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itself the “Romanian Golden Age of Socialism,” which was in full “bloom and progress.”
Transylvania is not only
geographical space, it is mythical place steeped in Folklore governed by
Elitelore, and it is the place that gave me my roots and my way of thinking. My
introduction to Elitelore would come in 1991 when I would learn to see how the
Elites always create much of the Folklore, and adapt the rest to meet their
needs to control society in the Northern Romania, especially under the vicious dictator Ceausescu (1965-1989), as we will
of the most pristine, oxygenated Transylvanian towns, the beautiful Satu-Mare
near the Hungarian border. Satu Mare was
soon to undergo catastrophic transformations, as it was to be forcefully
modernized. Common people in the town and the countryside already were being
“enslaved” to work in huge so-called “Socialist Factories” in the fields as
well in the urban centers.
Mare, where I spent some summers in the 1970s and 80s, retained its fame as a
lovely place of small farms set along the banks of the Somes River. Although
the farms were government-owned, they could manage their own affairs on the
proviso they give 20% of their agricultural and dairy products to the Socialist
State. The small farms enjoyed this latitude because, being on the border with
Hungary, they discouraged Hungarian migrants from entering Transylvania. Vetis
farms were too small to employ foreign-field workers. The Transylvanian Vetis
of my father, Eugene, is today a more populated and diverse place, colorful and
ever lovely. Eugene spoke Hungarian much better than he spoke Romanian.
Mare. Bixad is still a beautiful traditional village, with houses spread far
apart, not all jammed together. My mother was culturally and genetically a Ruthenian,
involving a blend of Romanian, Ukrainian, and
lived in a cluster of Sighet houses built in Hungarian style during the sixties
and seventies, in Zahana neighborhood, a central plaza in the town. Surrounded
by beautiful green mountains and three rivers (Mara, Tisa, and Iza), I made
friends with, on the one hand, children of middle-class Hungarians and Romanians.
On the other hand, I made friends with culturally isolated Gipsy children. By
age nine I teaching the lovely Gipsy kids how to speak and write in Romanian.
family was difficult life because my parents were always working until late hours
at night. Alex and I read while waiting for mother, Magdalena, to turn down our
lights even as she continued into the wee hours with her accounting work at home. She was calculating the lengths and
width of the wooden logs that were being exported from Romania to Russia year
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