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Pannonian Rusyns in Vojvodina according to the 2002 census - based on settlement data
Pannonian Rusyns in Vojvodina (2002 census)
Rusyns in Pannonia, or simply Rusyns or Ruthenians (Rusyn: Руснаци or Русини, Serbian and Croatian: Rusini (Русини in Serbian Cyrillic)), are a Slavic minority in Serbiamarker and Croatiamarker. They are officially considered a separate nationality in Serbia and Croatia, but are also considered to be a part of the northern Rusyns (Ruthenians) who live mostly in Ukrainemarker, but also in Slovakiamarker, Polandmarker, Romaniamarker, Czech Republicmarker, and Hungarymarker.

The main difference between Rusyns in Pannonia and northern Rusyns is language: the language of the Rusyns in Pannonia has more Western Slavic features than the language of the northern Rusyns.


Rusyns in Pannonia mostly live in the autonomous province of Vojvodinamarker in Serbiamarker. There are 15,626 declared ethnic Rusyns in Vojvodinamarker (2002 census) and their language is one of the six official languages of Vojvodina province. The village of Ruski Krsturmarker in the Kulamarker municipality is the cultural centre of the Pannonian Rusyns. There is also a considerable concentration of Rysyns in Novi Sadmarker, where in 1820 the construction of St. Peter and Paul Greek Catholic parish church started, and was subsequently completed in 1834/1837. Other villages with a Rusyn majority include Kucuramarker in the Vrbasmarker municipality, and Bikić Domarker in the Šidmarker municipality. There are also Pannonian Rusyn communities in Slavoniamarker (Croatiamarker), forming a majority in the village of Petrovci, Bogdanovcimarker municipality, in Vukovar-Srijem countymarker.


The population of Banat and Bačkamarker was decimated in the Ottoman wars. Rusyns in Pannonia emigrated to today's Banat and Bačka regions, alongside Germans, Hungarians, and Slovaks from a region which in modern times, comprises part of eastern Slovakiamarker and north-western Hungarymarker. This was part of an intensive colonization by the Austrian Empire of the region's rich, arable land, aimed at increasing state revenue through taxes.

The census of Kulamarker municipality from 1746 shows for the first time three Rusyns - Janko and Petro Homa and Janko Makovicki.

The official date of Rusyn settlement in Vojvodina is January 17, 1751 when the administrator of Bačka Franc Josip de Redl signed a contract with Mihajlo Munkači from the village of Červenovo, in the county of Bereg, to bring 200 Rusyn families of Greek-Catholic rite from the upper Hungarianmarker districts known as the "Upper-Land" (Горнїца) to Keresturmarker. Kerestur was a Serbian settlement mentioned 1741 as ruined and abandoned, as the settlers had moved to Čelarevomarker. The same administrator signed another contract on May 15, 1763 with Petro Kiš from Kerestur, to bring 150 Rusyn families of Greek Catholic rite from the same areas in the "Upper-Land" to Kocurmarker.

As the population grew and arable land given to settlers by contract was limited, many families from Kerestur and Kocur decided to migrate to the town of Novi Sadmarker in 1766 and 1767. Later, Rusyns settled in Šidmarker, Vajskamarker, and in the early 19th century to Vukovarmarker and Ilokmarker, now in modern-day Croatiamarker. In Petrovci, also Croatia, Rusyns started settlement in 1833, and later Bačincimarker in 1834.

In whole Bač-Bodroš county (which was southern Hungary and today mostly Banat and Bačka), census from 1767 shows about 2.000 Rusyns. Census from 1991 in the same area, shows about 25.000 Rusyns. Currently, number of Panonian Rusyns declines and estimated number is about 15.000. The main reason for this is the increased number of Rusyns who decided to move out to Canadamarker.


Pannonian Rusyns consider their version of Rusyn to be a distinct language. Those who consider it distinct from the language of northern Rusyns argue that they speak a Western Slavic language, as opposed to the northern Rusyn variant, which is an Eastern Slavic language. Whilst distinguishing, this feature is not necessarily unique to Pannonian Rusyns, as the languages of other Rusyn groups in Slovakia and Poland also contain features of both Eastern and Western Slavic languages.

See also


  2. Sa bačke crnice na led i sneg Kanade
  • Рамач, Янко. Кратка история Руснацох. Нови Сад: Грекокатолїцка парохия Св.Петра и Павла, 1993
  • Жирош, Мирон. Бaчвaнско-сримски Руснaци домa и у швеце (1745–1991) том 1 - 5. Нови Сад: Грекокатолїцкапарохия Св. Петра и Павла 1997 - 2003
  • Лабош, Федор "История Русинох Бачки, Сриму и Славониї 1745-1918”, Нови Сад, 1978
  • Ranko Bugarski, Jezici, Novi Sad, 1996.
  • Stevan Konstantinović, Priče o Rusinima, Šid, 1995.
  • Vladimir Kirda Bolhorves, Na debelom ledu, Beograd, 1996.

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