high boots, and a rimmed hat. In the early 20th century, many Kale men adopted the clothing style associated with the highly regarded profession of horse cab driver. This dress featured a white shirt, a jacket (sometimes in leather), a peaked cap, tall black boots, and baggy dark jodhpur trousers. The use of jodhpurs was very specific for the Finnish Kale, as Romani in other areas would have associated them with the often aggressive military, and thus avoided them.

During the 1960s and 70s, the peaked cap fell out of use, and the jodhpurs and boots were replaced with slacks and walking shoes. Jackets are still worn as traditional Kale modesty disallows appearing in only a shirt. Light-colored slacks or jeans are rarely seen. The driver-style dress is used only by some of the older men, or by younger men for special occasions.

The traditional female Finnish Kale dress stems from the traditional dress worn by the ethnic Finn women. Until the turn of the 20th century, Kale and Finn women dressed much alike in blouses, long skirts, and waist aprons.[6] Over time and with increased wealth, the female Kale dress has become continually more decorated. The dress features a heavy full-length black velvet skirt worn relatively high at the waist, supported by padding, and a puffed blouse, often with prominent ruffles and lace, made of decorative cloth such as with sequins or a metallic sheen.

Young children wear similar clothing to other ethnicities. Girls approaching maturity, but still below the age to don the traditional dress, often wear long, narrow, dark skirts.

Music

Taisto Tammi 1960
Taisto Tammi in 1960.

Music is a central part of Finnish Kale culture, everyday entertainment and domestic life. In Finland, the Kale are known especially for their contribution to the Finnish tango and Schlager music. Kale men have been a vital part of Schlager singers since the start of the genre's popularity in Finland following World War II. At first Kale singers faced direct discrimination, and for instance were banned from performing at certain establishments either on principle or following Kale audience misbehavior. Taisto Tammi and Markus Allan were the two most important earlier Kale performers; both adopted artistic aliases to reduce attention at their ethnic background.

Since then, discrimination has lessened and Kale singers have no need to mask their birth names in order to succeed in the career. Numerous Kale have participated in the Tangomarkkinat, a national tango-singing contest, the winners including Sebastian Ahlgren, Amadeus Lundberg and Marco Lundberg.

Perceived problems of the Kale in Finland

Socioeconomic status

The Kale have traditionally held positions as craftsmen, but the occupation has lost importance in modern times, leading to a significant rise in unemployment within the group.[7] A paper published by the Ministry of Labour states that "According to labour administration's client register material, 70% of the Roma jobseekers had a primary school or lower secondary school education." According to the same paper: "Education is compulsory in Finland and this obligation applies equally to the Roma as to other citizens, but dropping out of basic education is still common among young Roma, while in the mainstream population it is extremely uncommon."[8]

Violence and criminality

In 2007 police officer and boxer Riku Lumberg (of Romani heritage) wrote an open letter to his own people, seeking an end to the "barbaric tradition of blood feud" in the community.[9] Roma artist Kiba Lumberg has said the following about the culture she grew up in: "Blood feud and the violence that exists in Roma culture, can't be discussed in Finland. We can't accept that some groups hide behind culture to excuse stepping on human rights and freedom of speech," and "the problem is, that when a Gypsy dares to speak in public about the negative things happening in their own tribe, they face death threats. If a white person opens their mouth, they're accused of racism."[10]

The Finnish Ministry of Justice indicated that in 2005, persons of Romani background (who make up less than 0.2% of the total population of Finland[1]) perpetrated 18% of solved street robbery crimes in Finland - by way of comparison, the slightly larger 14,769 as opposed the 10,000 Somali population were responsible for 12%, while ethnic Finns were close to 51%.[11] According to a 2003 report by the Finnish Department of Corrections, there were an estimated 120 to 140 Romanis in the Finnish prison system. The report discussed ways to combat institutional racism and discrimination within the prison system, as well as ways for improving rehabilitation of Romani inmates through, for example, education programmes and better cooperation with the Romani community at large.[12]

