Nikolai Buceaski: My Language: My Essence and My Soul

On the eve of the 22-year celebration of the foundation of the Republic, an intelligent mind from the leadership came up with the idea to fill the streets with huge banners with the slogan “NMR (Nistrian Moldovan Republic) was created to live!”

Generally speaking, wild dogs also live, although they are not subject to the Transnistrian statehood. They see, breathe, drive away flies with their tails, they eat whatever they find in the garbage dumps, they relieve bowels in the same place, they mate and they feed their whelps. So they live. They share with the young people and remind the less young people that our Republic was created not only to live but to live like human beings in the current meaning of the word.

To have a job in your country with a decent salary, rights and freedoms, access to the achievements of world science, literature, and to receive education in their mother tongue.

One of the achievements of the Transnistrian antinationalist revolution is considered to be the continuation of the Moldavian language on the Transnistrian territory, functioning based on the Cyrillic alphabet. But on the right bank, the main achievement of the last years of the 20th century is considered the opportunity to speak, to write, to receive education, to read books and newspapers, to watch movies, TV shows and performances and to keep track in their mother tongue. Moldovans say that, finally, for the first time in many centuries, they feel like home on their land. Those I have talked to deplore the collapse of the country, consider a barbarity the violation of the rights of the representatives of other nationalities and a crime the onset of the war of 1992. They consider, however, that the introduction of the mother tongue among the official rights is an unquestionable achievement.

We can talk endlessly about the importance of the language, without telling even a small part. Genetic, energetic and emotional factors of this problem have not yet been studied.

It is no secret that, by adopting the Latin alphabet on the right bank and by maintaining the Cyrillic alphabet on the left bank, the parties have entered a less peaceful competition to obtain great achievements in language development. It happened 22 years ago. It is time to make a review.

In this historical period of the existence of the Republic, no book or magazine has been published in the Moldovan language using the Cyrillic graphics and (let’s be honest) none will be published in the near future. We can even say… that they will never be published.

On September 25, I exposed the need for resolution of this matter before the Human Rights Commissar, Vasili Aleksandrovich Kalko. And I found out that for this it is necessary to transfer huge amounts of money from the State budget, amounts which anyway are not ensured properly. The problem is not taken into consideration, nor will be. There will be no radio and television studios to broadcast programs in the Moldavian language, Moldavian theatres, even if they are amateur theatres.

Vasili Aleksandrovich said also that Ukraine is in charge for the development of the Ukrainian language in Transnistria, Russia for the development of the Russian language, while Moldova has adopted the principle of non-intervention in this matter.

There is no money or specialists to organize in the NMR capital at least one kindergarten group with teaching in the Moldovan language. Why Moldovan children can’t read and listen to the poems of Mihai Eminescu and the stories of Ion Creangă in their mother tongue? Would the Russian Transnistrians agree that their children do to read Pushkin and Lermontov or do not read at all in their mother tongue? Why refuse the Moldovan children something so essential?

Education in Moldovan schools using the Cyrillic alphabet is hampered by the lack of modern textbooks. It is impossible to find a solution for all these requirements due to the same eternal reason: there is no money.

The Moldovans of the Transnistrian MOLDOVAN Republic do not have the opportunity to receive not only higher education, but also vocational education. Within vocational education institutions with agricultural profile there is not even one group with teaching in the Moldovan language. And this despite the fact that the Moldovan population is present compactly in particular in rural areas, making it extremely necessary to obtain such specialization. If a young person wants to become a doctor, engineer, agronomist, following studies in her/his mother tongue, she/he is forced to learn using the Latin alphabet (and for it she/he must find a tutor, which is very difficult and costly) and to leave the country. Because of this, they will start their studies later than their colleagues, just as when they wish to obtain a specialization in Russian, in Tiraspol.

The first generation of Transnistrian leaders promised to build for us a “little Switzerland”. But then they decided to alter their plans a little bit and build a “little Switzerland” just for themselves and a “little Zimbabwe” for us. And how to ever find the money in “Zimbabwe” to save the Moldovan language? That is why “their little Switzerland” would rather drown in banknotes instead of grabbing some money for urgent needs.

No theatre or artistic groups will appear. No artistic group from the right bank is ever coming to Transnistria. And, in general, no important artist is coming.

