Thursday, 25 June 2009
National Minorities in Europe
National minorities have had their democratic rights trampled upon for too long. Here are some examples : Breton families deported to the South of France for speaking Breton; Welsh speakers denied their rights in courts and schools to speak the language of birth; Scottish landowners reduced to poverty as their lands were enclosed and clan tartans banished; Cornish nationalists scorned and the status of their Stannery Parliament denigrated; Basques prevented from asserting their cultural individuality; Irish people treated as second-class citizens in Ulster ...the list goes on. These peoples with their distinctive cultures, languages and traditions have for centuries been dominated and often subjugated by the major powers in the region, notably Britain, France, Spain and Italy. Yet they continue to survive and flourish and to resist the tide of uniformity which seeks to ethnic-cleanse their colourful character and cultural and linguistic diversity and uniqueness.