Vlachs on the Web

· Check out Spyros Mentis’s excellent Homepage for KEFALOVRISO, a Vlach village in the district of Pogonisi, Greece, near the Albanian border. There are village photos, articles from the local newspaper (in Greek) and audio samples of the haunting clarino music the region, as well as a live recording of a Vlach wedding in 1989.


· The CLOISTER OF THE PATER NOSTER in Jerusalem was built over the site where Jesus taught His disciples The Lord’s Prayer. The walls are decorated with 106 ceramic tiles, each one inscribed with the Our Father in a different language. Aromanian probably doesn’t appear yet on one of these tiles (perhaps in the near future if all our communities chip in–the cost is considerable), but it is listed alphabetically on this Web page and you can click on ‘Aromanian’ to read the entire prayer in Armaneashti:


· TRÂ ARMÂNAMI – Sutsata Armânjlor dit Frantsa (French Aromanian Society) – features the First Aromanian News Page and selections from issues of periodicals such as Zborlu A Nostru and Bana Armaneasca. A most refreshing and informative site!

http://www.multimania.com/armanami/ or http://www.mygale.org/09/armanami/sutsati.html

· The TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY has a Web site which includes an impressive, well-organized dossier on the Vlachs. Obviously, it is a politically motivated public relations move to counter Greek critics of Turkey’s denial and persecution of Kurdish identity, the Armenian genocide, unresolved Cyprus troubles, and the sadly diminished and at times threatened Greek quarter in Constantinopole (Istanbul). It offers excerpts from respected authors, Winnifrith’s maps as well as several wonderful old photographs of Vlach women in costumes and another of an old shepherd cradling a lamb.


· Parlez-vous Français? For those who do, THE EUROMOSAIC REPORT on the “Walachians/ Valaque in Greece” is now available on the Web. Produced by the Institut de Sociolingüística Catalana (Barcelona), Centre de Recherche sur le plurilinguisme (Brussels), and Research Centre Wales (Bangor), these studies on European minority tongues in Europe “highlights the shift in thinking about the value of diversity for economic deployment and European integration. It argues that language is a central component of diversity, and that if diversity is the cornerstone of innovative development, then attention must be given to sustaining the existing pool of diversity within the E.U.” Explore at:


· The attractive and interesting PREFECTURE OF SERRES TODAY site presents fascinating history and nice photos of this charming northeast Greek city, including two photos of the Vlach Youth Club and of the Vlach and Sarakatsani Folk Museums:


· The AROMANIAN-VLACHSTHE VANISHING TRIBE is a new site still under construction. It is militantly pro-Romanian and at times slips into a venomous tone:


· The winner of last year’s 22nd GREEK FOLK DANCE FESTIVAL was the troupe Thessaloniki from San Jose, which performed several Vlach dances. These enthusiastic, inventive youngsters did some intense research, then created an Aromanian village and incorporated Vlach customs, rituals, and farming tools into their prize-winning performance. Thessaloniki took authenticity in their presentation so seriously that they even performed Vlach songs in Aromanian. In a related GreekAmerican article one proud Dad explained, “It is important to us to pass on to future generations our costumes and traditions… I find it significant that Thessaloniki chose to research the Vlachs. Fanatical when it came to freedom, they were the instigators in the war to free Greece from the Turks.” Visit Thessaloniki’s Home Page at:

http://www.siteware.com/thessaloniki/ index.htm

· It has been predicted that at least half the world’s 6,000 languages will die out in the 21st century. Europe is home to quite a few languages and as it becomes more united in the wake of European Monetary Union, more attention is being paid to the inevitable costs in terms of the diversity of cultures and languages on the continent. Both the European Commission and the Volkswagen corporation are now offering financial support to safeguard regional and minority languages. Look for information regarding the requests for proposals at:

http://www.volkswagen-stiftung.de/english/merkblat/merkdoku.htm and http://www.eblul.org/galv-gb.htm

· The Council of Europe has, in the last three years, focused quite a bit of attention on the Aromanian language. First there was the lengthy report by Mr. Luis Maria de Puig, a Socialist Party member from Spain, “Report on the Aromanians,” which documented the plight of our language and recommended measures the European nations could take to help prevent its extinction (COE document 7728, 17 January 1997). Recently the Council followed up with Recommendation 1333 (document 8438, 15 June 1999), which reinforced the need to preserve Aromanian and noted the reservations of the Greek delegation, which questions whether there is actually a separate Aromanian language.


· The distinguished 19th century British historian Edward Augustus Freeman, in an essay about Race and Language, mentioned the Vlachs; you can find this work at:


· One Eastern Romance language you rarely hear anything about anymore is Istro-Romanian, spoken by a handful of people today on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia. Read the interesting (though somewhat politically oriented) information at:


· One of the more distinguished scholars studying the Aromanian language is Prof. Matilda Caragiu Mariotseanu of Romania, who recently published a dictionary of our language. If you read Romanian, you can find a review of Dictionar Aroman at:



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