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December 01, 2007


sarah stephan

That was a very poetic beginning. And you write so informatively about Romania. It is so interesting.


So are the people in your area some of the ethnic Hungarians that you mention? Do they speak Hungarian as well as Romanian? I am wondering whether they speak Hungarian at home and Romanian for business purposes the way some of the Quebequois do with French and English.


The ethnic Hungarians live mainly about 200km south of here. My village was founded in the 1700's, and Hungarians did live here at one point. There are several Hungarian names on the dedication plaque of the village church, from around 1906 (if I remember right). This village was on the edge of Northern Transylvania, the land given to Hungary by Hitler in 1940, which was regained by Romania in 1944. There are records of appreciable brutalities against Romanians by the Hungarian occupying forces, including murders, beatings and deportations to concentration camps. A firing squad executed villagers on what is now the field behind my house. I assume that, in the circumstances, the remaining Hungarians decided to flee before the war ended.

In the Hungarian areas, almost all the population are Hungarian and all administration and communication occurs in that language. They would not use the Romanian language unless obliged to. According to the law here, if a minority comprises over 20% of the population of a community, bilingual road signs, education and administration are permitted. hence one can find village name signs also in Hungarian, German, Ukrainian, even Greek, Polish, Serb, Czech and probably other languages besides.


Thanks for the explanation. What a sad history your village had in the twentieth century! Let's hope that the twenty-first will be more peaceful.

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