Bulgarians in Romania

Bulgarians in Romania

Bulgarians ( _ro. bulgari) are a recognized minority in Romania ( _bg. Румъния, "Rumaniya"), numbering 8,025 according to the 2002 Romanian census,cite web |url=http://www.edrc.ro/recensamant.jsp?regiune_id=0&judet_id=0&localitate_id=0 |title=Structura Etno-demografică a României |publisher=Centrul de Resurse pentru Diversitate Etnoculturală |accessdate=2008-08-13 |language=Romanian ] down from 9,851 in 1992. [cite web |url=http://www.divers.ro/bulgari_perioada_contemporana_ro |title=Bulgari: perioada contemporana |language=Romanian |publisher=Divers.ro |accessdate=2008-08-13] Despite their low census number today, Bulgarians from different confessional and regional backgrounds have had ethnic communities in various regions of Romania, and Bulgarian culture has exerted considerable influence on its northern neighbour, particularly in the Middle Ages. According to one estimate, Romanian citizens of Bulgarian origin number around 250,000.Павлов.]

Historically, Bulgarian communities in modern Romania have existed in Wallachia ( _bg. Влашко, "Vlashko"), Northern Dobruja ( _bg. Северна Добруджа, "Severna Dobrudzha") and Transylvania ( _bg. Седмиградско, "Sedmigradsko"). Currently, however, the only Bulgarian community in what is today Romania that has retained its numbers, social integrity and strong ethnic identity is that of the Banat Bulgarians, a Roman Catholic minority in the Banat who account for the bulk of the Bulgarian-identifying population of Romania.

The population of undisputed Bulgarian origin aside, Bulgarian researchers also claim that the Hungarian minority of the Székely in central Romania is of Magyarized Bulgar (Proto-Bulgarian) origin [cite book |chapterurl=http://www.kroraina.com/knigi/tb2/tb_4_2.htm |url=http://www.kroraina.com/knigi/tb2/index.htm |title=Трансилванските (седмиградските) българи. Етнос. Език. Етнонимия. Ономастика. Просопографии |last=Балкански |first=Т. |language=Bulgarian |chapter=Окръзи Ковасна и Харгита |page=pp. 99, 102 |location=Велико Търново |year=1996 |publisher=ИК “Знак ‘94” ] and the Şchei of Transylvania were Romanianized Bulgarianscite book |title=Енциклопедия България, т.1 А-В |publisher=Издателство на БАН |location=София |year=1978 |page=p. 380 |language=Bulgarian ] (a view also supported by Lyubomir Miletich [cite book |chapterurl=http://www.kroraina.com/knigi/lm/lm_1.htm |url=http://www.kroraina.com/knigi/lm/index.html |title=Дако-ромънитѣ и тѣхната славянска писменость. Часть II |chapter=Брашов и брашовските българите („шкеи”, bolgárszeg) |language=Bulgarian |last=Милетич |first=Любомир |year=1896 |location=София |publisher=Сборникъ за Народни Умотворения, Наука и Книжнина ] and accepted by Romanian writers [cite book |title=Şcheii de la Cergău şi folclorul lor |last=Muşlea |first=Ion |language=Romanian |year=1928 ] ). The Krashovani are also scientifically claimed to be of Bulgarian origin, but to have lost their Bulgarian identity. [cite web |url=http://www.koronal.com/library.php?cat_id=1&download_id=247 |title=Динамика на българските етнически идентичности |publisher=Коронал |language=Bulgarian |accessdate=2008-08-13 ]


Antiquity and medieval Bulgarian Empire

In Antiquity, both Bulgaria and Romania were inhabited by Thracian tribes, contributing to the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people and possibly the Bulgarian people (along with Slavs and Bulgars), although this is a matter of dispute. During the Migration Period, both the Slavs and the Bulgars crossed what is today Romania to settle in the plains south of the Danube, establishing the First Bulgarian Empire in the 7th century. In the Middle Ages, the lands between the Danube and the Carpathians were scarcely settled, but they were often at least nominally under Bulgarian control in the 9th and 10th century, as well as during some periods of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

The Golden Age of Bulgarian culture under Simeon I exerted considerable influence on the empire's transdanubian possessions. Old Bulgarian was established as the language of liturgy and written communication along with the Cyrillic alphabet created in Bulgaria, which was used for the Romanian language until the 1860s; the first written text in the Romanian language, Neacşu's letter of 1512, illustrates this trend: it was written in Cyrillic, intermixed with Bulgarian sentences and phrases. To this day, a notable part of Romanian's core vocabulary is of South Slavic origin, although much of it was replaced by Romance loanwords in the 19th century.

