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Armanj

Armanj

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Published by valer_crushuveanlu

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Published by: valer_crushuveanlu on Mar 31, 2011
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11/12/2012

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Vinirã di t alte lokuri Trã z veadã anoastre tropuri 
They came from other placesTo see our customs
AROMANIAN SONG
Introduction
The
Aromanians
are people who live in the Balkans on the territory of Greece,Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia andSerbia; they speak a language called Aromanian/ limba Armâneasc
ă
/armãneashti.
Aromanians
are often confuse with
Vlachs
The groups that can be historicallycalled
Vlach
include: modern-day Romanians or Daco-Romanians, Aromanians,Morlachs, Megleno- Romanians and Istro-Romanians.
Vlach
is a German blanket term to name the several Latin peoples descendingfrom the Latinised populations and speaking Neolatin languages in Central,Eastern and South- Eastern Europe.The word was later adopted to define the
Aromanians
and the Romanians, notmaking any difference between them, which often brings tomisunderstandings, moreover in all the Balkan languages the word became apejorative synonym for any shepherding community.These people simply call themselves and want to be called
Armânji 
, on theNorthern part of the massif Pindus in Greece
rrmâni 
recalling to the Latin word“romanus” as they speak a Neolatin language.Greeks call them
Vlachs
or
Koutsovlachs/ 
Κουτσόβλαχοι
, a word that can besometimes, but not always, offensive because
koutso/ 
κουτσό
 
means “lame”.An other interpretation suggests that the term might have a Turkish etymologywhere
küçük 
means
little
: so the
Aromanians
are the “smaller” 
Vlachs
incomparison to the Daco-Romanians, who are more numerous.In Serbia they are known as
Tsintsars/Cincari 
because they very often use thesound “c” in their language, that in Serbian is pronounced /Ts/, for examplethe word meaning “five” is pronounced “tsintsi”.Albanians call them either
Vllech
or
çoban
(meaning: pastoralist) referred totheir original socio-professional specialisation or
Llaciface
(similar to theSerbian definition Tsintsar, it has a bad connotation related to their language).In Romania they are known as Macedoromanians or “Macedonians”.Gustav Vajgand , a German ethnographer, in the mid-19th century named forthe first time this population
Aromanians
and the definition was accepted onthe international level.Because the written documents are rare, the discussion about their origin isstill open and very controversial. The Byzantine sources mention them as
Vlachs
and affirm that they originated by the mixture of Thracian, Illyrian,Greek and Macedonian people that were Romanised after the Roman conquest.
 
After the Avar and Slavic invasions they moved on the mountains, living asshepherds and they became with in the course of time successful tradesmen.According to the Hellenic sources they are a Greek population that wasLatinised after the arrival of the Romans. Moreover, some historians think thatthey are the descendants of Latinised Illyrians and Roman legionaries becauseseveral linguistic studies proved that the
Aromanian
language has a similarstructure as Albanian, the only surviving Illyrian language. Romanians affirmthat the
Armânji 
are actually Romanian and Romania is their mother country.The massif Pindus, that is a mountain located between Northern Greece andSouthern Albania, together with the nearby regions of Thessaly, Epirus andMacedonia, represent the most significant areas for the history and thelanguage of this population.It is possible to distinguish three main
Aromanian
branches:
Gramustians
,
Farsherots
and
Moscopolitans
.The
Gramustians
were essentially shepherds and take their name from themountain “Gramos” that is located on the border between Greece and Albania.Most of them are concentrated in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(Veles, Malovishte) and in South- Eastern Bulgaria.The
Farsherots
, who call themselves “Rrmâni”, derive their name from a placecalled Frasher/Frashër that is nowadays located in Albania, even though theycame from the massif Pindus. They believe that their language is, among theothers, the most similar to Latin. As the Gramustians, they were nomadicpastoralists or muleteers and they nowadays live in Greece and in SouthernAlbania.The
Moscopolitans
are from Moscopole (Greek: Moscopolis, Albanian:Voskopojë), in today’s Albania. This city used to be a very importanteconomical and cultural centre situated on the major routes of internationaltrade. For a short period, Moscopole was the second biggest city in theOttoman Empire until its decline, due to the raids of Albanians, culminatedlater with its total destruction by hand of Ali Pasha, a local Turkish lord in1788. The Moscopolitans were widely-known as very successful and skilledtradesmen or craftmen and led mostly a urban lifestyle, e.g. they were the firstwho changed the traditional clothes for more modern ones.After the destruction of Moscopole the Aromanians left the city and started toemigrate north. Once the Turskish Empire dissolved, the new borders of thenational states found them dispersed through Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, theformer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia.Their current situation changes from coutry to country. It has to be stressedthat they are full Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, Serbian orRomanian citizens. They fluently speak the language of the country in whichthey live in or even several ones and they tend to fully integrate into thenational societies.They generally preserved their language, even though theyounger generations use it less and less so that the Aromanian language andculture are today threatened with extinction. It is extremely difficult to declarethe exact number of Aromanians currently living in the Balkans. The Union forthe Aromanian Culture and Language and the Association of French

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