Faraun is a name given to Croatian merchants from the town of Trpanj in Croatia who in the late 19th century started insisting in using the Croatian language in their correspondence with their Italian suppliers.
Like most other Dalmatian merchants, Trpanj businessmen used Italian wholesalers in Trieste, and to do so they communicated in Italian. In early 1890s, Ivo Cibilic, a wholesaler from Alexandria, originally from Trpanj wrote as a freelancer in the Narodni List, a Croatian newspaper printed in Zadar, suggesting that Trpanj merchants switch to using Croatian in their correspondence with their Italian suppliers for namely two reasons:
* it would provide young Croatians (usually the sons of merchant families who were studying in Trieste) with jobs as translators
* it would be a symbolic gesture of respect towards Croatian language and culture
The Narodni List in its no.58 issue from 1893 reports that at a special dinner held at the Croatian library in Trpanj on 15 August 1893, the Trpanj merchants vowed to exclusively use Croatian in their business dealings, and to refuse to do business with merchants that do not use Croatian in their transactions. The town merchants signed a proclamation to that effect which was published on the front page in the no.69 issue of the Narodni List on 30 August 1893.
The autonomasi which is a Croatian term given to the Italian minority in Dalmatia and to all those opposed to an emerging Croatian national identity, published a satirical song against the merchants from Trpanj in their own newspaper Il Dalmata. The author A. Piasevoli wrote that a faraun race emerged from Trpanj as a result of the mating between a Latin mule and an Egyptian donkey. The result of this mating is the Faraun bastard that betrayed his Latin-Italian origins. The source of the name came from the fact that other towns on Pelješac used it to refer to the townspeople in Trpanj by implying that they are Gypsies.
The Trpanj merchants were thus first in Dalmatia to require that commercial correspondence be carried out in Croatian, at a time when aristocracy and citizens of Italian upbringing tried to negate any cultural character of the language of the masses. The proclamation from Trpanj had ignited negative reactions from automasi from all over Dalmatia. The initially derogatory term Faraun however became a source of pride for anyone associated with it as it represented the effort to introduce the national language into every sphere of society.
The name Faraun was used for the Trpanj soccer team founded in 1921. It was also used to label the top quality range of sardine products by the now closed Divna factory in Trpanj. Ivan Mirkovic, a Trpanj businessman from San Pedro U.S.A., also specializing in fishing used the name Faraon for his products. Today the main hotel in Trpanj is named Faraon.
See also
*Illyrian movement
*Dalmatian language
*Language planning
*Historical linguistics
< Prev   Next >