Cultural societies in Bihor - mid 19th century - first decades of the 20th century
The „reading” societies, as well as the corals or other cultural associations of the Romanians in Bihor (Crişana), were effectively opposing denationalization, which had many forms of manifestation. Significant was the fact that the literary societies in Oradea and Beiuş were discussing subjects of interest for all Romanians, not just for those in Bihor. On January 22, 1854, the members of the literary society of Oradea made the decision to compile a „collection containing all the poems published in the national journals starting with 1838”. The first volume entitled „Versuinţii români” included poems signed by Gheorghe Asachi, Gr. Alexandrescu, Vasile Cârlova, Cezar Boliac, Al. Donici, Eliade Rădulescu, Anton Pann, C. Negruzzi, along with those belonging to some local poets. The perspective of the members of the society was not a provincial one (that is, limited to the territories of Crişana), but the recovery of the entire national poetic heritage. At the end of 1854, the company printed another volume. In the preface it was clearly shown that “nationality without language - is like a mindless soul. Although it sustains man’s life, it cannot lead him towards his destiny”. When the policy of Magyarization led to the drastic reduction of the Romanian language classes, Beius’s societies had the noble task of increasing the knowledge of Romanian literature among their members and the other Romanian brothers. Bihorian literary societies were not animated by resentment towards Hungarian elements. Thus, in bihorian libraries, the works in Hungarian and German were seen as useful and representative assets.
IOAN OVIDIU BOCŞAN