Minority groups in Hungary
|From:||Leo Caesius <leo_caesius@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 15:40|
Tamas Racsko wrote in response to J. Cowan:
>Hmm. So there are 8000 people who speak Slovak but don't consider
>themselves ethnic Slovaks?
Yes, among others some members of my family, too. It is the last
stage prior to assimilation."
Over the last summer I taught at the world's one and only Ottoman Summer
School, which (ironically) is located in one of the last few enclaves of the
Greek language in Turkey. It's a rather tenacious enclave, as well - in the
30s, many Kurdish families were settled on this island, with the result that
they too began to speak Greek.
The irony of it is that there are no "Greeks" to be found on the island
whatsoever. The inhabitants consider themselves Turks. In fact, the most
common name on the island is Ozturk (imagine umlauts on both vowels), which
means "100% Turkish" - exactly the sort of name that one would expect an
assimilated minority to bear. Every Friday the nat'l anthem, the Istiklal
Marsi, plays twice, and the inhabitants stop everything and stand to
attention. Pictures and statues of Ataturk are everywhere. The mayor, a
local, has been censured by his own party, the most right-wing in Turkey,
for being too nationalistic. Yet, surprisingly, the inhabitants continue to
speak Greek in their homes.
The people of this island were originally Cretan Muslims, who were sent
packing after Lausanne and settled en masse in Turkey. They call themselves
Giritliler "Cretans" and the language they speak Giritce (imagine a cedilla
on the c), literally "Cretan" - not Greek.
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