Teaching and Participant Observation. Interconnections of Culture and Language in an Eastern-European Local Society

Lajos, Veronika (2015) Teaching and Participant Observation. Interconnections of Culture and Language in an Eastern-European Local Society. In: Culture, Language and Globalizaton among the Moldvaian Csango Today. Finno-Ugrian Society, Helsinki, pp. 85-110. ISBN 978-952-5667-68-4

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To study in one’s native language is a general right supported by the European Union. Tytti Isohookana-Asunmaa, a Finnish social scientist and politician, initiated CoE recommendation 1521 in 2001 regarding these rights of the Moldavian Csángós in Romania. The Moldavian Csángós are a minority of Hungarian origin, the vast majority of the Roman-Catholic faith, most of them being bilingual and speaking different local Hungarian dialects. Nowadays, it is almost a commonplace statement in Hungarian scholarly and public discourse that the ‘Moldavian Csángós are not allowed to study in their own mother tongue’. However, it is worth taking a closer look at the context and presumptions of this statement. For an ethnologist, teaching Hungarian for an academic year in one of the Csángó villages can be considered as a useful, as well as a controversial, means to be frequently present in the field. In this context it might also be seen as a socio-political act aiming to save the local Hungarian dialect, the Csángó culture and minority from fully assimilating into the Romanian nation. Nevertheless, my aims are to recognize and comprehend the inner meanings and implications of the matter of teaching. In this paper, I present details of events that occurred during my teaching period in Lujzikalagor/Luizi-Călugăra, Bacău, Romania. My aim is to highlight matters about the ways native people and outsiders consider the opportunity to learn Hungarian as a “mother tongue”, about the local conflicts generated by the option of Hungarian language lessons and its connections to the Csángó social space of multiple cultural and linguistic ties.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: moldvai csángó, modernizáció, nyelv és kultúra, részvevő megfigyelés, oktatás
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation / földrajz, antropológia, kikapcsolódás > GR Folklore / etnológia, folklór, kulturális antropológia
Depositing User: Dr Veronika Lajos
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2016 08:56
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2016 08:56

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