Csíkszereda Musings

My life in and around Csíkszereda, also known as Miercurea Ciuc.

Csikszereda’s annual moment in the sun

Posted by Andy Hockley on 25 May, 2007

Once again it’s that time of year, the weekend when Csikszereda briefly takes centre stage and becomes the most vibrant city in Eastern Europe. Well that may be overstating it a tad, but having half a million people descend upon a town of 45,000, is a big deal whichever way you slice it. It is, as I was told last year, the biggest pilgrimage in Central and Eastern Europe. Already the town is filling up with Magyarorszagiak (people from Hungary) on safari, come to see in what squalor and poverty their poor cousins live. “Look Istvan, they don’t even have Tesco here”.

Here are the things I wrote a couple of years ago at my first experience of the event – before and after.

I don’t want to overstate how big this whole thing is, because, y’know I’m not all that into hyperbole and exaggeration, but it’s really really a big deal (I think in Romania as a whole it’s hardly commented on, and probably very little known outside the Romanian Roman Catholic world – I remember seeing a news report on Pro TV last year on the day itself but aside from that it basically is a non-event). People come from all over the world. Obviously this creates some problems within the town, in coping with all these vast numbers of people. This afternoon, for example, my father-in-law is arriving by train. I am going to meet him at the station and bring him back to our house, but I am already planning to do so by walking to the station and coming back in a taxi – experience has taught me that once you drive anywhere this weekend you will never again find a place to park.

The big news is that I am going to make a film about it. Well, to be honest, my friend, neighbour and director/producer/editor/cameraman Denes is going to make the film, I’m just going to be the front man. I have no idea what will happen with this film, which is planned to be the first of a number of films of life in Csikszereda based loosely on the blog, but we’ll see. If we can’t flog it to anyone I’ll end up just posting it here I suppose. This new creative direction for Csikszereda Musings comes through what I imagine is a very modern new way of building relationships. You see, Denes (or Gömbi báci as we knew him for a while in our house, named after his dog Gömbi) is my neighbour, who lives across the hall in our apartment building. We were on friendly terms, exchanging hellos and brief chats in the hallway, but we were eventually connected properly through this blog, when someone he knows in Paris pointed it out to him, and he began reading it, quickly connecting it to that strange English bloke who lived across the hall. So there you go – want to connect with your neighbours but are not sure how? Then start blogging and hope they find you through Google or some other convoluted method. Or you could just go and knock on their door and say hi. I suppose.

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