Romanians of Serbia

Ethnic group
group=Romanians of Serbia

poptime=74,630 or 0.74% of Serbia's population
(34,576 declared Romanians
40,054 declared Vlachs)
popplace=Vojvodina, north-eastern Central Serbia
langs=Romanian/Vlach |rels=Predominantly Eastern Orthodox.

Romanians ( _ro. "Românii din Serbia" or "Rumânii din Sârbie", _sr. "Rumuni" or "Румуни") are a recognised national minority in Serbia. The total number of declared Romanians in 2002 Serbian census was 34,576, while 40,054 people declared themselves Vlachs, although there are between some of the Vlachs opposite views they should be regarded as Romanians or as members of distinctive nationality. In a romanian-jugoslav agreement from the 4. November 2002, the jugoslav authorities agreed to recognize the Romanian identity of the Vlach population in Central Serbia [ [ Adevărul, 6 Noiembrie 2002] : "Prin acordul privind minoritatile, semnat, luni, la Belgrad, de catre presedintii Ion Iliescu si Voislav Kostunita, statul iugoslav recunoaste dreptul apartenentei la minoritatea romaneasca din Iugoslavia al celor aproape 120.000 de vlahi (cifra neoficiala), care traiesc in Valea Timocului, in Serbia de Rasarit."] , but the agreement wasn't applied [ [ Curierul Naţional, 25 ianuarie 2003] : "Chiar si acordul dintre presedintii Ion Iliescu si Voislav Kostunita, semnat la sfarsitul anului trecut, nu este respectat, in ceea ce priveste minoritatile, deoarece locuitorii din Valea Timocului, numiti vlahi, nu sunt recunoscuti ca minoritari, ci doar „grup etnic“."] . In April 2005, many deputies from the Council of Europe protested against Serbia's threatment of this population [ [ Parlamentary Assembly, 28 April 2005] : "Deeply concerned over the cultural situation of the so-called “Vlach” Romanians dwelling in 154 ethnic Romanian localities 48 localities of mixed ethnic make-up between the Danube, Timok and Morava Rivers who since 1833 have been unable to enjoy ethnic rights in schools and churches"] . In August 2007, they have been officially recognized as a national minority, and their language was recognized to be the Romanian. [ [ România Liberă, 16 August 2007] : "Romanii din Valea Timocului, cunoscuti drept vlahi, au obtinut recunoasterea statutului de minoritate nationala. Decizia guvernului de la Belgrad inseamna, printre altele, ca limba romana ar putea fi predata in premiera in scolile din Serbia unde romanii timoceni sunt majoritari, transmite BBC, preluat de Rompres."] Declared Romanians are mostly concentrated in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, while declared Vlachs are mostly concentrated in north-eastern parts of Central Serbia.


Of the total number of 34,576 declared Romanians in 2002 census, 30,419 live in Vojvodina and 4,157 live in Central Serbia. Of the total number of 40,054 declared Vlachs in 2002 census, 39,953 live in Central Serbia, and 101 in Vojvodina. The Romanians of Vojvodina are mostly concentrated in eastern and central parts of the Serbian Banat, while Vlachs of Central Serbia are mostly concentrated in north-eastern parts of Central Serbia. The largest concentration of Romanians in Vojvodina could be found in the municipalities of Alibunar (26.47%) and Vršac (10.87%). The Vlach population is concentrated mostly in the region limited by Morava River (west), Danube River (north) and Timok River (south-east).



After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles, which defined the borders between Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, left a Romanian minority of 75,223 people (1910 census in Vojvodina) inside the borders of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In the 1921 census in Vojvodina, Romanian-speakers numbered 65,197 people.

According to the 1991 census, there were 42,331 Romanians in Yugoslavia, of whom 38,832 lived in Vojvodina (1.93% of the entire population of Vojvodina).

Central Serbia

It is likely that a part of the vlachs can trace their ancient roots to this region. The present geographic location of the Vlachs is near the former location of medieval Bulgaro-Vlach empire of the Asens, suggesting their continuity in the area. In addition a Vlach population in the regions around Braničevo (near the ancient Roman city of Viminacium) is attested by 15th century Ottoman defters (tax records). The modern Vlachs occupy the same area where in antiquity the Romans had a strong presence for many centuries: Viminacium and Felix Romuliana. In addition, the Vlachs from the area around Vidin in Bulgaria, with whom the Vlachs of Timok form a continuous group, separated only by the Danube by the Romanians, are natives to the area, not being the result of recent colonization or emigration.

