|From the 16th century Gypsies were known as immigrants
In 1637 all Gypsies were declared outlaws in a law unique in Swedish
history. In 1642 the law was modified to an instruction to deport all Gypsies
from county to county in the directions of the borders of the realm. Male
Gypsies could be sentenced to beheading for any crime.
As a result many of the Gypsies concentrated in the eastern part of
the realm, in what today is Russian Carelia and Finland. They belong to
the Sinte-Manuch group of Gypsies and are called Kalé-Gypsies.
At the end of the 19th century a group of Rom-Gypsies immigrated. Today
over 1500 descendents live in Sweden.
When the Nordic citizens became free to move and work in all of the
Nordic countries a considerable part of the Kalé-Gypsies came from
Finland to Sweden. This group is today larger than the former group. Their
mother-tongues are different, but many of the Kalé-Gypsies have
Finnish as their first language.
A third group of approximately the same size are refugees arrived from
central Europe during the last 50 years.
The Swedish policy has aimed at assimilation. The assimilation policy
has had some success when it comes to the Gypsies with a long tradition
in Sweden, but fared very poorly with the newer arrivals. It has turned
out that few Gypsies get employed, and relatively more Gypsies have become
dependent on cash support from the municipalities than is the case for
any other ethnic group in Sweden.
Gypsies cultivating their particular traits in clothes and morals are
perceived as provoking by many Swedes. This minority group has continued
to be the most stigmatized ethnic minority.
Copyright © 1994-96 by Antti
Lahelma and Johan Olofsson
Extracted from various Usenet newsgroup postings on soc.culture.nordic