Sunday, 9 September 2012


Sundays mornings  in the village are different days.
Everyone here respects the tradition that this is the one day in the week when we rest. 
Early in the morning, the drum beats, or on special days the single bell sounds to summon everyone to the beautiful painted church on the hill. Today the bell sounds insistently, to celebrate St. Mary's Day, another one of the saint and 'name' days celebrated within the Romanian Orthodox Church calendar providing the people of Romania with a second 'birthday'. If your name is Maria, or any other derivative of Mary, you will receive the traditional salute of La Mult An ('La Mooltz Anne') many times today. During the service we will hear the priest sing, almost in plainsong, with the male members of the congregation singing the responses and these will be the only sounds we will hear.
Those who attend process peacefully and serenely through the village and then in single file up along the path on the hill, passing the gravestones of those who have passed here before.
The tractors, which on other days during the week rattle and stutter past constantly, taking families out to the fields to work, are silent. Even the dogs and the chickens stay quiet and respectful and the children are either at church or at home respectful of this time.
Here, where we are separated from the main town by five Kilometres of hills and woodland, so all is quiet.
There are only a very few places in Britain now, where, when it is quiet like this, you can't hear the buzz of traffic on nearby main roads, but here in this village in Romania, and in thousands of villages like it across the country, all is absolutely quiet.
Today is warm and sunny, so even the birds remain hushed in the shade in the trees.
It doesn't stay like this for the whole day though.
Sunday afternoons and evenings are a time when families and friends visit one another, so half-familiar cars will arrive later bringing sons, daughters, grandchildren, cousins and good friends to visit.
The weather is good, so later on the sound of children playing and the smell of freshly lit barbecues will fill the air followed by the scent of mici ('Meech' - a delicious traditional sausage shaped mixed meat patty, slightly seasoned) and chicken cooking on the hot coals. Then it is a social time with people catching up on the news about those they know and just chatting about whatever is important to them.
Most importantly, this is a relaxed day. 
Other days in the week are full of work, hard work for those whose lives depend on what they can grow and breed to eat, or early starts and late finishes for those who commute to the town to work in offices or factories.
The local bar will be buzzing, with village people talking animatedly about what has happened over the past week, and what has to be done next week, all over a bottle of local beer and the odd glass of Tuica ('Tsweeka'- a strong home brewed plum vodka).
As the afternoon wears on and the sun begins to cool, the older ones will emerge form the cool of their houses to sit on the benches lined up outside in the one village street and they too will chat, laugh and joke until dusk comes and it is time for them to sleep.

This is real life, lived by real people who care for each other and are born, live, and die with each other.

It is completely contrasting with the normal lives of  many visitors who have come here to stay with us from all over the world, and today is, I think, a major one of the many reasons that so many of them want to come back.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, let me know what you think, it's always good to get feedback