Bilingualism in the public administration program

Romania boasts proudly about achieving multiculturalism and multilingualism, however, we could talk about multiculturalism only if the language of all co-existing communities would be present in schools and public spaces.  We can not talk about multiculturalism in such schools, official institutions and public sphere where the language of the national minority is not displayed at all.

True multiculturalism does not limit the usage of different languages, but instead it honours it.  It pays equal attention to everybody’s culture and language, and encourages their use. At the same time, bilingualism offers respect to all languages and teaches tolerance and mutual acceptance of each other. Monolingualism homogenizes people, it does not teaches the two communities (Hungarian and Romanian) to co-exist respecting each other.

Given the fact that Tirgu Mures/Marosvásárhely is composed almost in equal percenteges by Romanian (50%) and Hungarian (47%) inhabitants the real bilingualism, the so much praised european multiculturalism whould be “normal” and spread in the city. The colourfulnees and multiculturalism of Transylvania remains otherwise only memory. We cannot believe that because on individual level there are many bilingual speakers (persons who speak both Hungarian and Romanian however they are almost exclusively Hungarians) in our city or in Transylvania, there is a real bilingualism. We have to differenciate the individual bilingualism (what exists in case of Hungarian persons) from the societal bilingualism, that is non-existent . Real bilingualism were if we wouldn’t have to swich fro Hungarian into Romanian as we step out to the public and official sphere,  if we wouldn’t hav to loose our linguistic comfort always when stepping out from our homes.

The goal of the Civic Engagement Movement (CEMO) is to actively and effectively contribute to the encouragement and increase of rights-based attitude within the society and our goal with the Bilingualism Program is to encourage inhabitants to dare to use their mother tongues in public and official settings as well, because they have the legal base for it. These rights are guaranteed by the Local Administration Act No. 2001/215 regarding public institutions, the Constitution, and by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ratified by Romania through the Act No. 2007/282.