Under the Ottomans

As the Second Bulgarian Empire fell under full-scale Ottoman rule in the 14th-15th century whereas the lands north of the Danube were still contested between the Europeans and the Ottomans and then came under Ottoman suzerainty, but retained their internal autonomy, many Bulgarian fled the Ottoman occupation in various periods and settled in what is today Romania. These included both Bulgarian Orthodox and some Roman Catholics (either former Paulicians from the central Bulgarian north or from Chiprovtsi in the northwest). The migratory waves were particularly strong after the Austro-Turkish and Russo-Turkish Wars of the 17th-19th century. The Orthodox Bulgarians settled all around the Principality of Wallachia; however, many of them gradually lost their Bulgarian identity and became Romanianized,cite web |url=http://www.intercultural.ro/carti/interculturalitate/bulgari.html |title=Bulgarii |accessdate=2008-08-13 |language=Romanian |publisher=Institutul Intercultural Timişoara ] for which their labeling as "sârbi" [cite news |url=http://www.adevarul.ro/articole/bulgarii-din-sarbi-in-campanie-agro-electorala/352974 |title=Bulgarii din Sârbi, în campanie agro-electorală |language=Romanian |publisher=Adevarul |date=2008-05-26 |accessdate=2008-08-13 ] [cite news |url=http://www.jurnalul.ro/articole/9444/bulgarii-din-gauriciu |title=Bulgarii din Gauriciu |language=Romanian |accessdate=2008-08-13 |date=2006-10-24 |publisher=Jurnalul Naţional ] (a Romanian word referring to all South Slavs) [Нягулов, p. 56, note 47.] also contributed. Catholics primarily migrated to the Austrian-ruled Banat and Transylvania, establishing still-extant communities in modern Timiş County and Arad County; some former Paulicians also settled around Bucharest, in Cioplea and Popeşti-Leordeni. The Transylvanian city of Braşov ("Kronstadt") grew into an international merchant centre attracting Bulgarian merchants ever since the 14th century (it was given trade rights in Bulgaria by Bulgarian tsar Ivan Sratsimir's "Braşov Charter" of 1369-1380) [cite book |title=Грамоти на българските царе |last=Даскалова |first=Ангелина |coauthors=Мария Райкова |date=2005 |location=София |language=Bulgarian |publisher=Академично издателство "Марин Дринов" |pages=pp. 7-11 |isbn=954-322-034-4 ] and rivalled Constantinople and Thessaloniki in importance, particularly for the people from northern Bulgaria, with many Bulgarian merchants opening offices and shops in the city. As early as 1392, Bulgarian settlers arrived in the city, contributing to the construction of the city church, today known as the Black Church, [cite book |author=Thomas Tartler und Josef Trausch |title=Collectanea zu einer Geschichte v. Kronstadt Original text in German:
"Den ersten Anfang des Anbanes dieser Vorstadt setzen alle Nachrichten, die ich finde, in die Zeit des 14 Seculi, in welchem die hiesige Stadkirche 1385 gebauet za werden anfing. Da es nämlich bei diesem wichtigen Bau an genugsamen Handleuthen aus iler Ursache fehlte, weil die Burzenländer Märkte und Dörfer zu gleicher Zeit mit Erbauung ihrer Kirchen und Schlösser beschäftigt waren and daher ausser der Zufuhr der Steine nicht zulängliche Arbeiter an die Stadt abgeben konnten: so waren die Kronstädter genöthigt, sich aus den benachbarten Provinzen Arbeitsleute kommen zu lassen. Auf diese Veranlassung kammen "aus Bulgarien" die von uns sogenannten "Belger" hieher, welche theils wegen der Langwierigkeit des Kirchenbaues, theils wegen der damaligen hier sehr wohlfeilen Zeit sich gefallen liessen, an diesem Orte, welchen wir noch die "Belgerey" nennen, mit Vergünstigung des löblichen Magistrates sich wohnhaft niederzulassen."
] and populating the once-Bulgarian city neighbourhood of Şcheii Braşovului. [cite book |first=Ion |last=Muşlea |title=Şcheii de la Cergău şi folclorul lor |location=Cluj |year=1928 |language=Romanian] [Милетич, pp. 10-22.] [cite book |first=Coriolan |last=Suciu |title=Dicţionar istoric al localităţilor din Transilvania, vol. I |location=Bucureşti |year=1967 |page=p. 102 |language=Romanian ]

