Language Day in Moldova
In Moldova, the 31st of August is a public holiday known as “Limba Noastra” or Language Day. As the name of this holiday implies, it celebrates the state language of Moldova, Romanian. This holiday emerged as a result of the Moldovan people being forced to use Russian Cyrillic instead of Romanian during their occupation by the USSR.
This was seen as an attempt to force divisions between the people of Moldova and Romania. Today, this holiday is observed as a patriotic holiday with celebrations in the capital of Moldova, Chișinău.
The History Of Language Day In Moldova
Moldova was originally known as Bessarabia and was occupied by the USSR in 1940 as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. One of the first actions Russia took when it occupied the area was to try to convert the citizens from their use of Romanian as their written language to using Russian Cyrillic instead. This was not a popular edict in Moldova and was seen by the local population as the Russians attempting to drive a wedge between Moldova and Romania.
Throughout the decades, ill will towards the Soviets began to escalate among the Moldovans, and on August 27, 1989, the Popular Front of Moldova organized a mass demonstration in Chișinău. Over 300,000 people attended this event, which would go on to become known as the Great National Assembly. This protest helped to convince the authorities of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) to adopt a new language law.
On August 31, 1989, a new law was adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the MSSR that reverted to the Latin alphabet from the Cyrillic script that had previously been imposed. The following year, August 31st was declared a national holiday celebrating the Romanian language.
Observing Language Day In Moldova
One of the first things that happen on this holiday is that the President of Moldova will lay flowers at the monument to Ștefan cel Mare. Flowers will also be placed at the statues of Romanian-language writers in the central park of Chișinău.