However, some of the Vlachs of north-eastern parts of Central Serbia were settled there from regions north of the Danube by the Habsburgs at the beginning of the 18th century. The origins of these Vlachs are indicated by their own self-designations: "Ungureani (Ungureni)" (serb. "Ungurjani"), i.e. those who came from Hungary (that is, Banat and Transylvania) and "Ţărani" (serb. "Carani"), who are either an autochthonic population of the region (their name means "people of the country" or "countrymen"), either they came from Wallachia ( _ro. Ţara Românească - "Romanian State").

The area roughly defined by the Morava, the Danube and the Timok rivers where most of the Vlachs live became part of modern Serbia. Until 1833 the eastern Serbian boder was the Homolje-Mountains (the slopes of the Serbian Carpathians) and the state had no common border with Walachia. Prior to that, the land was part of the Ottoman Empire (Pashaluk of Vidin and Pashaluk of Smederevo) and Habsburg Empire (Governorate of Serbia).

The second wave of Vlachs from present-day Romania came in the middle of the 19th century. In 1835 feudalism was fully abolished in the Principality of Serbia and smaller groups from Wallachia came there to enjoy the status of free peasants. (1856: 104,343 Romanians lived in Serbia, 1859: 122,593 Romanians)

According to the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1919, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes annexed from Bulgaria also a small section along the Timok River in the municipality and District of Zaječar, composed by 8 localities (7 populated by Romanians and 1 populated by Bulgarians) [ [ Tribalia ] ] .

Origins of Vlachs/Romanians of Northeast Serbia

The origins of the Vlachs/Romanians of northeast Serbia are not well known to most Vlachs, principally because nothing is taught about the subject in Serbian schools.

As Romance-speakers the Vlachs can relate to the Roman ruins (forts, roads, palaces, graves, baths, aqueducts, mines, half-buried cities, etc ) that are scattered in NE Serbia, as indeedthey are throughout the entire Balkan Peninsula. Following Roman withdrawal from Dacia in the third century, much of what is now Serbia and Bulgaria was renamed Dacia Aureliana, and an undetermined number of Romanized Dacians was settled there. Strong Roman presence in the region persisted through the end of Justinian's reign in the 6th century.

The Vlach region of NE Serbia was part of the 12th-13th century Bulgaro-Vlach empire of the Assens, who were themselves Vlach. The chroniclers of the Crusaders describe meeting withVlachs in the 12th and 13th century in various parts of what is now Serbia. Serbian documents from the 13th and 14th century mention Vlachs, including Tsar Dushan's famous prohibition of intermarriage between Serbs and Vlachs. Fourteenth and fifteenth century Romanian (Valachian) rulers built churches in NE Serbia. Fifteenth century Turkish tax records (defters) list Vlachs in the region of Branicevo in NE Serbia, near the ancient Roman municipium of Viminacium. The 16th-17th century warlord Baba Novac (Starina Novak), who served as Michael the Brave's general, was born in NE Serbia. Thus the modern descendants of all these people can be held to originate south of the Danube.

Starting in the early 18th century NE Serbia was settled by Romanians (then known by their international exonym as Vlachs) from Banat, parts of Transylvania, and Oltenia. These are the Ungureni (Ungurjani), Munteni (Munćani) and Bufeni (Bufani). Today their descendants form about three quarters of the Vlach population. In the 19th century other groups of Romanians, originating in Oltenia, also settled south of the Danube. These are the Ţărani (Carani), who form some 25% of the modern population. It should be noted that from the 15th through the 18th centuries large numbers of Serbs also migrated across the Danube, but in the opposite direction. Significant migration ended with the establishment of the kingdoms of Serbia and Rumania, respectively, in the second half of the 19th century.

The lack of records and the linguistic effects of the Ungureni and Ţărani on the entire Vlach population make it difficult to determine what fraction of the present Vlachs can trace their origins directly to the ancient south-of-the-Danube Vlachs. However it is likely that they are in the minority.

