Two Ukrainian villages from North Bucovina decide on Romanian for regional language

Romanian became an official regional language in a village in Ukraine, where 95 percent of the inhabitants say Romanian is their mother tongue. The villagers of Nijnie Petrovţi, Cernauti region, currently in Ukraine, are a few steps away from enforcing the language law in their village. A special task force was created by the local council.

Another village in the same region previously granted Romanian and Moldovan languages the status of regional languages. The village of Tarasoveţk found that some of its inhabitants see themselves as Romanians, and others, as Moldavians hence the two regional languages. Out of the 5,000 inhabitants in Tarasoveţk, 95 percent say they are Romanians or Moldavians.

The Ukrainian Government approved several amendments earlier in September to the Minority Languages in Ukraine. The procedure of recognizing a regional state based on the language spoken by a minority states that at least 30 percent of the population of a certain area must speak that language. The percentage was raised from the previous 10 percent ceiling.

The region of Cernauti, North of Romania, was the former capital of the Bucovina region. Romania lost the region, also known as Northern Bucovina, together with Basarabia (currently the Republic of Moldova) and the Herta region in 1940, to the Soviet Union, following the Ribbentrop – Molotov pact in 1939.

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