Official status of Romanian language in Vojvodina

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Ethnic composition of Vojvodina showing areas with Romanian ethnic majority.

The Romanian language is one of six official languages in the Serbian province of Vojvodina. The official use of the Romanian language is determined in Vojvodina by the law, and established at the provincial level in the bodies of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, as well at local level in 8 municipalities.

29,512 citizens of Vojvodina dispersed within 42 settlements (forming majority in 19 settlements) declared Romanian language as their mother tongue at the 2002 census,[1] accounting for 1.45% of the total population of Vojvodina and representing the fourth largest language spoken in this province. After the granting of autonomy of Vojvodina, Romanian language became an official language of the province, together with the Latin script, as determined by the Statute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Article 6:

"In the work of the bodies of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, together with the Serbo-Croatian language and the Cyrillic script, and the Latin script as stipulated by the law, the Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian and Rusyn languages and their scripts, as well as languages and scripts of other nationalities, shall simultaneously be officially used, in the manner established by the law."

Because of that, Romanian can be used on many occasions in Vojvodina at provincial as well as at local level. The National Council of the Romanian National Minority in Serbia, an institution aiming to conduct the minority autonomy in the domains of culture, education, information and the official use of the Romanian language, represents all the Romanians in Serbia.[2]

Official use of the Romanian language[edit]

Legal status[edit]

Article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia (published in the "Official Gazette of RS", No. 1/90) stipulates that in the Republic of Serbia the Serbo-Croatian language and the Cyrillic script shall be officially used, while the Latin script shall be officially used in the manner established by the law. In addition to that, the provision in Article 8/2 precisely determines that in the regions of the Republic of Serbia inhabited by national minorities, their own languages and scripts shall be officially used as well, in the manner established by law.

Distribution of first-language native Romanian speakers by country – barely 0.1% of the world's Romanophones live in Vojvodina.

Article 6 of the Statute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (published in the "Official Gazette of APV") determines that, together with the Serbo-Croat language and the Cyrillic script, and the Latin script as stipulated by the law, the Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian and Rusyn languages and their scripts, as well as languages and scripts of other nationalities, shall simultaneously be officially used in the work of the bodies of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, in the manner established by the law. The bodies of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina are: the Assembly, the Executive Council and the Provincial administrative bodies.[3]

The National Council of the Romanian National Minority has a department that attends to the analsis and promotion of the official use of the Romanian language.

Provincial use[edit]

Among others, decisions and laws established by the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, bulletins and publications of the Assembly and the Executive Council, as well as other acts of provincial interest issued by the authorities of the Republic of Serbia must all be translated in Romanian. Also sessions of the Assembly are simultaneous interpreted in Romanian.[4] The Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities, through its sections and departments, collects and analyses data regarding the exercise of the rights of the national minorities in the domains of culture, education, information, the official use of the languages and the alphabets as well as it watches the orderliness of the laws that stipulates this. The Secretariat also prepares materials that are published in the “Official Gazette of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina”, in the Serbian language and in the languages of national minorities that are in official use in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.[5] The Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities also sends Romanian judicial interprets to the district courts in Novi Sad and Pančevo.[6]

Local use[edit]

Official usage of Romanian language in Vojvodina (together with Serbian and other languages).
  Official at the municipality level
  Official in parts of the municipality

At the local level, the Romanian language and script are officially used in 8 municipalities: Alibunar, Bela Crkva, Žitište, Zrenjanin, Kovačica, Kovin, Plandište and Sečanj. In the municipality of Vršac, Romanian is also official in the villages with ethnic Romanian majority: Vojvodinci (Romanian: Voivodiț), Markovac (Romanian: Marcovăț), Straža (Romanian: Straja), Mali Žam (Romanian: Jamu Mic), Malo Središte (Romanian: Srediștea Mică), Mesić (Romanian: Mesici), Jablanka (Romanian: Jablanka), Sočica (Romanian: Sălcița), Ritiševo (Romanian: Râtișor), Orešac (Romanian: Oreșaț) and Kuštilj (Romanian: Coștei).[7]

Campaign for the public use of the Romanian language as an official language[edit]

The non-governmental organisation "Municipal parliament the "free" city of Vršac" (Romanian: Parlamentul orășenesc orașul "liber" Vârșeț) started a project aimed to encourage the public use of the Romanian language as an official language. The campaign is included in the program "Minority Rights in Practice in South Eastern Europe", initiated together by the King Baudouin Foundation, Open Society Found Belgrade, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Citizen's Initiatives.

In the 2002 Census, the last carried out in Serbia, 1.45% citizens of Vojvodina declared Romanian as their mother tongue (barely 0.1% of the world's Romanophones).

Usage in religious education and service[edit]

A church in Vojvodina where religious service is performed in the Romanian language (Alibunar).

In Vojvodina there are 40 Romanian historical parishes, with 42 priests,[8] under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Orthodox Eparchy "Dacia Felix" based in Vršac and headed by Daniil Partoşanul, vicar bishop of the Archdiocese of Timişoara.

Starting 2006, religion in the Romanian language is taught in the state schools in Serbia. Two new textbooks for the first and the second grade were published for the students attending religion in the Romanian language. The textbooks were approved by the Commission of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for Religious Education in Elementary and Middle Schools.[9]

Usage in arts[edit]

On 15 November 2003, the professional Romanian theatre was refounded, after almost 50 years, a theatre that performs acts in Romanian language for the Romanian-speaking communities. The theatre is based in Vršac, on the scene of the "Sterija" National Theatre.

