In Romania, many ethnicities live together, characterized by a common historical past with the Romanians, but also by a pre-national existence. This existence is defined by differences in biological traits, language, ancestral history, religion, traditions and customs.
The history of the Romanians brought together, most often as a result of armed confrontations, a series of populations constituted today in different communities depending on the region in which they adapted and the historical events that determined their establishment.
At present, the main causes of tensions, even conflicts, include ethnic differences. The correct understanding of the relations established between the members of the different ethnic groups is the first step in the attempt to dissolve the interethnic tensions and conflicts.
The concrete reality of intercultural relations in contemporary Romania is based on two fundamental dimensions that define the communities and polarize these relations: ethnic belonging, in fact ethnic nationality, reflected by the concept of “national minority”, and religious affiliation, two dimensions that have a total overlap.
Concerning interethnic relations, three distinct categories can be distinguished: the case of the relations with the Hungarian minority, the relations with the Roma minority and, respectively, the relations with all the other national minorities affirmed publicly. Concerning inter-confessional relations, there are, on the one hand, the relations of the Orthodox majority church with the other denominations in general and, on the other hand, the Orthodox-Catholic relations, reflected primarily by the relations with the Greek-Catholic church. This classification is inevitably simplified but can be considered pertinent to guide the analysis of causes and dynamics of intercultural relations, while recognizing the high degree of variability present within each of the categories considered.
Following a study entitled Communication and Inter-ethnic Relationship in Romania, the following conclusions were drawn:
- There are significant differences between the way of mutual relations between Romanians and members of other ethnic communities according to region and ethnicity.
- Models based on positive relationship are especially distinguished by the interpersonal personality traits of the subjects, which makes them less adaptable and replicable in other regions.
- Negative relationship models are mainly due to socially shaped aspects such as tolerance and interpersonal communication.
- The Dobrogean interethnic model is confirmed to have positive and viable features with historical social validity, representing the type of relationship that could be apt to replicate in the other regions.
Bucovina, has always been a model of intercultural communication, with many ethnic groups coexisting peacefully, from this point of view the area is considered a “miniature Europe”.
In 2011, the population of Suceava County was 634,810 inhabitants and had the following composition:
– Romanians – 92.6%
– Romi – 1.91%
– Ukrainians (including Huts) – 0.93%
– Poles – 0.3%
– Russian Lipoveni – 0.27%
– Germans – 0.11%
– Others – 0,2%
– Unknown ethnicity – 3.65%