COMMUNITY CONSULTANT – ROMANIAN IN EASTERN SERBIA
I am a linguist and anthropologist working as a senior scientific associate at the Institute for Balkan Studies in Belgrade, and holding a PhD in philological sciences from the University of Babeș-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca.
I was born in Romania and spent my childhood in a small village in the south of the country. My grandmother used to treat my headaches not with medicine, but charms against the evil eye, and take me with her to every funeral or village get-together. Until the age of seven I have never watched TV, but I knew all about medicinal plants, poultry and cattle. Then I moved to the city, started school and the magic ended.
Later, I learned about folklore and the language of different regions of Romania during my studies at the Faculty of Philology in Timișoara. In 2003, I moved to Serbia, where in the beginning I taught Romanian at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, then got employed at the Institute for Balkan Studies. When I first visited Eastern Serbia (the so-called Timok region), during a field trip with my colleagues from the Institute, and heard the Vlach Romanians living there speaking their native idiom, I had the feeling of being thrown back in time in my magical, cherished childhood. That moment, I knew exactly what my life-long research topic would be.
Therefore, I wrote my PhD thesis on the language and folklore of Vlach Romanians in Eastern Serbia, and published a book about it. In order to collect material for my thesis, I spend several months in the region every year between 2003 and 2010, listening to the fascinating stories of these people, writing down their beautiful language, taking part in their archaic customs and making friends for life. After this date, I continued going there on every occasion. During time, I had the opportunity to witness the timid introduction of the Vlach Romanian variety in schools, its debated standardization and the subsequent change of the linguistic landscape of the region. Born and raised in Romania, I am inevitably an outsider, but one who speaks and feels like an insider, and who has learned as much as one could possibly do from them.
Since 2019 I started being actively involved in translating and editing Vlach Romanian interviews. It is my strong believe that raising awareness about this vanishing non-standard Romanian variety is of crucial importance in preserving it. As a researcher, I consider it my mission to give voice to the community I study, to empower and encourage the speakers to use their language and transmit it to the younger generations.
COMMUNITY CONSULTANT - Romanian in Eastern Serbia
I am a student in Interdisciplinary East European Studies, in the past I have graduated Slavic and Romance languages at the University of Vienna where I dealt with the Serbian-Romanian language contact.
I was born in Rakova Bara, a Romanian village in the Timočka Krajina and since ever I am used to speaking my mother tongue rumînjašće within family and among the romanian communities. During my training time within VLACH, I have provided transcriptions for the Romanian spoken in Eastern Serbia and contributed to the representation of its varieties in a written, academic form which can be useful for all the scholars involved in comparing Romanian language varieties and analyzing their transmitted cultural goods.
By this, I hope to contribute to the prestige of this Romanian variety and thus encourage the usage in oral and written form especially by young generations among which the language in on the verge of extinction.
COMMUNITY CONSULTANT - Transylvanian Romanian
Ever since I was a child I wanted to understand why in some areas of Transylvania cultural exchange was more intense than in other areas. Due to its various ethnic groups, religious denominations, geographical and cultural features, Transylvania still presents a complex and paradoxical traditional world, as well as numerous multicultural and more culturally enclaved areas.
My first interest was in studying several Romanian varieties from Transylvania. I started with analyzing my own patois, the Moți, and discovered a lot of similarities between the Moți and the Oaș patois. This fact is interesting because even if in the last few centuries there has been a lack of direct cultural exchange between these two Romanian groups, there are still striking linguistic similarities. In this respect, as a teenager I began to write down and later to record several dialectal texts, as well as narratives containing anthropological, ethnographical and local history information. Because of the multiethnic and multicultural milieus of Transylvania I have also been learning Hungarian and Satu Mare Swabian since I was a teenager. Later the knowledge of these languages gave me the opportunity to conduct numerous interviews with older people from Transylvania in their own mother tongue. The material was recorded in many languages and dialects such as Hungarian (also Szeklers and Csango dialects), several German dialects (Satu Mare Swabian, Transylvanian Saxon and Zipser), Slovak, Ukrainian, Gypsy and Yiddish.
As a native musician I was also interested in Romanian traditional music, especially in pastoral vanishing instruments. Therefore, I not only recorded and studied traditional Romanian music mostly from Țara Moților and Țara Oașului, but also Hungarian and Satu Mare Swabian music, as well as several Gypsy ensembles. The lack of dialectological and ethnomusicological comparison studies motivated me to extend my research into other extra-Transylvanian areas. Through my concerts and other public events I tried to promote the music and patois from Țara Moților. I encouraged the playing and singing and of the authentic Moți repertoire by younger people. Through my events, I try to encourage the youth from several areas of Transylvania to use the old Romanian patois which often are linked with backwardness. One can observe also the absence of published literature or collections containing dialectal texts.
