The storytelling tradition of the Kale Romani

The storytelling tradition is of great significance for the Kale Romani people. By retelling stories, important knowledge and experiences are passed on through the generations.

Location: Nation wide

The Kale Romani stories are a source of information about ancestry and family relations, and are often told by recounting the names of family members up to 10 or 15 generations back in time. Family reputation is a central part of Kale Romani tradition. When meeting other Kale Romani people, sharing family history and ensuring their good reputation is central. Besides telling the stories of the lives of previous generations, the Kale Romani stories pass on knowledge about rituals, songs, traditional crafts, and other aspects of Romani culture.

The Romani people are one of five official minority groups in Sweden. Various Romani groups have migrated to Sweden during different periods. The Romani groups speak different dialects of the language Romani Chib. Romani Chib is an official minority language in Sweden, and is spoken by about 40 000 people.

Kale Romani storytelling is an oral tradition. As the Kale Romani way of life has changed, so have the conditions for passing on stories. The Kale Romani dialect has a 500-year-old tradition in Sweden. However, as fewer people speak the language today, their stories and the knowledge they contain is at risk. To ensure their survival for future generations, these stories need to be documented in written form.