Because of the general neglect of this aspect, the Moldovan language with Cyrillic alphabet is running in a steady decline and soon will turn into a kind of ancient Hebrew. It seems that we learn the Moldovan language with Cyrillic alphabet only because some of our leaders to be able to proclaim solemnly once every two or three years: we and only we on this narrow strip of land kept the Moldovan language with Cyrillic alphabet. But what do we sacrifice by this? Nothing more than the development of young people belonging to the largest ethnic group in the country. Is this solemn declaration more important?

The editor of the newspaper “The Truth of Transnistria”, Nadezhda Andreevna Bondarenko, said she traveled a lot in the Moldovan villages and that she had never encountered this problem. People are concerned about socio-economic issues. I approved her enthusiastically. In the early eighties of last century, as a non-titular collaborator of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Moldova, I have also traveled extensively through the villages in the North and Central part of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. I loved this activity. I have also not encountered such problems. But in 1989 they were coming along, that I suddenly was hair-raising. If people do not talk, it does not mean that they do not think. Or that they think that our Moldovan mother tongue will disappear from the Transnistrian territory. This is the road we are heading on. Yes, the silence of the Transnistrian Moldovan lambs still continues. But do we still need to delude ourselves another 20 years and to pretend that nothing dangerous is happening?

The lack of the necessary conditions for the development of the individual, among other things, is causing the exodus of young people outside the borders and weakens the Republic.

The disaster already occurred. It is time to think about how we can reduce and ultimately eliminate its consequences.

I see two ways to solve this problem. The first is to allocate a large part of the budget for the development of the Moldovan language with Cyrillic alphabet. For the publication of political and artistic magazines or magazines for children, young people and women. Thousands of books with Cyrillic alphabet of the Moldovan and universal classics, technical and medical books in a much larger number than those published in the Republic of Moldova and Romania together. And so, after a few years, one of the NMR leaders will exclaim again: we and only we on this narrow strip of land kept the Moldovan language with Cyrillic alphabet. However, when I wrote “a large part of the budget”, I grew too hot. Even several budgets are not enough.

There is also another way. Allowing the functioning of the Moldovan language using the Latin alphabet, together with the Moldovan language with Cyrillic alphabet. Not to modify the curriculum of history and other subjects which do not correctly interpret, in our view, certain moments in history, but to accept the Latin letters. I do not exclude the fact that there are parents who want to teach their children in the Cyrillic alphabet, in which their children will not read any word in the future, but that will keep the truth of the phrase uttered at some point about the narrow strip of land. Let’s give them that right. Let’s offer them both the opportunity to study the Moldovan language in the Latin alphabet (Cyrillic) depending on their choice. To teach Moldovan in Cyrillic alphabet while ignoring it completely and not publishing a book does not mean to keep, but to destroy this language, removing it completely from use.

Only the Supreme Council may decide to make additions to the Constitution. However it is possible to organize a referendum. Especially among Moldovan speakers and not among those like Smirnov and Volkova: what do you think, Anna Zaharovna, it is correct like this?

In addition, I propose to establish groups with teaching in the Moldovan language in the kindergartens, one or two vocational education institutions with agricultural profile, to carry out regular exchanges of artistic groups with the Ministry of Culture of Moldova, to broadcast at least one Moldovan channel in radio and television networks.

I anticipate the charges brought to me by jingoes for denying one of the most important “achievements” of the Republic and even for betrayal. Forgiven me, gentlemen, but the sin of denial and betrayal falls upon those destroying and relegating the language. Those who with all their powers pretend that they “do no notice” what is obvious. Including State debilitation. There will be some accusing me of nationalism. I will say them warm greetings and best wishes! To ensure the successful development of the personality of the tens of thousands of young people means to strengthen the State economically, politically, intellectually and morally.

Jingoes do not have the courage to recognize the utter defeat of the Cyrillic writing on the Transnistrian territory and they, in the case of admission of the Latin writing in the educational environment, will express their anxiety for the growing influence of the Republic of Moldova. In the competition, or more accurately, in the cold war between the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria the winner will be the one building a more efficient economy and society, where human rights and freedoms will be observed. The adoption of brave decisions in the interest of young people belonging to the most numerous Diaspora in Transnistria will certainly strengthen the authority of the Republic at the international level. And, most importantly, it will strengthen our country economically and politically, thus preventing the emergence of tensions among the society.

Nikolai Buceațki
President of the Council of the
“Fund for the Protection of Human Rights and Effective Policy”


Sursa: „Grajdanskoe Obștestvo” („Civil Society”), January 2013, p. 4