Sibiu Daily Photo

A photo a day from the European Capital of Culture 2007

Basarabia Pamant Romanesc

Posted by Jackie on October 10, 2009

Romania 2007 (15) 125

A bit of politics and history for my last day in Sibiu (in the summer anyway, as I said I did go back a couple of months later – photos from that from next week!). Before World War 2 Romania stretched further east than it does now, and incorporated an area then called Basarabia (Bessarabia in English) which now forms the bulk of the modern day Republic of Moldova (which is where I went after Sibiu). During WW2 Basarabia and the far north of the country (northern Bukovina) were annexed by Stalin as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Bukovina becoming part of Ukraine and Basarabia becoming the bulk of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic, both part of the Soviet Union. The majority (but not all – I think now around 65%) of the population are Romanian-speaking, and there is a small but vocal movement of people in both Moldova and Romania who want to reunite. I don’t know too much about this campaign, though I saw “Basarabia Pamant Romanesc” (which roughly means “Basarabia – Romanian land” – though “pamant” has deeper connotations than English “land”) grafitti all over the place in both countries. I think a lot of young people from the Orthodox Church have got behind the campaign too. This poster (which shows the pre-War borders including Basarabia in the east) was in Str. Mitropoliei, if I remember correctly it was stuck onto a noticeboard near the Orthodox Cathedral or the Theological Seminary – ASCOR (who author the notice it’s stuck over) are the Association of Christian Romanian Orthodox Students (who I have to say are way too right-wing and nationalist for my liking – actually that’s putting it mildly – I’m not too sure how linked the two organisations are).

25 July 2007

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