Gagauzové – jazyk a jejich etnická identita
Gagauz people – their language and ethnic identity
The paper focuses on identifying the main elements of Gagauz ethnic identity within the Gagauz ethnic minority in Moldova. The theoretical part presents theories pertaining to the thus far unexplained origin of Gagauz people. It also presents a brief history of this ethnic group from their arrival into the Dobruja region to the emergence of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia. Gagauz figures are mentioned as well as other states in which members of this ethnic group can be found. The practical part comprises an assessment of the current situation in the Gagauzian region and consists mainly of information about religious life, the use of language, and cultural associations. The study also considers whether Gagauz people in Moldova feel they are Gagauz as a result of having a different origin from the majority of people in society. The situation in Bulgaria and Greece is vastly different as ethnic Gagauz in those countries are at risk of assimilation because of the gradual loss of the mother tongue. The results were obtained through structured interviews with open questions, informal interviews, and group interviews during two periods of fieldwork conducted in the Gagauzian autonomous region.