Historical population


thumb|left|right|Official usage of Romanian language in Vojvodina (together with Serbian and other languages)">
legend|#FF9900|official at the municipality levellegend|#33CC33|official in parts of the municipality
Number of declared Romanians or declared speakers of Romanian language in various censuses in Vojvodina (censuses from 1880 to 1931 recorded speakers of Romanian language, while censuses from 1948 to 2002 recorded Romanians as ethnic group):
*1880: 69,668
*1890: 73,492
*1900: 74,718
*1910: 75,223
*1921: 65,197
*1931: 78,000
*1948: 59,263
*1953: 57,218
*1961: 57,259
*1971: 52,987
*1981: 47,289
*1991: 38,832
*2002: 30,419

Central Serbia

The following numbers reflect on the possible number of Vlachs in the censuses:
*1816: 97,215 Romanians (10% of Serbia's population.) [Ro icon V. Arion; Vasile Pârvan; G. Vâlsan; Pericle Papahagi; G. Bogdan-Duică. "România şi popoarele balcanice" (1913). Tipografia Românească. Bucureşti, p. 22]
*1856: 104,343 Romanians [According to the french geograph G. Lejean]
*1859: 122,593 Romanians
*1866: 127,545 Romanians (10,5 % of Serbia's population) [ [
] : "1866 zählte man 1.058.189 Serben, 127.545 Rumänen, 24.607 Zigeuner, 2589 Deutsche und 3256 andere."
*1884: 149,713 Romanians
*1890: 143,684 Romanians
*1895: 159,000 Romanians (6,4 % of Serbia's population) [ [
] : "Fast die ganze Bevölkerung, über 2 Mill, besteht aus Serben, außerdem gab es, nach der Zählung von 1895, 159.000 Rumänen und 46.000 Zigeuner"
*1921: 159,549 Romanian-speakers in Serbia (Vojvodina is not included) [ [ Official results of the 1921 census from Serbia] ]
*1931: 57,000 Romanian/Cincar speakers were recorded in Eastern Serbia (52,635 in the Morava Banovina and the rest in southern parts of Danube Banovina south of the Danube) Fact|date=February 2007
*1953: 198,793 Vlach-speakers in central Serbia (169,670 declared as Serbs, 29,000 as Vlachs) Fact|date=February 2007
*1961: 1,330 Vlachs
*1981: 135,000 people declared Vlach as their mother language (population figure given for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) [Sr icon Ranko Bugarski, Jezici, Beograd, 1996.]
*1991: 71,536 Vlach-speakers in Serbia (of those 53,721 Serbs, 16,539 Vlachs, 42 Romanians; out of the 17,807 declared Vlachs, 677 Serbo-Croat-speakers) Fact|date=February 2007
*2002: 40,054 declared Vlachs, 54,818 people declared Vlach as their mother language (population figures given for entire Serbia) or 39,953 declared Vlachs, 54,726 people declared Vlach as their mother language (population figures given for Central Serbia only)Sr icon PDFlink| [ Official Results of Serbian Census 2002–Population by ethnic groups] |477 KiB , p. 2 and PDFlink| [ Official Results of Serbian Census 2002–Population by language] |441 KiB , p. 12]

By some Romanian and Western European organizations, in eastern Serbia live around 250,000 - 400,000 [ [ Gardianul, 27 Mar 2007] ] [ [,,850103,00.html Deutsche Welle, 23.4.2003] ] people of Romanian(vlach) origin.

Language and religion

, census 2002] In Vojvodina, Romanian enjoys the status of official language and Romanians in this province receive a wide range of minority rights, including access to state-funded media and education in their native language. Most of the Romanians and Vlachs of Serbia are Eastern Orthodox by faith, belonging to the Romanian Orthodox Church (Romanians in Vojvodina) and Serbian Orthodox Church (Vlachs of Central Serbia). The relative isolation of the Vlachs has permitted the survival of various pre-Christian religious rites that are frowned upon by the Orthodox Church. Like the Serbs, Vlachs celebrate the 'slava', though its meaning is chtonic (related to the house and farmland) rather than familial.