I strongly believe that in the future there will be an icnreased interest from the younger generation in vanishing languages and cultural heritage. We, as natives and researchers, should be prepared to document and find ingenious strategies to preserve and revitalize languages, traditional music and old crafts, and offer attractive materials to various kinds of audiences based on our knowledge and research.
During my Bachelor, Master and PhD studies I conducted research regarding dialects and music in Greece, Serbia, Republic of Moldavia, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary.
- Cultural and Social Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Dialectology, Oral History.
- Oral culture in traditional communities from the Carpathian Mountains.
- History of the Habsburg Empire, Creating National Identities.
- Documentation of endangered languages and dialects in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
- Cultural, social and historical development of the ethnic and religious minorities in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Ongoing PhD Project: Archaism as an anthropological feature of the mountainous area. Study case: Țara Moților
- 2017-2018: Scientific associate at the County Museum Satu Mare.
- 2014: Internship in the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural Sciences, Chișinău.
- 2013-2014: Research assistant at the Department of Slavistics, University of Jena.
- 2012-2013: Internship in the Folklore Archive of the Romanian Academy, Cluj Napoca.
- Master programme in South Eastern European Studies at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Department of Slavistics.
- Master thesis: ““Das Enklavisierungsphänomen in der Großkaroler Gegend: Motzen und Schwaben”” (language: German).
- Bachelor degree at Babeș Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca in Ethnology and Anthropology.
- Erasmus student at University of Vienna.
- 2011-2012: Viața cotidiană în Mărișel și Măguri în Munții Apuseni (secolele XIX ȘI XX) (The daily life in Mărișel and Măguri villages, Apuseni Mountains (19th and 20th centuries)). In: Buletinul Cercurilor Științifice Studențești, Alba Iulia nr. 17, 18.
- 2016: Zur Identität der Sathmarer Schwaben (The identity of the Satu Mare Swabians). In: Zeitschrift für Balkanologie, nr. 51, p. 236-251.
- 2016: Corinzile de sorginte precreștină din crângurile Mărișelului (The pre-Christian carols from the hamlets of Mărișel). In: Musik und Musikwissenschaft in Rumänien, Frank und Timme, Verlag für wissenschaftliche Literatur, p. 181-227 (together with Kahl, Thede).
- 2016: Un informator depozitar de excepție: Niculaie a Petrii Curtii din crângul Rusești (A man of memory informant: Niculaie a Petrii Curtii from Rusești hamlet). In: Philologica Jassyensia, XII, nr. 2 (24), p. 167-175.
- 2018: Etapele asimilării în comunitatea românească din Csengeújfalu (Uifalău) (Stages of assimilation in the Romanian community from Csengeújfalu). In: Simpozion. Comunicările celui de al XXVII-lea simpozion al cercetătorilor români din Ungaria, Giula, 2018, p. 69-101.
- 2018: The Ingenious Non-Typical Protagonist in the Transylvanian Rural World. Case Study: Ștefan Rus from Marna Nouă. In: Philologica Jassyensia, XIV, nr. 2 (28), p. 227-246.
- 2018: Picu Condrii povestea unui munte prăvălit în câmpie (Picu Condrii the story of a mouintain pitched in the fields), Risoprint, Cluj Napoca.
- 2017: Multiculturalitate și enclavizare culturală în Transilvania, (Multiculturality and cultural enclavisation in Transylvania), Editura Mega, Cluj Napoca.
Since 2010 I have conducted many different instances of field research among the Moți population from Țara Moților (Apuseni Mountains) and Carei region in Transylvania, Romania. Later, I began to focus on the whole spectrum of traditional communities from Transylvania: Romanians, Hungarians, Satu Mare Swabians, Jews, Ukrainians, Gypsies and Slovaks; as well as on the several religious denominations (Orthodox, Greek-Catholic, Roman-Catholic, Protestant and Judaism). During 2014-2019 I extended my research to other groups such as the Meglen Vlach, a Romance speaking group in Northern Greece, and the Vlachs (Romanians) from Timok in Northern Serbia. In the last two years I have become more interested in several groups from the Carpathian Mountains in Poland and Ukraine: Gorals and Hutsuls.
All field research data (Video, Audio and Photo) is being annotated and documented within the VLACH commission and long term stored at LaZAR.