Monday, 4 October 2021

Eighth-Graders in Serbia Taught That Croatian Language Does Not Exist

ZAGREB, 4 Oct 2021 - The political leadership of Croats in Serbia on Monday condemned the denial of the Croatian language in grammar books for eighth-graders, noting that examples like this one show why negative sentiments among young people in Serbia about Croats should not be surprising.

The Croatian language in Serbia does not exist, Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina Croats (DSHV) head Tomislav Žigmanov said, adding that "this is just the tip of the iceberg of the social context affecting the status of Croats in Serbia."

According to the local Croat-language weekly "Hrvatska riječ", a grammar book for eighth- graders by a group of authors says that the Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian languages are South Slavic languages while "Croats, Bosniaks and some Montenegrins call the Serbian language Croatian, Bosnian, Bosniak or Montenegrin."

The textbook was approved by the Serbian Institute for the Promotion of Education, the weekly says, noting that it had contacted the competent institutions in that regard.

"As regards language as a linguistic and political category, our position is that it is up to the authors of the textbook to provide an explanation. The matter is covered sufficiently in textbooks and there are also experts on the Serbian language at the Institute who check textbooks," the Committee for the Standardisation of the Serbian Language said in its reply to the weekly, among other things.

"The Serbian education system denies our language. We should therefore not be surprised by the views of children who are taught from such books," the DSHV said in a Twitter post, with Žigmanov citing as an example of the negativity associated with Croats the declaration of the Bunjevci ikavian dialect as an official, non-Croatian language in Subotica in May this year.

The Subotica Town Council earlier this year amended the town statute to declare the Bunjevci dialect one of the four official languages in that town, along with Serbian, Croatian and Hungarian. The demand for declaring its speech an official language in Subotica was made by the Bunjevci community, which denies its belonging to the Croatian people.

"It is a paradox that Croatian, an official EU language, is being denied in Serbia and that the status of an official language is awarded to the so-called Bunjevci language, which is not recognized anywhere else in the world and cannot be recognized in the full sense of that word," Žigmanov said.

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Saturday, 7 August 2021

Jandroković: Attack in Subotica Prompted by Serbian President’s Rhetoric

ZAGREB, 7 Aug, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Saturday the rhetoric used by the president of Serbia and Serbian officials was the reason for a recent physical and verbal attack on Croats in Subotica.

Asked if the attack could be the result of the two countries' policies, Jandroković said the situation in the two countries could not be compared.

"The celebration of Operation Storm in Croatia is dignified. We celebrate our victory in the Homeland War without disparaging anyone. We have a good cooperation with representatives of all ethnic minorities, including the Serbs, and the rhetoric used by Serbia's president and senior officials is probably to blame for some people feeling the urge to physically or verbally threaten members of the Croat people," Jandroković told the N1 broadcaster when asked about an attack on five Croatian nationals in Subotica which local police said was due to a row over a parking space.

The Croat National Council said on Friday that five Croatian nationals were physically and verbally assaulted and their relative was lightly injured when an unidentified man attacked them in Subotica but local police denied it.

Jandroković also said that Serbia should face the truth and accept responsibility for the events of the 1990s.

"That is a precondition for better cooperation. We must all be forward-looking, there is no use in turning to the past," he said.

Speaking of wildfires that have been raging for days in Greece and Turkey, Jandroković called for developing international solidarity.

"We received help from them when the region of Banija was hit by (last year's) earthquake," he said, adding that Croatia was currently able to provide assistance to Greece and Turkey.

Jandroković once again called for compliance with epidemiological restrictions, expressing hope the tourist season would last not only until the end of August but the end of September.

The parliament speaker was today in Imotski, where he attended a ceremony marking 120 years of fire-fighting in the Imotska Krajina region and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Imotski Voluntary Fire Department.

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