The language spoken by one major group of Vlachs is similar to the Oltenian variety spoken in Romania while that of the other major group is similar to the Romanian variety of Banat.

ettlements inhabited by Romanians/Vlachs


Settlements in the Serbian Banat with a Romanian majority or plurality are (2002 census data):
*Uzdin (Kovačica municipality),
*Jankov Most (Zrenjanin municipality),
*Torak (Žitište municipality),
*Lokve (Alibunar municipality),
*Nikolinci (Alibunar municipality),
*Seleuš (Alibunar municipality),
*Grebenac (Bela Crkva municipality),
*Barice (Plandište municipality),
*Straža (Vršac municipality),
*Orešac (Vršac municipality),
*Vojvodinci (Vršac municipality),
*Kuštilj (Vršac municipality),
*Jablanka (Vršac municipality),
*Sočica (Vršac municipality),
*Mesić (Vršac municipality),
*Markovac (Vršac municipality),
*Mali Žam (Vršac municipality),
*Malo Središte (Vršac municipality),
*Ritiševo (Vršac municipality).

Central Serbia

Settlements in Central Serbia with a Vlach majority or plurality are (2002 census data):
*Bučje (Bor municipality).
*Gornjane (Bor municipality).
*Krivelj (Bor municipality).
*Luka (Bor municipality).
*Metovnica (Bor municipality).
*Slatina (Bor municipality).
*Tanda (Bor municipality).
*Topla (Bor municipality).
*Šarbanovac (Bor municipality).
*Vlaole (Majdanpek municipality).
*Jasikovo (Majdanpek municipality).
*Aleksandrovac (Negotin municipality).
*Kovilovo (Negotin municipality).
*Bačevica (Boljevac municipality).
*Valakonje (Boljevac municipality).
*Osnić (Boljevac municipality).
*Podgorac (Boljevac municipality).
*Glogovica (Zaječar municipality).
*Dubočane (Zaječar municipality).
*Mala Jasikova (Zaječar municipality).
*Šipikovo (Zaječar municipality).
*Dvorište (Golubac municipality).
*Krivača (Golubac municipality).
*Breznica (Žagubica municipality).
*Laznica (Žagubica municipality).
*Osanica (Žagubica municipality).
*Sige (Žagubica municipality).
*Brodica (Kučevo municipality).
*Bukovska (Kučevo municipality).
*Vuković (Kučevo municipality).
*Mustapić (Kučevo municipality).
*Neresnica (Kučevo municipality).
*Radenka (Kučevo municipality).
*Rakova Bara (Kučevo municipality).
*Busur (Petrovac municipality).
*Vitovnica (Petrovac municipality).
*Kladurovo (Petrovac municipality).
*Manastirica (Petrovac municipality).
*Melnica (Petrovac municipality).
*Starčevo (Petrovac municipality).
*Bigrenica (Ćuprija municipality).
*Isakovo (Ćuprija municipality).

Vlachs also live in other places with majority Serb or mixed Serb/Vlach population, such as the Zaječar, Negotin, Bor, Kladovo, Majdanpek, Požarevac, Smederevo, Velika Plana, Jabukovac, etc.


Vlachs are divided into several groups, each speaking their own language variant:
* the Ţărani ("Serbian:" Carani)
* the Ungureni or Ungureani ("Serbian:" Ungurjani)
** Ungureni Munteni ("Serbian:" Ungurjani-Munćani), meaning: "the ungureni from the mountains"
* Bufani (Bufeni)

Of these, the "Ungureni" of Homolje are related to the Romanians of Banat and Transylvania, since "Ungureni" (compare with the word "Hungarians") is a term used by the Romanians of Wallachia to describe their kin who once lived in provinces formerly part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The connection is evident in the similarities of dialectal phonology and folk music motifs as well as in sayings such as "Ducă-se pe Mureş" (May the Mureş take it away), a reference to the Transylvanian river.

The "Ţărani" of the Bor, Negotin and Zaječar regions are closer to Oltenia (Lesser Walachia) in their speech and music. The Ţăran saying "Nu dau un leu pe el" (He's not worth even a leu) show their Romanian origin since the leu is a Romanian monetary unit. But the "leu" is the currency in Romania only after 1867. So, this speech can possibly show a trade connection between Ţărani and the Romanian population that lives just across the Danube.

There has been considerable intermixing between the Ungureni and Ţărani so that a dialect has evolved sharing peculiarities of both regions.

The Bufani are immigrants from Lesser Walachia (Oltenia).

There is also a population of vlachophone (Vlach speaking) Roma centered around the village of Lukovo, as well as a few Aromanian families who live in Knjaževac, but they form a tiny migrant group.

