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Moldova to mark native language day on Sunday

August 31, 2014, 9:18 UTC+3 CHISINAU
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CHISINAU, August 31, /ITAR-TASS/. Moldova will mark its native language day on Sunday with book presentations, exhibitions and a concert on Chisinau’s central square in which Moldovan and Romanian singers will take part.

The day was instituted as a holiday in 1990 on the wave of Soviet “perestroika” when the Moldovan parliament proclaimed Moldovan to be the state language and converted it from the Cyrillic to Latin alphabet.

The Moldovan authorities declared Russian, which was spoken by more than a third of the country’s population at that time, to be a language of inter-ethnic communication.

On August 31, Moldovans usually pay tribute to poet Alexei Mateyevich (1888-1917), a priest of the Russian Imperial Army who wrote a poem titled “Our Language.” It became Moldova’s national anthem in 1994.

“Unfortunately, the Moldovan authorities have started revising the rules and regulations concerning the use of native languages by ethnic minorities in Moldova. The trend is particularly noticeable in the media and education that affects directly the status of the Russian language in Moldova,” Russian Ambassador to Moldova Farit Mukhametshin told Itar-Tass.

The Russian diplomat said the Moldovan authorities had to take account of the interests of all ethnic groups and preserve equal rights of all citizens in choosing their language.

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