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Intermarriage in Transylvania, 1895–2010

Ioan Bolovan and Luminita Dumanescu

This book reconstructs the perceptions about mixed marriages across generations, starting from a detailed analysis of the statistical background and a description of this phenomenon in the historical past, and then focusing on the case history of families. As ethnic and religious diversity has long been an important source of social tension in Transylvania, mixed marriages have the potential to link the communities and act as a bridge between ethnic groups. Considering the multilevel analyses, the time frame from 1895 to nowadays as well as the historical past of Transylvania, this volume has a strong multidisciplinary character, predicated on a combination of historical, demographical and sociological methods.

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Introduction (Ioan Bolovan / Luminiţa Dumănescu)


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Ioan Bolovan, Luminița Dumănescu


Currently, Europe is witnessing seemingly unprecedented population mobility, a phenomenon that requires objective analysis and proper historical contexualisation. One of its main consequences is that it brings to light anew the challenges of multi-ethnical and multi-confessional coexistence. Being part of a particular ethnic or religious community, regardless if it consciously assumed or simply inherited, is a critical element of human identity. In a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional area, this essential feature of affinity, often under the influence of historical and political factors, may lead to adversative and antagonistic references to the “other”.

This is the case of Transylvania, a distinct region of present-day Romania. Since the Middle Ages, other ethnic groups have settled in this territory, next to the native Romanians: Hungarians, Germans, Jews, Armenians, Serbs, Slovaks, Gypsies and others. The presence of these minorities among Romanians has not been unitary either chronologically (they arrived at different points in time) or demographically (some of them, like the Hungarians or the Germans, settled in greater numbers than others – the Serbs or the Slovaks). This map conferred this area a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional character. Thus, Transylvania had for centuries a population consisting of three dominant ethnicities (Romanians, Hungarians, Germans) and six confessions: Orthodox, Greek-Catholic, Protestant, Roman-Catholic, Evangelical and Jewish. Transylvania comprises several historical provinces: historical Transylvania or Erdely, Banat, Crișana and Maramureș. These territories were conquered in the eleventh and thirteen centuries by the Kingdom of...

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