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Bunjevci, Croats, Bunjevac Croats

People from the Bunjevac community identifying themselves either as Bunjevci, Croats, or Bunjevac Croats. The number of the total population of Bunjevci is unknown. The historical background of the Bunjevci in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Hungary, and Vojvodina/Serbia is complex. The Bunjevac community in Vojvodina/Serbia is represented by the Croat National Council and the National Council of the Bunjevac National Minority. Bunjevac speech is categorized as a New-Štokavian Young Ikavian dialect of the Serbo-Croatian/Croato-Serbian pluricentric language - BCMS.

The Bunjevac European Center (NGO) is a portal for Bunjevac heritage: folklore, music, dance, linguistics, education, handicraft, art, customs, politics, costumes, gastronomy, festivals, and history. We strive for independent Bunjevac information and for sisterly and brotherly reconciliation between the Bunjevac communities. The Bunjevac heritage is more than only folklore: it is a way of live for many people with Bunjevac ancestors. 

To this day, historical events are still influencing the demographic movements in Vojvodina, politics of national identity of different ethnic/minority groups, and citizenship. Kin-state activities in Vojvodina by foreign countries as Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia, are increasing people's sense to belong to the country of their ancestors. Serbia will have to show political maturity to manage its ethnic diversity, problems with state loyalty of citizens, crime rate, social instability, economic migration to escape poverty, and its own conflicting domestic and foreign policy in the context of the planned EU accession.

BUNJEVAC Folk Culture & Art  

Reviving Bunjevac Heritage 

"Today, the largest concentration of Bunjevci is in the ethnically mixed city of Subotica, which is their cultural and political centre. Traditionally, Bunjevci of Bačka are associated with land and farming. Large, usually isolated farms in the Northern Bačka called Salaši, are a significant part of their identity. Most of their customs celebrate the land, harvest and horse breeding." Folklorna Grupa Mladi Hrvati - Clifton Hill - Početna | Facebook





The Serbian-Croatian Bunjevac Case

Bunjevac Question - bunjevačko pitanje

The Republic of Serbia is using in Vojvodina a "segregated model of multiculturalism" (Žarković, Sara). Most people who declare that they belong to a specific ethnic/minority group, already come from families with mixed family backgrounds (e.g. mixed marriages between different nationalities/ethnicities, interreligious marriages). In the results of census taking is a disagreement between real ethnicity and declared ethnicity. Both the Croatian, Hungarian and Serbian authorities do not recognize a distinct Bunjevac/Bunjevci language/nationality. BEC

Pseudo-minority status of Bunjevci in Serbia: Disputes about the national status and historical origins of the Bunjevci go back to the nationalism wave in the 19th century in Austria-Hungary. The debate revived by the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Some Bunjevci in Hungary and Serbia, who are gathered around the Bunjevac National Council (Vojvodina/Serbia), claiming they are an autochthonous ethnic group (Bunjevac nation/tribe/people,, while most of the Bunjevci in the Bačka region identify themselves as a Croatian sub-ethnic group – an integral part of the Croatian national corpus (Izjava Predsjednistva HAZU o hrvatskoj etnickoj skupini Bunjevci), represented by the Croat National Council (Vojvodina/Serbia). BEC

Serbian Bunjevac minority policy trend: "Encouraging the division of the Croatian minority into Bunjevci and Šokci, and favouring those Bunjevci who do not declare themselves to be Croats." 17 September 2014.  Written question - Discrimination against Serbia's Croatian minority - EU

Statements about Bunjevci:

1. Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts 

2. Croatian Conference of Bishops 

3. Government of Croatia

4. Government of Hungary 

5. Government of Serbia 

6. The Vatican

What can improve the position of the Croatian minority in Vojvodina? (2019) 

Committee on the Promotion of Minority Rights in Serbia and Croatia (Serbia, 2018) 

Open issues between Serbia and Croatia after: SUBOTICA DECLARATION

  • Absence of objective evidence based criteria for voluntary self-identification of Bunjevci in relation to population census in Serbia
  • Border issues
  • Croatian minority - Bunjevci and Šokci
  • Different theories about the Bunjevac origin
  • Implementation Minority Education Program
  • Minority representatives in parliament/state administration
  • Minority status of Bunjevci and Šokci in Serbia
  • Political-linguistic dispute "Bunjevac dialect vs. Bunjevac language"
  • Politics of population census
  • Role of the government in the Bunjevac identity dispute - "Bunjevac Question"
  • Serbian minority in Croatia
  • Stigmatization of Croatian minority in Serbia





© Stichting Bunjevac European Center, 2015