Period IV

Scuol, Minister Ignazio Cassis. Photo/Foto: TES.

Vallader Romansh Course in Scuol

The Vallader-Romansh language course, organised by the Lia Rumantscha, started on 19 July in Scuol (canton Graubünden) with a special guest: the Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis (Eidgenössiches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, Department of Foreign Affairs).

He was also one of the students at 8.30 a.m. Although his work only allowed him to attend class in the morning, he was an enthusiastic student.

More than one hundred participants were present. The Minister, therefore, rightly noted that the Romansh language and culture are attracting increasing interest in Switzerland (and abroad) and in the Romansh-speaking regions.

Moreover, the Minister is one of the initiators of the annual Week of the Romansh Language and Culture (Eivna rumantscha). The Councillor confirmed the status of the Romansh language and culture and the identity of the Romansh-speaking region.

Although financial federal support is needed to support the development and the promotion, the Councillor, belonging himself to another minority language (Italian, canton of Tessin),  also stated that it is primarely not about economics, but identity of the Romansh-speaking people (s). They have to use the language.

The commitment of the Councillor and the federal government and parliament show the state of Swiss society, the respect for diversity, other languages and cultures and the functioning of the federal model.  

Thirty years ago, there was hardly any interest (and thus money) at the national level in supporting and developing the Romansh language and culture. Romansh-speaking inhabitants also lost their commitment because of new media, tourism and companies from other regions.

Young people left the area for study or work and often did not return. But even among this group, the Romansh language and culture gain prestige and status.  

Nowadays, children sing, play and speak Romanish in the streets and school, older inhabitants are (once again) proud of their identity.

And with good reason. Romansh is one of the oldest living languages in Europe and a direct descendant of (vulgar) Latin and its Raetic predecessors.

Moreover, it is a beautiful, melodious language, which fits very well with the musical level and character of the inhabitants.

(Further information: www.liarumantscha.ch).