MINELRES: Fwd: Vitalie Ciobanu: Number of Romanians in Moldova

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Nov 1 08:22:54 2004

Original sender: Ionas Aurelian Rus <rus@polisci.rutgers.edu>

Vitalie Ciobanu, the author of the commentary below, is the editor of
the high-brow intellectual review "Contrafort", funded by the Soros
Foundation in Moldova.

Ionas Aurelian Rus



Number of Romanians in Moldova
October 19 2004

Imposed by international organizations and financed in a proportion of
50 percent out of external sources, the census of population, which took
place between October 7 and 12 in the Republic of Moldova, is, more than
it is obvious, not just a pure statistical action, but rather a
political enterprise. As it is known, the last census took place in
1989. It is logic to presume that within the last 15 years the figures
have modified significantly. Their more precise verification would have
demanded an intense preliminary training. However, there was not any.
Extremely few radio and TV programs explained the importance of the
census and offered specific instructions on filling in forms or on the
behavior of census takers. Moreover, the census was not carried out on
the left bank of the Nistru River. Prior to other aspects, this fact
proves the failure of the policy of "re-unification of the country",
around which so much noise has been made, proclaimed by the communists
at the beginning of their governing period.

The national identity of the majority of the population represents the
fire stake of the current census. We can say that the results that will
be presented on the "nationality" and "mother tongue" items will
determine the general orientation of the state within the next years. To
be "Romanian" or "Moldovan" does not imply ethnical belonging, as
certain people falsely try to accredit (applying, automatically and
without distinction, multicultural theories of identity within a space
devastated by the consequences of the communist totalitarianism), but
shows a public, or even geopolitical, option, since NATO and the
European Union have fixed their boundaries on Prut River. The
information gathered within these days seems to be encouraging. More and
more citizens declare Romanian language as their mother tongue, which
suggests the idea, alongside with the favorable influence of external
circumstances, that the miserable Article 13 of the Constitution will be
amended soon with the view of removing Stalin's forgery, which it is
dedicated to. It seems that the same tendency of truth recovery is not
emphasized too much, as far as nationality is concerned, where to be
Romanian is still more often perceived in Moldova as to live in Romania
or to be a citizen of that country. The conclusion of our affirmations,
more theoretical now, consists in the following: the number of citizens
that declare themselves Romanians and the number of Romanian-speaking
people (not "Moldovan-speaking") is directly proportional to their level
of education and information. In other words, to be "Romanian" in
Bessarabia is a cultural qualification, a "waiting room" of European
affiliation, because it indicates superior knowledge and a more
pronounced level of civil awareness. These indices are higher in cities
than in villages. Therefore, after the census, it will be interesting to
see the percentage of the so-called Romanian minority discovered by Mr.
Stepaniuk last year with a maniacal exultation of a political
"Columbus", who had lost his way in the century. The supposed Romanian
minority in Besssarabia is a strange one, because it has an unbelievable
potential of growth capable to transform the current majority into a
minority group, or even to "swallow it up", solving once and forever the
identity dilemma that tortures the Republic of Moldova. The persistence
of those directions of democracy, artificially supported by the
politicians with Soviet mentality and pro-Russian interests, prevents
citizens from uniting around the project of European integration.
Without the support of population, political declarations are as

The carrying out of the action on October 5-7 registered significant
violations reported by the press. Insufficiency of forms in Romanian
language, especially in Chisinau, bad knowledge of the state language of
the census takers, their attempts to suggest certain answers or to
collect information by phone, notes in pencil, all these are disregards
of common sense and inadmissible violations of the law that must be
investigated and punished. In the lack of the possibility of further
verification, the main fear expressed by the citizens is related to the
distortion of information written in the forms: there is a strong
suspicion that the authorities will try to withdraw certain results from
the current census, which will justify their policy of Romanian and
Moldovan language and obstructionism of identity. And how many citizens
had the will and the tenacity to go to the census section to make sure
that they had not been taken advantage of? Unfortunately, the majority
of inhabitants of  Moldova passively and helplessly assist at their own
humiliation, cursing the current and future governors that have brought
them to beggary. However, damnations alone do not solve anything. One
should get involved and do something, struggle for one's rights.

Besides political and identity aspects that dominate in the discussions
on the census carried out in the Republic of Moldova, other aspects of
the national sociological investigation are of a great importance as
well. It will be interesting to find out the development of the
structure of the population according to age and professional criteria,
educational level, religion, civil status, living conditions, birth
rate, the rate between people who live in cities and villages, the
number of people who work abroad, etc. Because of the lack of detailed
and varied information, it is impossible to put in action efficient
governmental strategies for combating negative phenomena, including by
attracting support from abroad, it is impossible to carry out
long-termed projects that will bring Moldova closer to the Western

If you have not been counted, you do not exist. And it is not the famous
"gregarious instinct", as it may seem at the superficial sight of
passionate minds. On the contrary, we speak about the affirmation of
personality and minimum civil awareness. It is just like in elections.
If one does not vote, one cannot make claims on the quality of the
government, because one has not contributed to its improvement. The
aphorism of J.F. Kennedy is golden: "Do not ask what your country does
for you, better ask yourself what you have done for it".