In the mid-19th century the cities of southern Romania such as Bucharest, Craiova, Galaţi and Brăila attracted many Bulgarian revolutionary and political émigrés, such as Sophronius of Vratsa, Petar Beron, Hristo Botev, Lyuben Karavelov, Georgi Rakovski, Panayot Hitov, Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi. In his 1883 novelette "Nemili-Nedragi" ("Unloved and Unwanted"), Bulgarian national writer Ivan Vazov (1850-1921) describes the life of poor and nostalgic Bulgarian revolutionaries in Wallachia known as "hashove" (хъшове). Romania also turned into a centre for the organized Bulgarian revolutionary movement seeking to overthrow Ottoman rule: the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee was founded in Bucharest in 1869. In the same year, the Bulgarian Literary Society (modern Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) was established in Brăila. Some of the Bessarabian Bulgarians were also ruled by Romania between 1861 and 1878, and all of them were under Romanian rule between 1918 and 1940. Today, they live in Ukraine and Moldova.

According to one estimate, the Bulgarian-originating population of the Romanian Old Kingdom and Transylvania (not including Bessarabia) by the time of the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 may have numbered up to one million. [Колев, p. 190.] According to official data from 1838, 11,652 Bulgarian families lived in Wallachia, meaning up to 100,000 people.

After the Liberation of Bulgaria

Following the Liberation, members of all Bulgarian communities moved to the newly-established Principality of Bulgaria, but a significant Bulgarian population remained in Romania. Although supposed to be given to Bulgarian by the Treaty of San Stefano, the region of Northern Dobruja was ceded to Romania by the Congress of Berlin of 1878. The region had a compact Bulgarian population in the Babadag region, with Northern Dobruja Bulgarians numbering 35-45,000 in the late 19th century. Romania also ruled the Bulgarian-majority Southern Dobruja between 1913 and 1940, when it was ceded back to Bulgaria, with a population exchange between the Bulgarians of Northern Dobruja and the Romanian and Aromanian colonists in Southern Dobruja. Today, as an officially-recognized ethnic minority, Bulgarians have one seat reserved in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies. There exist several organizations of the Bulgarians in Romania. [cite web |title=Организации на българските общности: Румъния |publisher=Държавна агенция за българите в чужбина |accessdate=2008-08-13 |language=Bulgarian |url=http://www.aba.government.bg/obshtnosti.php?cid=49 ]

Notable figures

: "This list includes people of Bulgarian origin born in what is today Romania or people born in Bulgaria but mainly active in Romania."
* Vasile Lupu (1595-1661) — ruler of the Principality of Moldavia (born in Arbanasi, of likely Albanian ancestry)
* Manuc Bei (1769-1817) — Bulgarian Armenian merchant, diplomat and innkeeper
* Stefan Bogoridi (1775/1780-1859) — ruler of the Principality of Moldavia
* Anton Pann (1790s-1854) — composer, musicologist, poet and author of the music to the Romanian anthem (born in Sliven, of disputed ancestry)
* Colonel Stefan Dunjov (1815–1889) — revolutionary, participant in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and member of Giuseppe Garibaldi's forces during the Italian unification
* Nicolae Vogoride (1820–1863) — ruler of the Principality of Moldavia
* Eusebius Fermendžin (1845–1897) — historian, high-ranking Franciscan cleric, theologian, polyglot and active member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts
* Carol Telbisz (1853–1914) — long-time mayor of Timişoara (1885–1914)
* Christian Rakovsky (1873–1941) — communist revolutionary and diplomat
* Panait Cerna (1881–1913) — poet and translator
* Iorgu Iordan (1888–1986) — linguist, philologist and politician
* Boris Stefanov (1893-?) — communist politician and general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party
* Petre Borilă (1906–1973) — communist politician and vice-premier of Romania


ee also

* Banat Bulgarians
* Bessarabian Bulgarians
* Dobruja
* Şchei, Şcheii Braşovului
* Minorities of Romania
* Romanians in Bulgaria





External links

* [http://nasaglas.link.ro The website of Banat Bulgarian publications "Náša glás" and "Literaturna miselj"] , offers PDF versions of both publications, as well as information about the Banat Bulgarians (in Banat Bulgarian)
* [http://www.arcb.ro/old/parohii/bucuresti/cioplea.html The webpage of the historically Bulgarian Roman Catholic parish in Cioplea, Bucharest] (in Romanian)
* [http://www.arcb.ro/old/parohii/bucuresti/popesti.html The webpage of the historically Bulgarian Roman Catholic parish in Popeşti-Leordeni] (in Romanian)

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