Notable people of Kale descent

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Julkaisut". Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriö.
  2. ^ "Romani, Kalo Finnish".
  3. ^ Eltzler. Zigenarna och deras avkomlingar i Sverige (Uppsala 1944) cited in: Angus. M. Fraser. The Gypsies (The Peoples of Europe) p120
  4. ^ "Finnish Romani" (PDF). spraakdata.gu.se.
  5. ^ "Mansetori.fi". mansetori.fi.
  6. ^ "Tie romanien elämään" (in Finnish). Suomen käsityön museo.
  7. ^ "Romanit Suomessa Suomen Romanifoorumi".
  8. ^ "Heikko koulutus pitää romanit poissa työelämästä" [Low level of education keeps Romani out of employment]. Keskisuomalainen (in Finnish). 11 September 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  9. ^ Lumberg, Riku (19 August 2007). "Riku Lumbergin avoin kirje romaniyhteisölle" [Riku Lumberg's open letter to the Romani community]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Helsinki. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  10. ^ Varpula, Sari (16 August 2007). "Taiteilija Kiba Lumberg: Sieluni ei mahdu mustalaishameeseen". Sana (in Finnish). Helsinki. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  11. ^ Lehti, Martti (14 February 2008). Ryöstörikoskatsaus 2007 [Robbery Crime Report 2007] (PDF). OPTL:n tutkimustiedonantoja 83 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Oikeuspoliittinen tutkimuslaitos. pp. 36–7. ISBN 978-951-704-350-2. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  12. ^ Romanien asema ja olosuhteet vankiloissa sekä yhdyskuntaseuraamusten suorittajina: Työryhmän raportti [On the status of the Roma and the conditions of prisons and community penalties performed: Task Force Report] (PDF). Rikosseuraamusviraston monisteita 2/2003 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Rikosseuraamusvirastolle. 20 January 2003. Retrieved 21 February 2010.

Sources

Cascarots

The Cascarots (Basque: Kaskarotuak) are an ethnic group found in the Northern Basque Country. They are one of many Roma subgroups in Western Europe but not to be confused with the Erromintxela.

Finnish Kalo language

Finnish Kalo (Fíntika Rómma) is a language of the Romani language family (a subgroup of Indo-European) spoken by Finnish Kale. The language is related to but not intelligible with Scandoromani or Angloromani.

Kalderash

The Kalderash are a subgroup of the Romani people. They were traditionally smiths and metal workers and speak a number of Romani dialects grouped together under the term Kalderash Romani, a sub-group of Vlax Romani.

Kale (Welsh Romanies)

The Kale (also Kalá, Valshanange) are a group of Romani people in Wales. Many claim to be descendants of Abram Wood, who was the first Romani to reside permanently and exclusively in Wales in the early 18th century, though Romanichal Travellers have appeared in Wales since the 16th century. Welsh Kale are almost exclusively found in North Wales, specifically the Welsh-speaking areas. Generally speaking, the Kale have employed a tribal structure in which a group of several family units would be under the authority of a male chieftain. However some Kale families are matriarchal with a senior woman being chosen by consensus among the other women of the family to take the leadership role.

The Welsh Kale are extremely closely related to Romanichal Gypsies/Travellers (In England, South Wales and Scottish Borders), Lowland Scottish Gypsies/Travellers, Norwegian & Swedish Romanisæl (Tater) Gypsies/Travellers and Finnish Kale.

Kalo

Kalo or KALO may refer to:

a member of certain subgroups of the Romani people of Western and Northern Europe (plural Kale):

Calé

Kale (Welsh Romanies)

Finnish Kale

the dialects of the Romani language, spoken by these groups

Caló (Spanish Romani)

Welsh-Romany language

Kalo Finnish Romani language

Kalo in Hawaii, the Hawaiian name of the Taro plant

KALO, a non-commercial, independent Religious broadcasting television station serving Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Waterloo Regional Airport, a city-owned public-use airport serving Waterloo, Iowa, United States

Kalo, a town in the DRC

Kiba Lumberg

Kiba Lumberg, real name Kirsti Leila Annikki Lumberg (born May 27, 1956), is a Finnish artist and author of Finnish Kale descent. She is known as a critic of the traditional Roma culture.

Lumberg was born in Lappeenranta. She ran away from her family in the age of 13 because of fear, violence and subjugation. Many of her works are inspired by her childhood experience. Lumberg gained nationwide publicity in 1997 when a television mini-series of the traditional Kale life, based on her screenplay, titled Tumma ja hehkuva veri, was shown on television. In 2007 Lumberg received death threats after criticizing the Romani culture on television.Lumberg was candidate for the Left Alliance in Finnish Parliament elections in 2007 and in 2009 to European Parliament.

Lovari

Lovari ("horse-dealer", from Hungarian "ló", horse) is a subgroup of the Romani people, who speak their own dialect, influenced by Hungarian and West Slavic dialects. They live predominantly throughout Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany) as well as in Romania, Croatia, France, Italy, Greece and Ukraine.

Norwegian and Swedish Travellers

The Norwegian & Swedish Romanisæl Travellers (Norwegian: romanifolket, tatere, sigøynere; Swedish: resande, zigenare, tattare; Scandoromani: romanisæl, romanoar, rom(m)ani, tavringer/ar, tattare) are a group or branch of the Romani people who have been resident in Norway and Sweden for some 500 years. The estimated number of Romanisael Travellers in Sweden is 65,000, while in Norway, the number is probably about 10,000.

