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L.P.Zabolotnaya A.N.Barbacari:The National and Linguistical Identity of Moldova in the Contemporary Period

The immensity of events of the year 1989, which took part in Central and South-Eastern Europe changed the political landscape and modified the alignment of forces on the whole European continent. Revolutions of the year 1989 particularly influenced the Eastern European block. Renewal of political systems of former Union republics proceeded in different ways. While the Baltic countries and Georgia started to fight for their freedom, Moldova went towards democracy in its own particular way. Events in the country developed under the "mirrorlike" scenario and the process for national rebirth started from the fight for language and national self-determination of people: Moldovans or Romanians, Moldovan or Romanian language? Moldova has its own historical traditions and peculiarities which to a large extent determined the modern state of society - that is why we think that at examination of this issue one should take into consideration the so called national and regional factor. Over the course of centuries Moldova was a dependent state, being a part of different empires, which, of course, influenced evolution, formation and completeness of such notions as: people, nation, language. The historic heritage of the past left a special mark on mentality of people, who basically didn't imagine themselves to be self-contained and sovereign. However, when speaking about present-day Moldova, it should be mentioned that it is situated in the territory of former Bessarabia, component part of Moldova. Historical Moldova, carrier of federal status, in 1859 united with Walachia in the joint state of Romania. Two nations which had common ethno-cultural and linguistic roots after union created joint state of Romanians, speaking Romanian language.

Period of "perestroika" and especially post-Soviet period coincided with fight for national rebirth of federal status and national self-determination of Moldovans who live in the territory of modern Moldova and identify themselves as Romanians. The first step of national rebirth and self assertion was the "Day of language", officially approved at the state level on August 31, 1989 and called "Our language is Romanian". The independence of the Republic of Moldova was proclaimed two years later - on August 27. 1991. Romanian was declared to be official state language. Due to these events interethnic situation in the Republic of Moldova had aggravated, because the third part of population: Ukrainians, Russians, Gagauz people, Bulgarians and others started struggling for perseverance of Russian as the second state language, and not their national native one. In order to resolve this problem, in the year 1994, in new Constitution Moldovan was declared to be state language, however, in educational system (from elementary school till higher educational institutions) students studied and study till present Romanian language and Romanian literature.

With regard to the linguistic identity Census of Population 2004 showed that 78.8% of country’s population indicated the language of their ethnic origin as their native language (the first language they learned in childhood), and 20.8% indicated other languages, which do not coincide with their ethnic origin. Among Moldovans, 78.4% indicated Moldovan language as their native, 18.8% - indicated Romanian, 2.5% - Russian and 0.3% indicated other languages. Among Ukrainians, 64.1% indicated Ukrainian language as their native and 31.8% - indicated Russian. Among Russians, 97.2% indicated language of their ethnic origin as their native. Gagauz people, as well as Russians, for the most their part indicated the language of their ethnic origin as native one - 92.3% and 5.8% indicated Russian language. Bulgarians with Bulgarian as their native language composed 81.0% and 13.9% indicated Russian language as their native.[1]

Together with information regarding native language, at Census of Population of the year 2004 was received information on language, the population usually speaks. From the total number of population, 58.8% usually speak Moldovan language, 16.4% speak Romanian, 16.0% - Russian, 3.8% - Ukrainian, 3.1% - Gagauz and 1.1% - Bulgarian. 0.4% of population usually speak other languages, apart from those mentioned above, and the same part of population did not indicate the language they usually speak.

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[1] www.statistica.md

Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (18.10.2009)
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