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Friezen uit Lowlands Mail (Weer eens iets anders?!)

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  • Lieko Helmus
    L O W L A N D S - L * 31.MAR.2000 (04) * ISSN 189-5582 * LCSN 96-4226 Posting Address: Web Site:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2000
      L O W L A N D S - L * 31.MAR.2000 (04) * ISSN 189-5582 * LCSN 96-4226
      Posting Address: <lowlands-l@...>
      Web Site: <http://www.geocities.com/sassisch/rhahn/lowlands/>
      User's Manual: <http://www.lsoft.com/manuals/1.8c/userindex.html>
      =======================================================================
      A=Afrikaans, Ap=Appalachean, D=Dutch, E=English, F=Frisian, L=Limburgish
      LS=Low Saxon (Low German), S=Scots, Sh=Shetlandic
      =======================================================================

      From: Stefaan Vermeire [stefaan.vermeire@...]
      Subject:

      From the First Report submitted by the Federal Republic of Germany under
      Article 25, paragraph 1, of the Council of Europe's Framework Convention
      for
      the Protection of National Minorities (1999):

      I.4.3 The ethnic group of Frisians in Germany

      The Frisians, as a people of the coastal region of the North Sea, have been

      known since about the start of the Christian Era. West Friesland - covering

      the contemporary province of Friesland in the Netherlands, and adjacent
      regions - and East Friesland have been the settlement area of Frisians
      since
      the times of the earliest historic sources. The settlement area of the East

      Frisians essentially covers East Friesland and the northern Oldenburg
      region
      up to the mouth of the Weser River on the North Sea. >From the coastal
      region and from the islands, especially after the devastating storm surges
      during the Middle Ages, settlement also extended to more southerly inland
      regions where other people of non-Frisian origin already lived.

      The Saterland Frisians are descended from those Frisians who, between 1100
      and 1400, moved from the North Sea coast that had been devastated by storm
      tides, to settle, more to the south, in the Saterland where Westphalians
      had
      already settled. The Saterland Frisians live in the Saterland Community
      which comprises the villages of Strücklingen, Ramsloh, Scharrel and
      Sedelsberg, including many farmstead hamlets. The population structure of
      the Saterland, as well as that of all regions of Germany, changed as a
      result of the general mobility in this century and the in-migration of
      refugees and expellees after the Second World War. The share of
      Saterfrisians in the total population of the community has been reduced
      once
      again in recent years because of the arrival of many so-called "late
      repatriates" (Spätaussiedler) who, as former members of German minorities,
      especially in the former Soviet Union and in South Eastern Europe, returned

      to their ancestors' native country where they settled in places having
      sufficient housing available. The majority of the inhabitants of the
      Community of Saterland, however, (ca. 12,000) regard themselves as
      Saterlanders.

      Since the times of the migration of peoples (Middle Ages population
      movements), North Friesland at first had not been colonised. The Frisians -

      presumably by the 7th and 8th centuries - were the first to settle in some
      areas of North Friesland. Another group of settlers came to the low-lying
      marshes in the 11th and 12th centuries. The old North Friesland was not a
      political entity, but consisted of loosely connected administrative
      districts. Until 1867, North Friesland was part of the Kingdom of Denmark,
      after that - until 1871 - part of Prussia, and subsequently, together with
      Prussia, part of the German Empire. The settlement area of the North
      Frisians is along the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein (Kreis of North
      Friesland, with the islands of Sylt, Föhr, Amrum and Helgoland). About
      50,000 to 60,000 persons consider themselves North Frisians on account of
      their ethnic descent and their sense of personal identity. In their
      settlement area, North Frisians account for about one third of the
      population, while in some island communities they form the majority.

      Frisian, as an autonomous and ancestral language, descended from the North
      Sea Germanic branch of the West Germanic subfamily, differs distinctly from

      Netherlandic (Dutch and Flemish) and Low German and, in terms of historical

      linguistics, is closely related to Old English. It has evolved in three
      subgroups: West Frisian, East Frisian, and North Frisian. West Frisian is
      spoken in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands. East Frisian is
      native to East Friesland in Lower Saxony. Both regions form the historical
      (geographical) centre of the Frisians.

      By around 1500, the East Frisians had already replaced the Frisian language

      by Low German as the language used for drafting legal documents. By 1800,
      for the most part, they had relinquished their ancestral Frisian language
      with the language finally disappearing at the beginning of this century on
      the last of the North Sea Islands. North Frisian consists of two groups of
      dialects with nine local varieties: six of these [so-called Continental
      North Frisian] are spoken along the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein
      (including the holms, or Halligen), and three of them [so-called Insular
      North Frisian] on the islands of Sylt, Föhr/Amrum, and Helgoland. Despite
      the linguistic diversity brought about by the subdivision into dialects,
      the
      linguistic communality of North Frisian prevails. Of the North Frisian
      population, some 10,000 persons still speak North Frisian; another 20,000
      persons understand this language.

      Saterland Frisian, an Emsland-based dialect of the Old East Frisian
      language, continues to be used as the language of everyday oral
      communication by about 2,000 Sater Frisians. About twice as many people
      understand Saterland Frisian. Despite many Low German loan words, Saterland

      Frisian has preserved its linguistic independence. The Saterland Frisian
      language originally had superimposed itself on the Westphalian Low German
      of
      the first inhabitants of the Saterland. After East Friesland and the
      adjacent regions of Saterland had changed over to Low German, survival of
      Saterland Frisian was possible because the Saterland villages were located
      in a sandy river valley surrounded by extensive fens which provided a
      shield
      from contacts with the outside world and from its penetrating and shaping
      influence well into this century.

      East Friesland is still inhabited mainly by people of East Frisian origin.
      Although the Frisian language is extinct in these parts, an East Frisian -
      cultural - identity continues to be preserved by the majority of the people

      in East Friesland, living in the area between the border of the Netherlands

      and the Weser River. However, it is not possible to give a precise estimate

      regarding the share of people in the population of East Friesland who
      identify themselves as Frisians.

      The Frisians in East Friesland are united by the feeling of a common
      history
      and culture, which finds its expression in a regional identity. They do not

      consider themselves a national minority. The Saterland Frisians regard
      themselves as the Saterland Frisian language group. Nor do the largest
      group
      of organisationally associated North Frisians - the North Frisian
      Association (Nordfriesischer Verein) - consider themselves a national
      minority; rather, they regard themselves as a group having their own
      language, history and culture within Germany. A much smaller organisation,
      the Foriining for nationale Friiske (Association of National Frisians),
      sees
      the Frisians as a people in its own right and considers themselves a
      national minority in Germany. Nowadays, the two groups have agreed on to
      refer to themselves as the "Frisian ethnic group" and are thus designated
      in
      the Constitution of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein.

      Despite their different positions regarding the description of their
      identity, the Frisian associations and organisations welcome the claim to
      the protection and promotion of their culture and language, which is
      afforded to them by the application of the Framework Convention for the
      Protection of National Minorities.

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      ________________________________________________

      Liekele (Lieko) Helmus & Rinske Helmus-Deutekom
      Siriusstraat 52, NL-1223 AP Hilversum, the Netherlands
      31(0)35 6858 675 (+voicemail) fax 31(0)20 8848 931 fax2pc
      icq 60503294 gsm 06 28184122 (dutchtone)
      lhelmus@...
      liekelehelmus@...(+webcam)



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