Haires (“Hajasok”)

The Hairies ( “Hajasok” in Hungarian) are a closed group of Vlach Roma, living in the Transylvanian Saxon region in Romania. They are part of the Kalderash (traditionally coppersmith and metal worker) community. Their mother tongue is Romani, but they also speak Romanian and German fluently.
They moved into the vacant houses of Saxon villages, that were left empty when tens of thousands Romanian Germans were “bought back” by the German Government in the 1970s and 1980s. Their “Hairy” nickname is given to them by other Romani groups, because of the men’s habit of letting their hair and beard grow long.