Ooststellingwerf accuses the province of “assimilation” by the imposed Frisian

The municipality of Ooststellingwerf is furious about the lack of money and attention for Stellingwerfs in the province’s new language memorandum. “We cannot cooperate on this,” write B and W.

The mayor and councilors of the municipality of Ooststellingwerf threaten not to cooperate with the province’s new language policy. According to the municipal council, the Frisian language is taking over in Ooststellingwerf, while the province is making its own local language, Stellingwerfs, “smaller”. B and W wrote this in a letter addressed to the provincial government, the states and the Ministry of the Interior.

The province considers Ooststellingwerf to be entirely part of the Frisian language area. This means, among other things, that all schools in the municipality must offer a full range of courses in Frisian by 2030 at the latest. AB and W find this strange, because only in a few villages, those in the north of Tsjonger, are Frisian is traditionally spoken, while in most of the municipality Stellingwerfs is the original colloquial language.

The language note Fansels Frysk states that schools “who wish” can choose to “add the regional language to the educational offer of Frisian language and culture.” That doesn’t sit well with B and W. ‘Frisian is required and Stellingwerfs are allowed. We especially experience this as particularly painful. This means that Stellingwerfs is being rejected,” writes the municipal council. “We regret to conclude that this is a case of assimilation.”

urgent appeal

AB and W find it strange that Stellingwerfs does not specifically appear in the memorandum about the new language, even though Fryslân has co-signed the Low Saxon Covenant and has therefore promised to protect and promote Stellingwerfs, as one of the ways from Low Saxon.

However, MP Eke Folkerts does not consider regional languages ​​to be a “small task” for the province and therefore wants to keep provincial responsibility “to a minimum”, as she recently wrote to the United States. As a result, Stellingwarver Schrieversronte will soon lose much of its provincial subsidy.

The municipality of Ooststellingwerf finds it strange that Friesland has so much more money than Stellingwerfs and does not see much possibility of closing this gap with municipal subsidies. B and W make an “urgent appeal” to the States to amend the memorandum in such a way that there is more money and opportunities to strengthen Stellingwerfs.

Many other organizations and institutions have also harshly criticized the decisions made and the cuts in the language memorandum. States will discuss this further on Wednesday.

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