Banat Bulgarians

Banat Bulgarians

Ethnic group
group=Banat Bulgarians

caption=Bulgarian-inhabited places in the Banat

poptime= flagcountry|Romania: 6,468cite web |url= |title=Structura Etno-demografică a României |publisher=Centrul de Resurse pentru Diversitate Etnoculturală |date=2008-07-24 |language=Romanian ]
12,000 (est.)Иванова, "Говорът и книжовноезиковата практика на българите-католици от сръбски Банат".]
flagcountry|Serbia: 1,658cite web |url= |title=Final results of the Census 2002 |publisher=Republic of Serbia: Republic Statistical Office |date=2008-07-24 |language=English ]
3,000 (est.)Иванова, "Говорът и книжовноезиковата практика на българите-католици от сръбски Банат".]
popplace=Banat (Romania, Serbia), Bulgaria,
to a lesser extent Hungary, United States
langs=Banat Bulgarian "(see below)",
common Bulgarian
rels=Predominantly Roman Catholicism
related-c=other Bulgarians, South Slavs
The Banat Bulgarians (Banat Bulgarian: "palćene" or "banátsći balgare"; common _bg. банатски българи, "banatski balgari") are a distinct Bulgarian minority group which settled in the 18th century in the region of the Banat, which was then ruled by the Habsburg and after World War I was divided between Romania, Serbia, and Hungary. Unlike most other Bulgarians, they are Roman Catholic by confession and stem from groups of Paulicians and Roman Catholics from modern northern and northwestern Bulgaria.

Banat Bulgarians speak a distinctive codified form of the Eastern Bulgarian vernacular with much lexical influence from the other languages of the Banat. Although strongly acculturated to the Central European region, they have preserved their Bulgarian identity. [cite journal |title=Magyar bolgárok? Etnikus identitás és akkulturáció a bánáti bolgárok körében |language=Hungarian |author=Zatykó Vivien |url= |journal=REGIO folyóirat |year=1994 |accessdate=2007-04-02 ] Since the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, many have returned to Bulgaria and founded separate villages there.


The official Romanian census states that 6,468 people of Bulgarian origin inhabit the Romanian part of the Banat. [cite web |url= |title=Structura etno-demografică pe arii geografice: Reguine: Vest |language=Romanian |accessdate=2007-03-29 |publisher=Centrul de Resurse pentru Diversitate Etnoculturală ] The Serbian census of 2002 recognized 1,658 Bulgarians in Vojvodina, the autonomous province that is the Serbian part of the Banat. [cite book |url= |title=Final results of the Census 2002: Population by national or ethnic groups, gender and age groups in the Republic of Serbia, by municipalities |date=24 December 2002 |publisher=Republic of Serbia: Republic Statistical Office |pages=p. 2 |id=ISSN 0353-9555 ] Bulgarian researchers estimate that 12,000 Banat Bulgarians live in Romania and 3,000 in Serbia.Иванова, "Говорът и книжовноезиковата практика на българите-католици от сръбски Банат".]

The earliest and most important centres of the Banat Bulgarian population are the villages of Dudeştii Vechi ("Stár Bišnov") and Vinga, both today in Romania, [cite book |url= |last=Караджова |first=Светлана |title=Банатските българи днесndash историята на едно завръщане |language=Bulgarian |date=28 November 1998 |location=София |accessdate=2007-03-30 ] but notable communities also exist in Romania in Breştea ("Bréšća"), Colonia Bulgară ("Telepa") and Denta ("Dénta"),cite journal |title=Catholics of Bulgaria |url= |journal=Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europendash Southeast Europe |last=Kojnova |first=Marija ] and the cities of Timişoara ("Timišvár") and Sânnicolau Mare ("Smikluš"), as well as in Serbia in the villages of Ivanovo, Konak ("Kanak"), Jaša Tomić ("Modoš"), Skorenovac ("Gjurgevo"), and Belo Blato.Нягулов, "Банатските българи", p. 23.]

In Bulgaria, returning Banat Bulgarians populated the villages of Asenovo, Bardarski Geran, Dragomirovo, Gostilya, and Bregare, among others, in some of which they coexist or coexisted with Banat Swabians, other Bulgarian Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox Bulgarians. [Нягулов, "Банатските българи", p. 92.]

Historical population

According to various censuses and estimates, not always accurate, the number of the Banat Bulgarians varied asfollows: [Нягулов, "Банатските българи", pp. 22-23, 56-57, 79.]


