Accepted Paper:

The Istro-Romanians: perspectives regarding the legacy of a culture  
Mihai Burlacu (Transilvania University, Brasov)

Paper long abstract:

The Istro-Romanians are one of Europe's smallest ethnic groups. They inhabit villages like: Susnievika (i.e. Suşnieviţa), Zejane (i.e. Jeiani), Brdo (i.e. Bârdo) and Nova Vas (i.e. Noselo) in the north-eastern corner of the Istrian Peninsula, Croatia. Their dialect is currently included in the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages as Seriously Endangered.

Istro-Romanians are not accepted by the Croatian Constitution as a national minority. Without any institutions to preserve their language and cultural heritage, the very existence of this ethnic group is threatened. In 2009, there were about 200-220 Istro-Romanian speakers left in the Istrian Peninsula.

Drawing on an ongoing research project in which I am a member (Code: CNCSIS-UEFISCSU ROMANIA, CNCSIS GRANT, SU 57-09-01), this paper presents potential solutions for preserving the culture of Istro-Romanians and approaches the way Istro-Romanians attempt to defend their identity by creating networks of cooperation both with the diaspora and with Romania.

Panel W065
Stateless ethnic groups in Europe: problems and perspectives