Monday, October 10, 2011

Saxon Villages. roadway oxcarts, current events: Siebenburgen, Transylvania

2012 Update for a lovely area. 
 Tradition protected; while seeking more than sustenance.

This area of Saxon villages in central Romania is increasingly a destination point.  The Mihai Eminescu Trust, as well as the Charitable Foundation set up by the Prince of Wales, have been revitalized, supported.  The settlements began in the 11th Century, and the way of life is difficult there, and has been since about 1240. It is at the crossroads of invaders from several directions:  Mongol from the East, Ottoman from the South, and Hungarian from right next door; add other Romanians, and the Plague.

When we were there, the agricultural methods in use look nostalgic, but were backbreaking. 

The bucolic, with slow oxcarts laden with hay, cows following a leader (human or bovine) down the village street, peeling off to houses in the lane, are deceptive.  This is subsistence living. Mechanized ways were not prevalent in this section of eastern Romania. The west is more mechanized, with tractors. Romanian history:  An Australian tour site gives a comprehensive look -- see -- Asatours, Australia, on Romania.
Saxon areas:  After WWII, Saxon adults (as German heritage) were largely sentenced to hard labor and deported to the Soviet Union.  Only about half survived to return.  The country by then was communist. See Financial Times June 16-17, 2012 at p.2. In 1990, they were invited to return, upon Nicolai Ceausescu's removal as President.

No comments: