Friday, March 25, 2011

Romania Marks 'Days of Bessarabia'

Today through Sunday celebrations marking the 93rd anniversary of the union of Bessarabia, an ethnically mixed borderland of the Russian Empire inhabited by Romanians, Ukrainians, and the Gagauz, with the Kingdom of Romania will be held in Bucharest. The celebrations will conclude on Sunday with a memorial at the tomb of Metropolitan Gurie (Grosu) of Chisinau, the first Metropolitan of Bessarabia following its transfer to the Church of Romania. More here.

Following World War II Bessarabia was annexed by the Soviet Union, which divided its territory between the Ukrainian and Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republics, with the latter representing the regional particularities of the region's Romanians as making them a distinct ethnic group. Although union with Romania was discussed following the collapse of the USSR, Moldova remains independent and its government continues to describe its language as Moldovan, not Romanian.

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