Commemorations

One Century Lia Rumantscha

The Lia Rumantscha (Romansh Organisation) was founded in Chur in 1919, October 26th, as an umbrella organisation for Romansh associations in Graubünden (Grisons).

Romansh personalities from Oberhalstein, Unterengadin, Oberengadin and the Oberland were worried about the Romansh language and culture.

Giachen Conrad (1882-1956), Giachen Michel Nay (1860-1920) and Andrea Vital (1885-1943) were the founders.

German was becoming the dominant language in more and more villages, education and public life.

From its head office in Chur, the Lia Rumantscha supports, fosters and coordinates the activities of regional organisatons that work in favour of the Romansh language and culture ever since.

The organisation campaigns for the promotion and maintenance of Romansh at home, work and school, in the church and in public life, organises cultural events and represents the Romansh community in the various fields of political and social life.

It also drew up a concept of a standardized written Romansh language, the Rumantsch Grischun, for the whole of Graubünden.

This language is based on three Romansh idioms (Sursilvan, Vallader and Surmiran, the other two Romansh dialects are Putèr en Sutsilvan).

The language was created in accordance with the majority principle. Wherever possible, a form that is common to these three written idioms was taken.

Since 1986, it had been the practice of the Swiss Confederation to use Rumantsch Grischun for any document with a particular bearing on the Romansh-speaking territory.

The language was recognised as the fourth national language in 1938. From a territorial point of view, the Romansh language is still losing ground however. Ilanz, Disentis, Flims and the Oberland, Oberengadin, Oberhalstein, are strongly germanised, just a few small villages speak Romansh.

The education and the use in daily life are decisive for the survival of these dialects and langage. There is hope and the Lia Rumantscha is an effective and active organisation.  (further information: www. liarumantscha.ch).