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A Krashovani-inhabited area within the Cara┼č-Severin County.
Area where Torlakian dialect is spoken on the Balkans with areas of different ethnicities.


The Krashovani (Croatian: Kra┼íovani, Kara┼íovani or Kra┼íovanje, Kara┼íevci and Koro┼íevci; Romanian: Cara┼čoveni, C├ór┼čoveni, Cotcore┼úi or Coco┼či, Bulgarian: đÜĐÇđ░Đłđżđ▓đÁđŻđŞ, Krashoveni; also known in English as Krashovans) are a South Slavic people indigenous to Cara┼čovamarker and other nearby locations in Cara┼č-Severin County within the Romanianmarker Banat.

It is estimated that around 5,000 people compose the Krashovani community in Romania. At the 2002 census, only 207 persons identified as Krashovans at a national level. The vast majority identify today as Croatian.

Geography

Krashovani form a majority in two communes of Cara┼č-Severin County: Cara┼čovamarker and Lupac.

According to the 2002 census in Romania, the population of the Cara┼čova commune comprised 84.60% Croats, 4.96% others (presumably Krashovan), 4.47% Roma, 4.41% Romanians, etc. The population of Lupac commune comprises 93.38% Croats, 5.32% Romanians, etc. 79.75% of the population of Cara┼čova municipality and 93.45% of the population of Lupac municipality declared Croatian as their mother tongue in the 2002 census.

Origin and history

Original Slavic settlements had existed in these regions before the Krashovan migration. Krashovani themselves are mostly descendants of the Torlakian inhabitants of what is today eastern Serbiamarker, namely the region around the Timok River.

Some of the Krashovani originate from Turopoljemarker region of present-day Croatiamarker (they are being referred as Turopoljci). Because of the long-time influence of other Krashovani, who speak the Torlakian dialect, the original (Kajkavian) dialect of this group also became Torlakian. Other groups are supposedly Croats from the Franciscan province of Bosna Srebrenamarker.

The Krashovani are also considered Bulgarians by some scientists from the first half of the 20th century (such as G. Cibrus, M. Mladenov, K. Telbizov, and T. Balkanski). These claims are partially based on the fact that these and some other scientists consider the entire Torlakian-speaking Slavic population ethnically Bulgarian, just as others consider it ethnically Serbian. The question of whether the Torlakian dialect belongs to the eastern or western branches of South Slavic languages is also disputed, and it is often classified as a transitional dialect between the two.

In Austria-Hungary, the Krashovani were regarded officially as Bulgarians.

Krashovani migration to Banat can be traced to the 1370s, when fleeing the Ottoman onslaught, they moved there from Timok region (at that time ruled by Bulgariamarker). The Catholic supremacy inside the Kingdom of Hungary (to which the Banat region belonged at the time) may account for their distinctiveness from the rest of the Torlakian-speaking population in present-day eastern Serbia.

According to the Austrianmarker population census there were over 10,000 Krashovans in Banat. In the 1847 census over 10,000 people declared as Carasovans. In 1896 the Austro-Hungarian census around 7,500 Krashovans were listed. The same was stated by the authorities of the Kingdom of Romania in 1940. Their number dropped to 2,775 in 1992.

Ever since the Romanian Revolution, the government of Romania has awarded special minority status and privileges to its ethnic Serb citizens. The Democratic Union of Serbs and Krashovani of Romania (Uniunea Democratic─â a S├órbilor si Cara┼čovenilor din Rom├ónia) was founded in 1989.

Language and religion

The dialect of the Krashovani is based on the Torlakian as traditionally spoken in the area of eastern and southern Serbia and in the Republic of Macedoniamarker and Bulgariamarker, the Torlakian dialect of the Timok valley around Zaje─Źarmarker. Torlakian as a linguistic entity forms a part of the Balkan Linguistic Union; the Krashovani are the only speakers of a language - belonging to this union for having developed many shared features with the adjacent languages - which is detached from the main section. The population however, declare their language as Croatian, probably along the ethnic lines.

However, their Roman Catholic religion has more recently set them apart from Eastern Orthodox Serbs in the Banat, despite the common language and a long history of solidarity (partly continued to this day through joint Serb-Krashovan organizations).

See also



References

  1. Recensământ 2002. Rezultate: Populaţia după etnie la recensământul din 2002; retrieved November 10, 2007
  2. Structura etno-demografic─â pe arii geografice. Cara┼čova, at the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center. Open Society Foundation Romania; retrieved November 10, 2007
  3. Structura etno-demografic─â pe arii geografice. Lupac, at the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center. Open Society Foundation Romania; retrieved November 10, 2007
  4. Die ├Âsterreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild, Vienna 1902
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Austria-Hungary_(ethnic).JPG
  6. Spa┼úiul istoric ┼či etnic rom├ónesc, Vol.I, Editura Militar─â, Bucharest, 1992


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