Valentin Constantinov: Today we speak Romanian due to verticality of population of Bessarabia in 1812

Today we speak the Romanian language thanks to Bessarabia’s population who in 1812 resisted the terror of the system and preserved their language, habilitated doctor of history Valentin Constantinov stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to him, the Russian Empire wanted to destroy the national consciousness of the population of Bessarabia starting with 1812, but failed to due to the resistance and verticality of the Bessarabians.

Valentin Constantinov noted that since 1812, the Russian Empire aimed to destroy the national consciousness of the Romanians in Bessarabia and the Romanian language and induce the idea that the Romanians and Moldovans are different peoples. This attempt to destroy the national identity of the Bessarabians failed thanks to the resistance of the native population.

“The population of Bessarabia in 1812 was of about 300,000 people. That’s two quarters of Chisinau. These 300,000 people made an extraordinary effort because today we speak the Romanian language thanks to them, due to their extraordinary faith, verticality and power of resistance against the Empire. The Russians wanted anything here, but not Moldovans or Romanians. When the Russians realized that they were unable to create another consciousness here, they decided to resort to the isolation of the Moldovans from the Romanians. This process began under the Bolsheviks. When they saw that they could not do otherwise, they decided to say that the Moldovans and the Romanians are different. But Stefan is in Romania, Eminescu is in Romania,” said Valentin Constantinov.

According to the historian, the Romanian language has preserved its unity thanks to the migration of the population throughout the Romanian space. Only through a campaign to raise awareness of the past and learn the history can the thesis according to which the Romanian and Moldovan languages are different languages be combated.

“Without a policy of awareness of the past, without a minimum historical culture, we will not be able to overcome this gap. If I, being from Chisinau, tomorrow meet with someone from Ilfov, Oltenia, Banat, Crișana, Maramureș, we will perfectly understand each other. Because it’s hard to find a more unified language than Romanian. How was this unity ensured? The people circulated a lot. When the people accumulated debts and had no way to pay them, they ran away. They fled to the neighboring boyar or to the neighboring country. That’s why Moldova is full of names like Ungureanu or Munteanu, which mean persons who came from Transylvania or Wallachia. This circulation ensured the unity of the language. The language is the same as it has been for centuries,” explained the habilitated doctor of history.

Valentin Constantinov noted that for centuries the language has been the same throughout Romania and this fact was confirmed in the works of the illustrious politician Mihail Kogălniceanu, who was native of Moldova.

“Mihail Kogălniceanu said: my homeland is the territory where Romanian is spoken. So, the whole expanse where Romanian is spoken. This is where the expression “my homeland – the Romanian language” comes from. I initially thought that this expression belonged to Grigore Vieru, Stanescu, but for the first time it was formulated by Kogălniceanu,” said the historian.

The public debate entitled “The long path home of the Romanian language” was the 32nd installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes”, which is implemented with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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