Today Moldova, as well as Romania, celebrate Romanian Language Day. Officially, Chisinau marks the National Holiday ” Our Language’s Day” on August 31. It’s been 31 years since the day the Supreme Soviet Department of the former Soviet republic voted for the Romanian language as an official language and the return to the Latin script on the Moldovan territory.
This year, however, the country’s leaders chose to ignore the holiday, and traditional demonstrations were avoided by the official state representatives. President Igor Dodon is on a private visit to Mount Athos, and Prime Minister Ion Chicu along with the Speaker of Parliament, Zinaida Greceanii, have not yet announced, despite media insistence, whether they will bring honoraries.
Our Language Day is one of the most important achievements of the Moldovan National Liberation Movement in the 1980s. It was preceded by a Great National Assembly which took place on August 27, 1989 and was attended by about 750,000 people or every 6th citizen of the former Soviet republic.
Under this force, in two days, on August 29, 1989, the activities of the 13th session of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic would open, which lasted until September 1. As a result of intense debates with opponents of the Supreme Soviet, Romanian-speaking deputies managed to impose the Romanian language as an official language and the adoption of the Latin alphabet. The most heated discussions in the Supreme Soviet took place on August 31, when deputies voted for most of the legislation on the state language and the alphabet. Subsequently, August 31 became a national holiday in Moldova.
Over the years, however, the official name of the holiday has changed, depending on the government.
The holiday was first celebrated in 1990, under the name of “Our Romanian Language” or “Romanian Language Day”. In 1994, the agrarian government changed the name to “Our Language”, a shift determined by the provisions of Article 13 of the Constitution of Moldova which provides that the official language is the Moldovan language.
In 2004, the Parliament decided to merge the holiday with Independence Day, which eventually failed to happen. Despite some attempts to return to the name Our Romanian Language, the phrase “National Language” remained in the institutional and official communication of the state.
Since 2013, Romanian Language Day is also celebrated in Romania. It was an initiative of Senator Viorel Badea and was declared a public holiday.
According to the law, the Romanian Language Day can be marked by public authorities and institutions, including diplomatic representations and cultural institutes of Romania, as well as by other Romanian institutions abroad, by organizing cultural and educational programs and events.
On this day, the public authorities and institutions hoist the Romanian flag, under the provisions of Law no. 75/1994 regarding the raising of the Romanian flag, the singing of the national anthem, and the use of the seals with the Romanian coat of arms.