CULTURE


In the Razim-Sinoe lagoon area as well as in the entire Dobrogea there are a large number of nationalities. This is the source of amazing cultural complexity thar can be met here. Years ago the ethnic groups from Delta’s villages started to organize themselves in order to keep their traditions faith and language alive. Ethnic groups: lipovanns russians haholi (ukranians) bulgarians turks tatars gipsies greeks and aromanians
The Armenians coming from Turkey and Minor Asia settled on Romanian ground at the beginning of the I st century, first in Transylvania and Bessarabia and later in Dobrogea. From the times’ historic sources it is known that the Armenians were attracted by the place’s economical resources most of them making a living from merchandising. Therefore, in 1900 came to live here 2.600 Armenians most of them settled in Sulina, Tulcea and Babadag.

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The presence of the Bulgarians in Dobrogea has social and political precise determinations starting from the moment of 1812 when after Bessarabia’s occupation the Russians wanted to colonize the southern part of the territory left behind by Tatars with a Christian population brought from Bulgaria. After a while a part of them wanted to escape the tsarist regime going south in Dobrogea. Because of the fact that during the Russian-Turk war the Bulgarians helped Russians at 1829 took place the big exile of Bulgarians toward Bannat Muntenia, and Russia while other 4400 families took the path of migration for fear of ottoman repression. Because of the Ottoman Gate’s amnesty 900 Bulgarian families returned and stop many of them in the Dobrogea’s villages from lagoon’s surroundings around the Constanta-Babadag-Isaceea road left by the Turks. In 1850 according to the geolog Peters in Dobrogea were living 25.000 Bulgarians their number drastically dropping after 1877 and especially after the WWII when a switch was made with the Romanian population from the Cadrilater.

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The Lippovan Russians from Romania are Old Faith Ortodox Christians known worldwide as Starovers (old believers) or as starobreadțî (old faith). The religious split that happened in the XVIIIth century initiated by the Patriarch Nikon and the persecution that came upon the ones that opposed the reform determined hundred of thousands of Starovers to leave their homes for the sake of the right faith. When Ecaterina the IInd intensified the persecutions and the chasing of the ones called raskolnics (schismatics) the slops And the forests from Dobrogea will prove save shelters therefore many Starovers will later stop on these lands building up long living settlements around churches. The presence of the Lippovan Russians in Dobrogeais is also linked with the migration of the Cossacks ruled by atman Ivan Nekrasov as a result of the raids started up against them by the Russian authorities. The cultural-religious characteristics of Lippovan Russians are the painting, sculpture and religious Byzantine style the ceremony in slave the eight edged cross the celebration of the holydays after the Iulian calendar (at 13 days after the Gregorian one). The Lippovan Russians are Russian speakers but since they established in a foreign language territory and lost contact with common Russian their language suffered a series of external influences differentiating and removing itself from the official language. About their traditional dressing it is said that it represents the link between mystic (worn in the church long clothes girdle the covered head are expressing sobriety) laically (the predominance of light colors represents the joy of life) and past (the keeping of traditional clothes indicates the respect for the inherited values)

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Tatars are originally from Central-eastern Asia. During the big conquerable campaigns of Gingis Han his nephew Batu obtained a great victory against Russians in 1223 thing that will open the road to conquer on the northern seashore of the Black Sea. The hanat that he builds up, Hoarda de Aur (Golden Horde) will extend its authority over Dobrogea too where the Tatars will offer a new dimension to the specific prairie civilization. The first precise evaluation of the number of the Dobrogea’s Tatars was in 1911 at this time 25086 Tatars were registered, that is 7.3% from the area’s population. After the Dobrogea union with Romania in 1878 a new era started for the Tatars through the emergence of some public instruction national culture and Islamic cult institutions. The Dobrogea Tatars created a personal culture inspired by history and tradition.

The Turks established in Romania in several waves the majority of the population being concentrated in Dobrogea. Their presence on this territory was first certified in the XIIIth century when a group of 12 thousand men-at-arms was sent in Dobrogea by the Emperor Mihail Paleologu for strategic purposes and for the protection of the Byzantine Empire against foreign invasions. Preottoman Turks will establish the habitation called Babadag (from Turkish “father of the mountains”) a military guard house and a strong cultural centre. Five centuries later the spiritual and cultural centre of the Turks from Dobrogea will be Medgidia. In 1900 in Dobrogea could be counted 238 mosques. Nowadays on the entire territory of the country there are only 70 remaining. The Turkish population from Dobrogea progressively reduced starting with the third decade of the XXth century when Mustafa Keshore Ataturk the Turkey’s first modern president offered Turkish ethnics houses and land at the return on native land. The education and the instruction of the Turks was mainly religious the school functioning nearby the praising places. Turkish tradition is nowadays kept especially inside families the Turkish language customs and specific songs being transmitted from generation to generation.


Ukrainians’ presence in northern Dobrogea region is linked with a tragic moment in Ukraine’s history: the abolishment in 1775 by the Russian Empress Ecaterine the IInd of Sicei Zaprojene – at the time a Ukrainian specific form of organization. The Cossacks will send a delegation at the High Porte asking for the Turkish protection and the right to establish a new Sich in Danube Delta. At Duvesseltul de Jos they will organize in 1813 a military camp Zadunaiska Sici that functioned 15 years until it was abolished by the Turks. Until the second half of the XIXth century groups of peasants from the southern parts of Ukraine will be heading towards northern Dobrogea in order to escape the serfdom and harsh conditions of Russian army. Here they will establish villages will build churches going in for farming fishing hunting and rising anishores. Needing the Cossacks army the Turkish government offered land and money for their military services. In order to differentiate them from their Lippovan Russian neighbors the local people called the Delta Ukrainians haholi.

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