Racism in Finland

A 2011 poll shows that 66% of Finnish respondents considered Finland to be a racist country but only 14% admitted to being racists themselves. Minority groups getting the most negative attitudes were Finnish Kale, Somalis and ethnic groups mostly consisting of Muslims.In December 2012 the Finnish Police reported an increase in cases of racism and related physical abuse. In February 2013 researchers of racism and multiculturalism reported an increase in the number of threats and abuse. In January 2013 Save the Children reported that immigrant children are facing an increasing amount of racist abuse. In June 2011 a researcher reported an increase in the amount of racist violence targeting children and teenagers.According to European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe, neither the Ombudsman for Minorities nor Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations have the financial and human resources to effectively perform according to their mandate. There is a National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal, but it cannot order compensation to victims of racial discrimination. The legal provisions of the Aliens' Act are discriminatory and subject ethnic minorities to racial profiling by the police.The majority of people in Finland are ignorant about issues concerning the Sami minority. Sami issues are not taught at school to a satisfactory level, according to ECRI. ECRI has criticized Finland for not having ratified the ILO-convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.The Somali community in Finland as well as the Finnish Roma face discrimination and racism. Russians in Finland are discriminated against in employment.

Romani Mexicans

There is a significant Roma population in Mexico, most being the descendants of past migrants. According to data collected by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography in 2000, they numbered 15,850, however, the total number is likely larger. In Mexico, they are commonly known as gitanos or rom.

Romani people in Algeria

Romani people in Algeria are reported to include at least two groups: the Afrikaya, and the Xoraxane. The Afrikaya are possibly of Manouche origins, and speak French. The Xoraxane are Muslim and their original language is Romani. Roma in general ultimately come from South Asia, particularly from Northern India, having reached the Mediterranean region in Byzantine times.

Romani people in Egypt

Romani people in Egypt speak the Domari language. They immigrated to the territory of the present day Egypt from South Asia, particularly from India, in Byzantine times. Romani (Dom or Nawar) people self-segregated themselves for centuries from the dominant culture of Egypt, who view Romani as dishonorable though clever. Historically, Gypsies in Egypt have provided musical entertainment at weddings and other celebrations. The Romani people or Gypsies in Egypt include subgroups like Nawar, Halebi and Ghagar.

Romani people in Italy

The presence of Romanis in Italy dates back to the year 1390.

Romani people in Libya

Romani people in Libya speak the Domari language. They immigrated to the territory of the present day Libya from South Asia, particularly from India, in Byzantine times. Romani (Dom or Nawar) people self-segregated themselves for centuries from the dominant culture of Libya, who view Romani as dishonorable though clever. Historically, Gypsies in Libya have provided musical entertainment as weddings and other celebrations. The Romani people or Gypsies in Libya include subgroups like Nawar, Halebi and Ghagar.

Romani people in Morocco

Some reports suggest the existence of Romani people in Morocco. Thomas (2000) states that "Xoraxane or Muslim Gypsies have been reported in Morocco. It is suspected that Kalo (or Calo) Gypsies from Spain have migrated to Morocco for business reasons. However no government statistics can substantiate this supposition. Similarly, it may be true that French speaking Gypsies or Manouche may have in the past or still today traveled and worked in Morocco but there is no evidence of this at the moment."

Phillips (2001) mentions rather speculatively that "Some Kali or Gitan are probably in Morocco." The available reports are not sufficiently precise to confirm the Romani identity or even existence of such groups, but in the event that they exist and are of Romani origin, they would have immigrated to the territory of the present day Morocco ultimately from South Asia, and proximately from Spain and/or Algeria.

Romani people in Sudan

Romani people in Sudan speak the Domari language. They immigrated to the territory of the present day Sudan from South Asia, particularly from India, in Byzantine times. Romani (Dom or Nawar) people self-segregated themselves for centuries from the dominant culture of Sudan, who view Romani as dishonorable though clever. Historically, Gypsies in Sudan have provided musical entertainment as weddings and other celebrations. The Romani people or Gypsies in Sudan include subgroups like Nawar, Halebi and Ghagar.

Romani people in Tunisia

Romani people in Tunisia speak the Domari language. They immigrated to the territory of the present day Tunisia from South Asia, particularly from India, in Byzantine times. Romani (Dom or Nawar) people self-segregated themselves for centuries from the dominant culture of Tunisia, who view Romani as dishonorable though clever. Historically, Gypsies in Tunisia have provided musical entertainment as weddings and other celebrations. The Romani people or Gypsies in Tunisia include subgroups like Nawar, Halebi and Ghagar.

Romani people in Uruguay

There is a small Roma population in Uruguay, most being the descendants of previous migrants. According to data available they number c. 400.In Uruguay, they are commonly known as gitanos. They claim having ancestors from Serbia, Hungary and Romania.

Romanichal

The Romanichal Travellers (UK: , US: ), also Romnichals, Rumnichals or Rumneys, are a Romani sub-group in the United Kingdom and other parts of the English-speaking world.

Romanichal Travellers are thought to have arrived in England in the 16th century. They are very closely related to the Welsh Kale, Finnish Kale as well the Norwegian & Swedish Romanisæl.

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