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The Finnish Kale (also Kaale; 'black') are a group of the Romani people that lives primarily in Finlandmarker and Swedenmarker. In Finland they are often referred to as Mustalaiset (pl.) which means etymologically "Blacks", due to their darker complexions and hair in comparison to most other Scandinavians. Mustalainen (sing.) is nowadays considered an offensive term and in common and official context romani is more appropriate.

Their main languages are Finnish and Finnish Romani. They are mostly Christian. Adult women are easily recognizable due to their traditional dress, which is a very large black and white dress. Finnish Roma have a very tight and somewhat closed community and have often lived apart from the rest of society. This has led to a widespread suspicion towards them and they have suffered discrimination.

Perceived problems of the Kale in Finland

Socioecenomic success

The socioeconomic status of Roma in Finland is typically low, unemployment among them being relatively high. Their culture's traditional disregard for education is seen to be a major contributor to this. 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." By Finnish labour market standards, an adult with a lower secondary school education is considered uneducated. 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 thought still to be common among young Roma, while in the mainstream population it is extremely uncommon."

Perceived violence and criminality

Public discussion of the Roma culture has highlighted some issues of violence in the culture. For example, police officer and boxer Riku Lumberg (of Roma heritage) wrote an open letter to his own people, seeking an end to the "barbaric tradition of blood feud" in the community. 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 trouble is, that when a Gypsy dares 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."

Notable people of Kale descent


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