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Agreement on a unified spelling system for literary Kashubian was reached in 1996 1)
Kashubian is a West Slavic language spoken in Northern Poland in the province of Pomerania (województwo pomorskie). Below are shown Kashubian speaker percentages in the province Województwo Pomorskie 2)
Historically and paleo-ethnologically, the Kashubs are said to be direct descendants of the Pomeranians, a Slavic people that inhabited the Baltic coast between the Vistula and the Oder rivers, perhaps even as far westward as the Elbe, in the early Middle Ages, and who long constituted a serious threat to the Lekhits – the ancestors of what later would be the Polish nation. The modern history of Kashub began in the mid-19th century, with ideas brought by the Spring of Nations and the pan-Slavic movement 4).
The Law on the system of educatio of 1991 gives pupils the right to maintain their national, ethnic, religious and linguistic identity. Classes in/on their mother tongue, history and culture are allowed5).
The Decree of the Minister of National Education and Sports on conditions and methods for enabling pupils belonging to national minorities and ethnic groups to maintain their national, ethnic and linguistic identity of 20026).
Poland's Act on National and Ethnic Minorities and the Regional Language (2005) states that:
“Because this language is important to us, we are thrilled that it is so far Poland's only regional language; it gives us many benefits but it also makes us more proud of it. Because a dialect is not the same. A regional language is something more important, something we can be proud of and it can spur us into further action”.7)
Primary schools offering Kashubian classes in 2003/20048).
|Subject||Number of schools||Hours per week||Number of children|
|Kashubian language||1||4||total: 2,951|
|Kashubian language and regional culture||3||3||total: 358|
|Regional education with elements of Kashubian language||4||3||total: 1,358|
“I started to learn Kashubian at school and then I decided to take the Kashubian final exam. I said to my mum: 'You have to speak Kashubian with me now'. And we started to speak Kashubian. But once my mum said to me that I spoke a different Kashubian and that it would be better for me not to hear her uneducated language. And she refused to speak Kashubian with me”.9)
Read more about Kashubian language education in Mercator's Regional Dossier (2004).
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