Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
If you want some fun complications of ethnicity in the Balkans and central Europe, there is this old thread at language hat :

languagehat.com: PEACHES IN CLUJ.

The Szeklers are an interesting group. They claim to be a people related to, but distinct from, the Hungarians. Their traditions claim descent from Attila's Huns, but I don't think even they believe that. (Although it's surely no less likely than descent from the Roman colonists of Dacia.)

Other theories have them as Pechenegs, as Hungarized Avars, or as an offshoot of the Magyar Hungarians themselves. The Szeklers dislike this last one BTW; they insist that they are distinct from, though closely connected to, the main Hungarian stock.

There are some fascinating peculiarities about them. For instance, before they were brought firmly under the Hapsburg crown in the 18th century, they were largely self-governing. And their basic units of government were village communes known as "tens". These is eerily reminiscent of the habit of many Central Asian horse nomads. The Mongols, for instance, organized their societies along military lines, with the squad of ten horsemen -- the "ten" -- being a basic unit.

languagehat.com: PEACHES IN CLUJ.

The Germans of Romania come in at least two flavors, BTW -- Saxons and "Flemings". The Flemings weren't actually Flemings, but they came from a different part of Germany than the Saxons, and spoke a different dialect. I have the impression that the two eventually grew together into Siebenburgerdeutsch -- both waves arrived in the middle ages, so there was time -- but I'm not completely sure of that, and welcome correction.

Oh, and there's also a small third wave of Germans from Germany who came to be mine bosses and technicians during the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Our landlord is one of those -- his grandfather was a Sudetendeutscher who came here between the wars.) This group was never more than one or two percent of the total German population before 1989, but my completely anecdotal and unscientific impression is that it's probably now more like five or ten percent of the ever-dwindling remnant German population. I'm really not sure why.


Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Jun 26th, 2008 at 11:11:25 AM EST
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