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About the Society Farsarotul
Founded in 1903 by Nicolae Cican, the Society Farsarotul is the oldest and largest Arumanian* association in America.
There were two main purposes for its creation: humanitarian, to help our people in need of assistance, both new arrivals here in America, as well as widows, orphans, invalids, and the impoverished in the old country; and cultural, to preserve Arumanian culture for as long as possible, by acting as a focal point for our cultural activities together.
The Society has attempted to fulfill these purposes in many ways, including donating funds to those in need; holding dances regularly where we can see and keep in touch with one another; and donating funds for various cultural preservation efforts.
As times and people have changed, so has the Society. For example, the founders were members of a northern tribe known as "Farsharotsi," who call themselves Rumani. Their political sentiments were pro-Romanian and they gave the organization the title "Romanian Cultural and Benevolent Society Farsarotul." But eventually membership was opened up to all Arumanians, regardless of village of origin or political sentiment.
The Society now actively seeks members from all faiths and nationalities. Our orientation is distinctly towards the Arumanian community in America, especially since the political divisions and entanglements caused in Europe by the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 and the two World Wars; however we do act as advocates for Arumanians in other countries when the need arises.
The Society is completely non-political. We acknowledge that the Arumanians are being assimilated by their various neighbors, be they Albanian or American, Greek or Rumanian. Yet cultures do not often disappear completely, but rather they are transformed; we retain some of our past in ways which we do not always understand. It is the Society's role to help us understand that side of us.
Many other cultures have given their children the benefit of understanding just what and who they are. Unfortunately, few of us can turn to our own children and answer them competently when they ask us, "What are we?" The Society hopes to help provide that answer and to see that it is available for our children and for their children.
We have many projects underway in this direction, including our biannual Newsletter, which features both scholarly articles and informal essays by members of our community about our culture, as well as interviews, community news, and photographs.
We hope also to establish a central library, photo archive, and modest museum; to commission research into our culture, genealogy, and history; to stock books, records, and cassettes relevant to our culture, for our members and for the public; and to organize special Heritage Tours of our villages and towns in the Balkan Peninsula.
The success of our efforts will be determined by the support we receive from our members and friends. Join the Society Farsarotul (if you haven't already done so) and sign up your family members as well. Support our activities whenever you can, and let us know how we can help you, too.
SUPPORT YOUR SOCIETY FARSAROTUL.
* Note regarding the word "Arumanian": Roughly half of our people in the Balkan Peninsula, especially in the northern regions, call themselves Rumani; the other half, in the south, call themselves Arumani, simply because of a dialectal preference for an "A" at the start of a word. If we called ourselves "Rumanians" (the English translation of Rumani), we would be confused with the Rumanians north of the Danube who, though their language is quite like our own, have a rather different culture from ours. The word "Arumanian" makes it clear that we are not talking about those Rumanians, and that is why many scholars now use "Arumanian" or one of its variants (Aromani, Aromanians, Aroumanians, etc.).
There are a number of other words used to describe us in the various Balkan languages, and English words have been derived from many of these as well:
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