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Trail of the unexpected: Easter in Transylvania

Ancient traditions remain a way of life in rural Romania. Margaret Campbell experiences a Transylvanian Easter
Saturday, 3 April 2010

‘Hristos a inviat!”, exclaimed the buffalo farmer, by way of greeting her customers. The phrase translates from Romanian as „Christ is risen!”. The recipient knows to respond „Adevarat c-a inviat!” („He is risen indeed!”). This turned out to be the usual exchange across Transylvania in the week following Easter – and, in rural areas, for up to 40 days after Easter Sunday. Romania may have endured one of the nastiest of the Communist dictatorships, but even in the most difficult days of the Ceausescu regime the population clung to a centuries-old mix of pagan and Christian traditions. Easter was – and is – the highlight of the Christian year.

I arrived in Transylvania on Good Friday, alas too late for Thursday’s ritual of dyeing eggs in onion skins and decorating them with beeswax, leaves and symbolic motifs, but in time to hear another tradition. As we drove along the main Arad-Bucharest road, which passes through numerous villages, an unusual sound was audible from churchyards – the toaca, wooden sticks being beaten together to mark a special occasion.

Transylvania is a corner of Europe whose rural areas have been largely overlooked by so-called progress. The landscapes specialise in enchantment: rolling hills of deep green, punctuated by farmhouses and cottages that look positively medieval – a sense emphasised by the use of livestock rather than motor vehicles to work the land.

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(foto Florin Ghindă, 2009 zona Retezat – Haţeg)

Despre autor


Co-Fondator RomâniaPozitivă.ro, Florin este educator de emoție și gând pozitiv. Florin susține acest demers prin programele sale de training și prin platforma de informație și educație pozitivă Florin are peste 15 ani de experiență ca trainer pentru circa 8000 de participanți, iar domeniile de expertiză includ: "solution thinking" (gândire pozitivă aplicată pentru rezolvarea problemelor), antreprenoriat social, ”train the trainers”, managementul oamenilor/echipelor, management de proiect, recrutare şi selecţie, comunicare, echipe eficiente, teambuilding. Florin este mare fan de biciclete, mișcare în aer liber, muzică, uneori chiar clasică și indiană. Motivaţia principală a lui Florin este dorința de a schimba lucrurile în Bine în România și încrederea că asta se poate.