Multilingual landscape in Vojvodina at the 5th European conference devoted to minority and local media

Multilingualism in Banat is a factual situation and a consequence of major historical events that took place in the 18th century, among which is certainly the German colonization, said today Dr .Filip Krčmar from the Historical Archive of Zrenjanin at the 5th European Conference dedicated to minority and local media, which is being held online this year as well.


Within his lecture “Multilingualism in Banat: German press in Vojvodina” Dr. Krčmar pointed out the influence of the German press on multilingualism in Vojvodina, primarily in the 18th century.



“The German press appears in Banat at a specific political moment that brings not only political, but also social and cultural changes. It is, of course, about the revolution in 1848, which was a civil war. This hostorical event only briefly delayed the establishment and continuous development of printing in Banat “, reminded PhD Krčmar in conversation with the moderator PhD Marija Mandić, senior research associate at the Balkan Institute within the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.



The focus of the second conference day is minority media and the multilingual past and present. Precisely through the story of the linguistic landscape in Vojvodina, today’s dialogue concerned primarily the importance of minority media, which, as a cultural heritage in themselves, maintain the linguistic diversity that exists in this area.


“The concept of linguistic landscape was introduced in social theory, especially in linguistics, and means the use of language in public space, which means the names of streets, institutions, graffiti, media, publishing,” said PhD Marija Mandić, moderator of the panel “Multilingual Landscape in Vojvodina: Public Discourse, Media and Publishing”.



The participants of this panel were PhD Suzana Ostojić Kujundžić, President of the National Council of the Bunjevac National Minority, proph PhD. Mircea Maran, High School of Vocational Studies for Teachers in Vršac, Virág Gábor, managing director of the publishing house Forum and Orosz János, Deputy Ombudsman, Autonomous Province Vojvodina.


“My generation still remembers when we had boards with the names of governing bodies, which were neither scratched nor peeled off. I also remember that it was completely normal to use the minority language freely on the street, no one turned to you, if you spoke Slovak, Ruthenian, Hungarian or some other language, “said Orosz János, adding:


“The Law on the Protection of the Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities, passed in 2002, defines the equal official use of languages and scripts, unlike the Law on Ensuring Equality of Languages and Scripts of Peoples and Nationalities, which defined it as simultaneous.”


“Minority languages in South Banat are visible, primarily thanks to the media, because there are media of all national minorities. “Some languages are in retreat, for example, the “Palćanski” language, language of Bulgarians living in Ivanovo (Banat) is not visible enough and it is similar with the Czech language in Bela Crkva,” said Professor Mircea Maran.


„Četrnaestog maja bunjevački jezik je postao službeni jezik u Subotici, to znači da posle 350 godina, koliko Bunjevci žive na tim prostorima, što je za nas izuzetan i važan faktor“, izjavila je Dr. Suzana Ostojić Kujundžić i dodala da se sa standardizacijom bunjevačkog jezika počelo pre otprilike 15 godina, što je rezultovalo jednom lepom pričom u kojoj je postao službeni jezik na nivou grada Subotice.


“Being a minority publishing house is a great advantage because we have not only Hungarian topics, but we can also address Serbian and South Slavic topics and authors,” said Virág Gábor, adding that the Forum publishing house believes that their important role is to be a link or bridge between Hungarian and Serbian or South Slavic culture.


“On May 14th 2ö21, the Bunjevac language became the official language in Subotica, after 350 years, as long as the Bunjevac people live in that area and this is an exceptional and important fact for us,” said PhD Suzana Ostojić Kujundžić added that the standardization of the Bunjevac language began approximately 15 years ago, which resulted in a beautiful story in which it became the official language at the level of the city of Subotica.


The content of the conference, which is also supported by Ecocivilisation, can be viewed on the YouTube channel Heror Media Pont Production and on the Facebook page Heror Media Pont.


The patrons of this year’s conference platform are the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, Public Information and Relations with Religious Communities and the Council for Culture of the City of Novi Sad.


Source: Heror Media Pont
Photo: Dávid Csilla
Video production: Insert production