The paper starts from an interrogation over the existence of patriotic feelings, of the configurations of certain ethnic attachments among Romanian peasants, manifested separately and before the nationalistic movement of the elites that brought about the emergence of the Romanian nation-state. The analysis of Romanian folklore texts, starting with the oldest ones collected since the second half of the 19th century and close to the Great Union, would give an appropriate answer to the research question. The main medium of expression of these patriotic undertones was the lyrical folklore (war poetry, pining poetry, etc.) that is actually an authentic source to document the peasants’ feelings given the obvious lack of proofs to understand an illiterate population’s opinions and feelings stimulated by historical events and life experiences. The chosen texts show primary understandings of community and solidarity feelings that are expressed by specific symbolic oppositions of the peasant cultural imagery, such as: far vs. near, domestic vs. foreign, bad country vs. good country.
Keywords: ethnic group, motherland, folk poetry, war literature, otherness.
Cuvinte-cheie: grup etnic, patrie, poezie populară, literatura de război, alteritate.