Banat Bulgarians have engaged in literary activity since they settled in the Banat. Their earliest preserved literary work is the historical record "Historia Domus" ("Historia Parochiae Oppidi Ó-Bessenyö, in Diocesi Czanadiensi, Comitatu Torontalensi"), written in Latin in the 1740s. The codification of the Banat Bulgarian vernacular in 1866 enabled the release of a number of school books and the translation of several important religious works in the mid-19th century. [Нягулов, "Банатските българи", pp. 32-37.] There was a literary revival in the 1930s, centred around the "Banatsći balgarsći glasnić" newspaper. Today, the Bulgarian Union of the Banatndash Romania issues the biweekly newspaper "Náša glás" and the monthly magazine "Literaturna miselj". [cite web |title=Периодични издания и електронни медии на българските общности в чужбина |publisher=Агенция за българите в чужбина |language=Bulgarian |url= |accessdate=2007-04-01 ]

The music of the Banat Bulgarians is classed as a separate branch of Bulgarian folk music, with several verbal and musical peculiarities. While the typically Bulgarian bars have been preserved, a number of melodies display Romanian, Serbian, and Hungarian influences, and the specific Bulgarian Christmas carols have been superseded by urban-type songs. Roman Catholicism has exerted considerable influence, eliminating certain types of songs and replacing them with others.cite journal |journal=Северозападна България: общности, традиции, идентичност. Регионални проучвания на българския фолклор |title=Песните на банатските българи |last=Кауфман |first=Николай |issn=0861-6558 |location=София |year=2002 |language=Bulgarian ] Similarly, Banat Bulgarians have preserved many Bulgarian holidays but also adopted others from other Roman Catholic peoples. [cite journal |journal=Северозападна България: общности, традиции, идентичност. Регионални проучвания на българския фолклор |title=Календарните празници и обичаи на банатските българи като белег за тяхната идентичност |last=Янков |first=Ангел |issn=0861-6558 |location=София |year=2002 |language=Bulgarian ] One of the most popular holidays is Faršángji, or the Carnival. [cite journal |url= |title=(Euro)Faršángji 2007 |issue=4 |year=2007 |language=Banat Bulgarian |journal=Náša glás ] In terms of dances, Banat Bulgarians have also heavily borrowed from the neighbouring peoples, for example Hungarian csárdás.

The women's national costume of the Banat Bulgarians has two varieties. The costume of Vinga is reminiscent of those of sub-Balkan cities in Bulgaria; the one of Stár Bišnov is characteristic of northwestern Bulgaria. The Vinga costume has been particularly influenced by the dress of Hungarians and Germans, but the Stár Bišnov costume has remained more conservative. [cite book |title=Народната носия на банатските българи |last=Телбизова |first=М |coauthors=К. Телбизов |year=1958 |location=София |pages=pp. 2-3 |language=Bulgarian ] The Banat Bulgarian women's costume is perceived as particularly impressive with its crown-like headdress.

Notable figures

* Colonel Stefan Dunjov (1815–1889)ndash revolutionary, participant in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and member of Giuseppe Garibaldi's forces during the Italian unification
* Eusebius Fermendžin (1845–1897)ndash historian, high-ranking Franciscan cleric, theologian, polyglot, and active member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts
* Leopold Kossilkov (1850–1940)ndash teacher and writer
* Jozu Rillndash 19th-century teacher and internationally acclaimed textbook writer; codified the Banat Bulgarian orthography and grammar in 1866
* Carol Telbisz (1853–1914)ndash long-time mayor of Timişoara (1885–1914)
* Anton Lebanov (1912–2008)ndash lawyer, journalist, and poet
* Karol Telbizov (1915–1994)ndash lawyer, journalist, and scientist [Нягулов, "Банатските българи", pp. 348-354, 359-366.] [cite web |url= |title=The Bulgarians |publisher=Festivalul Proetnica 2006 | Centrul Educational Interetnic pentru Tineret |language=English |accessdate=2007-01-12 ]



* Rumanija, Editura Mirton |year=2006 |location=Timişoara |language=Banat Bulgarian

External links

* [ The website of "Náša glás" and "Literaturna miselj"] , offers PDF versions of both publications, as well as information about the Banat Bulgarians (in Banat Bulgarian)
* [ The spiritual life of the Banat Bulgarians] , featuring 1938 publications bg icon
* [ BANATerra] , a "becoming encyclopedia of the Banat", version in Banat Bulgarian. Includes diverse information and resources pertaining to the Banat Bulgarians.
* [ "Falmis", Association of the Banat Bulgarians in Bulgaria] bg icon
* [ "Sveta ud pukraj námu"] , Nick Markov's blog in Banat Bulgarian
* [ "Falmis"] , Svetlana Karadzhova's blog about the Banat Bulgarians bg icon

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