Identifying the Other

December 2013
Transylvanian Review;2013 Supplement 3, Vol. 22, p249
Academic Journal
Travellers who passed through Transylvania in the first half of the 19th century discovered a multicultural province, inhabited by several ethnicities. Amongst these, the Hungarians, the Szeklers and the Saxons drew their attention due to their political status and privileges, while the Romanians' most conspicuous trait was their clear numerical preponderance. Although a series of differences are evident with respect to these perceptions from one observer to another, the foreigners' accounts of these four Transylvanian nationalities converge in concluding that the Saxons had attained the most elevated level of cultural development, while the Romanians seemed to embody all the negative characteristics imaginable, despite also having a number of good qualifies. Hungarians and Szeklers were placed somewhere in between these two extremes, their image combining positive and unflattering attributes.


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