Across Romania » Page 'Arriving in Târgu Mureş'

Arriving in Târgu Mureş

Again a sunny autumn day when we arrive in the middle of Transsylvania at noon. How do you explain a cab driver that the street you are looking for is named after a Romanian poet if nobody speaks each other’s language? At least we know now that Eugene Ionesco does not have a street in Târgu Mureş. But Mihai Eminescu has. So now we know two Romanian writers and many non-poet streets in Târgu Mureş.

Ilona receives us in her home for elderly people in Eminescu 28 and we are invited to stay, not forever but at least for two nights. So we enter her world of paintings and elderly people. And plants. Who is watering the 200 plant pots in this house?

A first afternoon talk with Ilona. It’s the Hungarian perspective we get to now first. Jumping through Transsylvanian, Romanian and personal history. Suppression against Hungarians during Communism. Transsylvania is a multicultural region. The clash between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians on the 19th of March 1990. Loosing trust. And today? Ilona is spreading seeds among the poorest.

We spend the next hours with a protestant priest, Lorincz Istvan. Walking around with Lorincz is a great pleasure, its like arriving at the heart of town. Going up to the fortification and we stumble into the choir practice at the old Gothic church. They sing Psalm 1 for us. A Hungarian flag next to the organ is confusing. There seems to be a lot of history still to be written.

It is impossible to separate policy from public space in this town. Different cultural symbols are coming together - Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches, Hungarian and Romanian heroes, poets, mayors, an historical urban fabric mixed with socialist urbanism. All cultures left their traces. A city is meant to embrace them all. But how do the people perceive it? Is there a unifying identity beyond?

We return back to our cosy beds in the home for elderly people and sleep between 200 flower pots.

Leave a comment

XHTML - You can use:<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>