Famous Romanians/Vlachs from Serbia

* Vasko Popa (1922-1991), a Serbian poet of Romanian descent.
* Emil Petrovici (1899-1958), a Romanian linguist.
* Zoran Lilić, possibly the best known Vlach from Serbia was the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between 1993 and 1997


General references

*Popi, Gligor. (2003) [ "Românii din Banatul sârbesc"] , Magazin Istoric, no. 8/2003.


ee also

*Vlachs of Serbia
*Ethnic groups of Vojvodina
*Official status of Romanian language in Vojvodina
*Romanians in Bulgaria

External links

* [ The Romanian Community in Serbia]
* [ The Romanians in Vojvodina]
* [ The Romanians in Serbia]
* [ Romanians in Serbia]
* [ Respect for the rights of the Timok Romanians (Eastern Serbia)]
* [ Romanian Orthodox Church In Serbia Threatened With Demolition]
* [ in Eastern Serbia (map)]
* [ Romanians-Vlachs of Serbia]
* [ The Vlach (Roumanian) Federation of Serbia]
* [ Museum of Majdanpek]
* [ MP3 recordings of Vlach speech]
* [ Ethnogenesis]
* [ Maps of Vlachs in north-east Serbia]
* [ The Vlachs in Yugoslavia and their magic]
* [ The Vlach gardens of Eastern Serbia]
* [ Report on the State of Human Rights of Rumanians and Vlachs in Serbia]
* [ Where the Vlachs of Homolje gather]
* [ Românii din Serbia, Ion Florentin Dobrescu]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Romanians — Infobox Ethnic group group = Romanians Mihai Eminescu • George Enescu • Alexander John Cuza • Victor Babeş population = c. 21.5 [The lower estimate is the sum of the countrywise estimates listed] to 25 million (including Moldovans) [… …   Wikipedia

  • Serbia — /serr bee euh/, n. a former kingdom in S Europe: now, with revised boundaries, a constituent republic of Yugoslavia, in the N part; includes the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. 9,660,000; 34,116 sq. mi. (88,360 sq. km). Cap.:… …   Universalium

  • Serbia and Montenegro — FRY redirects here. For other uses, see Fry. Not to be confused with Yugoslavia. State Union of Serbia and Montenegro Државна Заједница Србија и Црна Гора Državna zajednica Srbija i Crna Gora Federation, then State Union …   Wikipedia

  • Serbia — Infobox Country native name = Република Србија Republika Srbija conventional long name = Republic of Serbia common name = Serbia| p1 = Yugoslavia flag p1 = Flag of Serbia and Montenegro.png s1 = flag s1 =| demonym = Serbian map caption = map… …   Wikipedia

  • Vlachs of Serbia — Ethnic group group=Vlachs (Romanians) of Serbia Rumâni din Sârbie poptime=50,000 (cens.) 245,700 (est.) popplace=Serbia: 40,000 langs=Vlach (Romanian) |rels=Predominantly Eastern Orthodox. Vlachs (endonym: Rumâni , Serbian: Власи or Vlasi ) are… …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Serbia — The demographics of Serbia have been shaped by its unique geographic location. Situated in the middle of the Balkans, many different ethnic groups are citizens of Serbia. Serbs are overwhelmingly the largest ethnic group in the country.… …   Wikipedia

  • List of settlements in Serbia inhabited by Vlachs — Historical dataIn the past, Romanians (Vlachs) encountered a majority in eastern Serbia. Before WW1, many localities were populated by Romanians. Here is the list with the number of Romanians in each locality [… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Romanians in Ukraine — This article is about the history of Romanians in what is now southwestern Ukraine, roughly between the Dniester River and the Bug River, who traditionally have not belonged to any Romanian statal entity (nor to Transnistria), but have been an… …   Wikipedia

  • National Council of the Romanian National Minority in Serbia — Romanian language can be used on many occasions in Vojvodina at provincial as well as at local level. The National Council of the Romanian National Minority in Serbia, an institution aiming to conduct the minority autonomy in the domains of… …   Wikipedia

  • Religion in Serbia — Serbia is a multireligious country. The dominant religion is Orthodox Christianity (notably the Serbian Orthodox Church), but there are also numerous adherents of Islam (living mostly in Raška region (Sandžak) and the Preševo Valley), and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.