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Presentation on theme: "LIFE OF LIPOVENS FROM TARGU FRUMOS DURING COMMUNISM."— Presentation transcript:


2 By Lipoven Russians or simply Lipovens we understand people belonging to a Russian population, settled in the Romanian countries because of persecutions, Starovers (raskolnici) are followers of the old belief and raskol is the separation that took place at the mid XVIIth century. As concerns the etymology of the word lipovean – Lipoven (with the popular version lipovan) 4 assumptions have been made throughout time in the specialized literature and in profane writings: The appellative hypothesis (the word would come from the Russian lipa ’tei’ by false conceptual association) The toponymical hypothesis (the etymon would be „a mythical toponym”, Lipova) The sacral hypothesis (the word could come from filippovka, a holiday name) The anthroponomical hypothesis, which is the only one acceptable from the linguistic point of view (the word derives from the Russian Filipp > filippovcy or filippovane „Filipp’s followers”, in Romanian. (fi)lipoveni where fi- is suppressed by apheresis)

3 The first documentary certification of a Lipoven town goes back to a petition of 1742, to the prince of Moldavia (Constantin Mavrocordat) sent by the Lipovens of Socolinţi village, today Lipoveni, Suceava, in which they told him they had been living there since 1724 Throughout the XVIIIth century, documents certify Lipoven towns and settlements throughout Moldova: in 1730 Lipovens are identified in Iaşi, in 1740 at Dumasca and in the following years at Târgu Frumos too, together with other towns and boroughs of Moldova The old people tell that the first Russian Starovers who settled in Târgu Frumos came from Nijnâi Novgorod, followed by the Cossacks in the tsar's service who were trying to hinder them from leaving Russia

4 In 2002, the Russian-Lipoven population of Romania counted 35,791 people, of whom 28,334 declared themselves as speaking Russian as mother language (1.7% of the country population). Most of them, over 20,000 people, still live in the county of Tulcea, Constanţa, Iaşi, Suceava, Botoşani, Vaslui, Brăila and Bucureşti Târgu Frumos has one of the most important urban community of Lipoven Russians. According the population census of 2002, 915 inhabitants declared themselves to be Lipoven Russian. Nowadays, apart from the 11,373 Romanians, there live 1,196 Lipovens (2007). Among them, 11,903 are orthodox, 1000 are orthodox following old rituals and 320 are old style orthodox


6 Collectivization into practice Lupu Petru remembers that the association began in 1954 and extended until 1960-1961 being led by “someone called Miron”. The association began in autumn 1961 and the first to subscribe to it was Filipov Alexandru The piece of information is confirmed by Dumitriu Alexandra who knows that the association began in the autumn of that year because it was then she got married The Agricultural Production Cooperative of Târgu Frumos also included members of the Lipoven community, especially for the brigadier position. Thus, Daria Platon remembers a few names : Iacob Sebastian, Moroi Trifan (“ Filimoniha’s”), Grecu Taras, Carpuşca Achinf, Maria Feodot remembers a brigadier called Nichita living behind the dispensary and Dumitriu Alexandra remembers Carpuşca Achinf and “someone called Vanea”. Carpuşca Achinf chose to be brigadier for the Romanians because he was not good at gardening

7 The social impact of collectivization The shock of the collectivization was a huge one, particularly because of the “uprooting” it had caused Without their way of living, the Lipovens used to lead a hard life, and sometimes they did not have any food to feed their children (Daria Platon) To keep up, most young men went to work on building sites, they were employed at some building works (water and gas inlet, canals). Thus, they worked as diggers at digging up in Iasi and building up the Medicine Factory „Penicilina” of Iaşi (today it is called “Antibiotics”) Generally speaking, women used to take care of the family and cultivate vegetables in the little garden they had round the house

8 Ways of resistance Daria Platon’s father, Carpuşca Terente, well off, was imprisoned because he did not want to give his land to the association. He was beaten, but he cried out and was set free. The whole family, all the ten kids went to the police station to ask those who had taken him away to set him free; finally, Terente gave up and signed. Running away from home, in the fields, hoping to see an improvement of their condition and for the “pest” to go away At Sarichioi they used to come at night, took by surprise those who were opposing and used to beat them until morning. Only the head of the family used to be beaten, most of the time inside the house where the other members of the family were present, but in another room, from where they could hear only cries of pain. Alexandra Dumitriu left for Roman immediately after the wedding of autumn 1961 to sell the carrots and the onion got at her wedding, hoping that, in the meantime, the agitation would end up. Back in town, they were tricked to subscribe, being told that all the other Lipovens had already subscribed and they were the only ones left. According to Mrs. Dumitriu, little was known in Târgu Frumos about the anticommunist resistance, but people used to talk about that only whispering The head of a family was isolated in a room, leaving him only a small window where he was given food. He stayed like this for about a month, but he was betrayed by a neighbour who had found out the secret from his kids. Thus, the man was found, beaten and made to sign the association application. Pricop Pracop ran to Lespezi where he spent some time, then came back, sued the Town Hall and the Production Agricultural Cooperative and got his land back, both from the field and the garden. Groups of Lipovens were sent across the area or the country to beat and persuade those who did not want to subscribe (Br ă teşti). The community priest, although aware of the event seriousness, did not show to be, at least not in the Church, either for or against those events because he would have been sent to jail.

9 “Reinvention of tradition” Some of the older Lipovens took up again the habit of cultivating vegetables and they can still be seen selling products at the market, but the younger ones no longer do that and have started different business (bars, barber’s, termopan isolation windows). Moreover, the selling Lipovens can be seen in other towns too, especially in Suceava and Iași After the revolution, although Lipovens got back almost all their lands, not all of them took up the habit of cultivating vegetables, not even some older ones. Nowadays the products are kept by the Lipovens, but they can no longer be sold because of poverty and because many people are abroad; everybody plants a little bit of this and a little bit of that in his/her own garden and no longer buys food. Even so, no one of the interviewed ones regrets the communist period, not even because they used to give you a “helping of cereals”, the rest going to brigadiers and engineers

10 CONCLUSIONS The information is spread and unequal, but it could be used for making up a period and history about which people knew almost nothing From the interviews I made I understood that the communist period and of course collectivization equally affected the Romanians and the inhabiting ethnicities; apart from losing the land and the goods, Lipovens also lost their traditions which were not taken up again after 1990 as mush as they had been before Although they wanted to delay or to fight against the system, Lipovens, just like Romanians, subscribed to the association, but they also went to work. Leaders of the working teams were also Lipovens, but they had been selected out of the poorest people or the criminals, in fact the first to have subscribed


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