WHOSE STATE AND WHOSE NATIONALISM? IDENTITY DILEMMAS IN MOLDAVIA
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The author focuses on the issue of Moldavian national identity. Tracing historical and linguistic roots of the arguments used in the debate on Moldavian consciousness, he presents identity strategies in Moldavia. The main argument here is that the complicated history of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) has resulted in contemporary identification dilemmas. One of the key questions is whether we should call it Moldavian or Romanian. About 80% of the titular nation call themselves and their language Moldavian. On the contrary, approximately 5% (mostly intelligentsia) believe that they are Romanians, who were de-nationalized and transformed into Moldavians by the Soviet state. It is undisputable, that present Moldavian identity is the result of soviet national policy. Its stability, however, is a quite unusual phenomenon. If we accept the existence of independent Republic of Moldova, we must grant its population the right to be named Moldavian, even if there are no rational reasons to distinguish them from Romanians. Today most people want to be called Moldavians while nationalist movement is considered to be Romanian. We could describe this case as Moldavian state with Romanian nationalism.
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