Romanian language literature is represented in Banat starting with Victor Vlad Delamarina and going further to current writers. The contribution of Vojvodina based writers is significant within the works published in the entire Banat, through authors like Vasile Barbu, president of the "Tibiscus" Literary-Artistic Society in Uzdin, Pavel Gătăiantu, Ana Niculina Ursulescu, Virginia Popovici, Slavco Almăjan and Marina Puia Bădescu. There is a state-financed publishing house, namely Libertatea. "Casa de Presă şi Editură Libertatea" publishes 20 titles each year. For the 45th edition of the Belgrade Book Fair, the publishing house prepared a CD with the most successful nine titles, under the slogan "3,000 pages for the third millennium" (Romanian: 3.000 de pagini pentru mileniul trei). Moreover, there are also other publishing houses based in Vojvodina, as for example "Editura Fundaţiei".

Usage in education[edit]

In Vojvodina there are 37 education facilities that use Romanian as their teaching language, including two high schools.[10] 145 Romanian students from Vojvodina and the Timok Valley took part in interviews for scholarships in Romanian highschools and universities for the school year 2005–2006.[11] Regarding post-secondary education, there is a pedagogical school in Vršac as well as a Romanian language departament at the University of Novi Sad. School curricula are made in the Romanian language from kindergarten and to highschool; there is also an Institute where Romanian language textbooks are prepared.[12] There are four schools that teach exclusively in Romanian language, in the places with ethnic Romanian majority: Grebenac (Romanian: Grebenaţ), Nikolinci (Romanian: Nicolinţ), Kuštilj (Romanian: Coştei) and Lokve (Romanian: Sân-Mihai).

Usage in media[edit]

Internet presence of the Romanian weekly "Libertatea".

The Autonomous Province of Vojvodina facilitates the public information of the citizens in the Romanian language, as per the Statute of the APV, article 15. The government partially finances daily and weekly newspapers in the languages of the national minorities, among them the Romanian weekly Libertatea (Pančevo). Other Romanian publications include Tinereţea (issued by the Libertatea group) and Cuvântul Românesc (Vršac). Radio Novi Sad[13] and TV Novi Sad[14] both have Romanian language sections, broadcasting Romanian-aimed schedule 6 hours a day on the radio and one to one and a half hour on TV daily. BBC Romanian is retransmitted by Radio FAR in Alibunar on FM.[15] Also, Vojvodina receives the channel 1 (În direct, România) of Radio România Internaţional (24/24), and the Romanian national TV station TVR1. Also, further Romanian-language channels can be received through the DTH service offered by the Serbian subsidiary of the Romanian telecommunications company RCS & RDS (Digi TV),[16] as follows: Antena 1, Minimax Romania, Jetix, UTV, DDTV, OTV, Discovery Civilisation, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel & Living, Animal Planet, Animax, Zone Reality, National Geographic Channel, Eurosport, Viasat History and Viasat Explorer in the basis package, as well as Pro TV Internaţional, Antena 3, Realitatea TV, TVS Oradea, TVS Craiova, Etno TV, Favorit TV, Taraf TV in a special Romanian package.

Victoria, a 24-hour Romanian-language radio station, was launched in 2006. It broadcasts on 96.1 FM informative, musical and cultural formats, being the sole minority Romanian-language radio in Serbia broadcasting 24/7. The radio station can also be listened through the Internet.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rezultatele recensământului sârb din 2002
  2. ^ Costa Roşu: Se potolesc spiritele în etnia noastră (Romanian), published in Libertatea, 31 December 2005
  3. ^ "Official use of languages and scripts in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina". Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Department of Translations" (in Romanian). Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities. Retrieved 18 October 2010. [not in citation given]
  5. ^ "About us" (in Romanian). Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Judicial interprets" (in Romanian). Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Official use of the Romanian language in the APV" (XLS). Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities. 
  8. ^ Romanian Global News: PS Daniil Stoenescu va înfiinţa un centru religios la Vârşeţ (Romanian), published on 17 August 2005
  9. ^ Marinica Ciobanu: „Moise Ianeş, Părintele Vicar al Vicariatului Ortodox Român: Între ciocan şi nicovală” (Romanian) published in Libertatea on 11 March 2007
  10. ^ Copiii românilor din Serbia-Muntenegru vor învăţa la şcoli din Romania (Romanian), published in the informative bulletin Divers
  11. ^ Marcel Baica: La studii spre România: Un mare interes pentru înscrierea la facultăţii (Romanian), published in the weekly Libertatea, on 20 August 2005
  12. ^ Procesul verbal al şedinţelor din 3, 4 şi 5 decembrie 2002 ale Comisiei pentru Învâţământ, Ştiinţă, Tineret şi Sport din Cadrul Camerei Deputaţilor a României (Romanian)
  13. ^ Radio Novi Sad – Romanian language section (Romanian)
  14. ^ Today's schedule of TV Novi Sad 2
  15. ^ BBCRomanian.com (Romanian)
  16. ^ Digi TV Serbia – About (Serbian)
  17. ^ Fluxul audio „Radio Victoria”

External links[edit]

Administration[edit]

Official documents[edit]

Culture[edit]

Mass media[edit]

Romanian minority[edit]