Lithuania’s justice minister, who hails from the nation’s giant ethnic Polish minority, has celebrated the truth that she is lastly capable of formally use the Polish spelling of her title after an modification to the nation’s legislation.
“Thirty-three years, 130 lawsuits [representing people fighting for the Polish spelling of their names], two years in politics: it took me that lengthy to put in writing my title in its unique kind,” wrote Ewelina Dobrowolska, 33, on Fb alongside a picture of the brand new spelling of her title in Lithuania’s official register.
Beforehand, the minister had been recognized formally as Evelina Dobrovolska, utilizing the Lithuanian spelling of her title (which replaces the Polish “w” – a letter that doesn’t exist within the Lithuanian alphabet – with “v”).
That was as a result of, underneath a decision from 1991, Lithuanian spelling had for use in official paperwork. Nonetheless, initially of this month that rule was amended, permitting the usage of non-Lithuanian spelling, reviews the Polish Press Company (PAP).
That could be a change lengthy demanded by many within the nation’s Polish neighborhood, which, with round 183,000 members (6.5% of the inhabitants) based on final 12 months’s nationwide census, is the nation’s largest ethnic minority.
The brand new guidelines permits not solely non-Lithuanian letters for use, but in addition mixtures of letters than don’t exist in Lithuanian, reminiscent of “cz” and “rz” (which generally seem in Polish names) and a double “n” (which means that the Polish title “Anna” now not must be rendered as “Ana”).
Share of ethnic Poles in Lithuania and Belarus. https://t.co/jK8djbzlov pic.twitter.com/MEZa1XuiYY
— OnlMaps (@onlmaps) February 24, 2016
In her publish, Dobrowolska – who has served as justice minister since 2020 – emphasises that “my Polish first title and surname don’t in any means deny my oath and loyalty to Lithuania”.
“I’m a Lithuanian Pole,” she wrote. “A Lithuanian citizen who handed the state Lithuanian language examination with 100% regardless of her native Polish language. A Lithuanian Pole who swore [an oath] to Lithuania and works every single day for the rule of legislation and human rights in our nation.”
“Lithuania is created by individuals of various cultures and nationalities, and that’s our power,” she continued. “This allowed us to open our properties to the individuals of Ukraine with out even hesitation.”
…to considerations over the truth that many ethnic Poles in Lithuania watch Russian TV channels, which feed them Kremlin propaganda.
‘TVP Wilno is an excellent try to seek out an alternative choice to Russian TV,’ says the previous deputy mayor of Vilnius https://t.co/NPbI9RSdqQ
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) September 17, 2019
The change to Lithuania’s naming guidelines has, nonetheless, aroused controversy. The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, a conservative opposition social gathering, has referred the problem to the constitutional courtroom, notes PAP.
“Big harm has been accomplished to the statehood and territorial integrity of Lithuania,” mentioned one among its MPs, Eugenijus Jovaiša. “Linguistic integrity presupposes territorial integrity.”
Dobrowolska famous that one among her parliamentary colleagues lately informed her “don’t change your title”. However “I didn’t change it, I recovered it”, she wrote.
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Most important picture credit score: Lithuanian justice ministry
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a variety of publications, together with International Coverage, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.