Jul 15, 2004
Jun 15, 2005
It was absolutely fascinating, though to be honest I think we were cheated a bit by the pro-Hungarian bent of the professor. Obviously, the class being about Hungarian ethnography it makes sense that the focus of the trip was on Hungarian culture, and to be fair we did visit one ethnic Romanian village, but from the way things were presented and the selection of places we visited you'd think that Transylvania was entirely Hungarian, which is a shame really since it downplays the diversity that makes Transylvania such a special region.
One of the classes I took at Eotvos Lorand University was on the ethnography of Hungary, or rather the ethnography of Hungary as it was prior to World War I. Included in the class was a weekend farm stay in a small ethnic Hungarian village of Kalota-Szentkiraly (Sincrai in Romanian) in Transylvania. That weekend was incredible, the village was like stepping into the nineteenth century, ox carts were more common than cars, the house we stayed at had an outhouse in lieu of indoor plumbing and a wood stove in lieu of heating. The people were incredibly welcoming and I'll never forget it. In addition to the small village we stayed at though we also traveled all over Transylvania, visiting the city of Cluj-Napoca and checking out other villages to meet traditional artisans and see such impressive sites as fortified Hungarian Protestant churches and traditional wooden Romanian Orthodox churches.