On Sunday we took part to a Romanian event, organized in Utrecht. The main reason was to participate to a Ducu Bertzi concert, which is a known Romanian folk singer. The concert was very powerful: we danced, cried and laughed, in those 2 hours we felt all the nostalgia of our nation and the way we manage it. The last song it was a popular one from Maramures, which is a area in the North of Romania, full of traditions and where, if you go, you feel that the time just stops.

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We’ve been in Maramures in 2010 with a group of colleagues. We rented a house in Vadu Izei, a small village near Sighetu Marmatiei. The rental type was in pension way, this means that the owners also cooked for us: I still remember the taste of fresh cow milk with home made jam from each morning. The food was delicious, each day something new and so tasty. Beside this we used to drink horinca, which is a alcoholic drink home made in the area (50-60 grades). Yes, in Romania in the villages, people do their own drink at home (my parents still make wine and rachiu – which also has 40-50 grades, but it’s different from horinca, tuica or palinca – alcoholic drinks home made in other regions).

In the new year’s eve, the children were coming in order to sing special songs regarding the new year. They were dressed in traditional costumes, having big plaiting bags in which they were putting the apples or nuts received. I used to do the same, but in the cities you receive money. I know for sure I will miss this kind of activity this year: we sing on 24th, on 31 and on 1st – different traditional songs, wishing all the best to the people listening.

But why Maramures is special? If you are a religious person you will find a lot of old wooden churches, which, by miracle, survived the communism period (during communism many of the churches were destroyed). If you are curious to find more about what communism meant in Romania you should visit The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance (in Romanian we call it the Pain Memorial) – it is an old prison in which a lot of our intellectual  co-nationals were tortured because of their beliefs. And I should not forget about Sapanta – Merry Cemetery, well known for the funny crosses and messages – I think this comes from so long ago, since Zalmoxe time when people were crying when somebody was born and happy when somebody dies (this is a characteristic we still have, since in bad situation we tend to find the funny thing in it and just accept it).

5 years passed since we visit Maramures. When we left I was so surprised to view old women, dressed in traditional dresses, on bikes. The beautiful hills, covered with grass under a small coat of snow. I promised myself that I will go back during summer time, but never did it. Nowadays we don’t have any peace, we are constantly searching for something new, forgetting to stay, to chill and just feel how the time stops.

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