I imagine that the locality of Dărmănești, Bacău has got everything in life. Schools perfectly equipped. Sewerage everywhere. Well-paved roads.
I’m very sure of all these, since the mayor considered about three months ago, that Darmanesti has nothing else to do but a plantation of crosses. In a cemetery that was almost forgotten and that was taken care by the Hungarians in the Transylvanian village over the hill for about a hundred years. But that seems to belong to that village, as a result of a lucky cadastral plan.
On the other side of the mountain, another political leader had a totally different problem: his party was lower in the polls than the bones of the fallen heroes – and had to be pulled to the surface – in a genuine act of desecration of political graves – only by the worthy spades of the voters painted into Hungarians from the counties of Olt, Ialomita or Botosani.
In the middle between these two practical problems there is a cemetery without any guilt. Even two. A Romanian neglected one and a Hungarian one, maintained a little better. Which do you think our man from Dărmăneşti focused on?
Of course, on that of the Hungarians. Which lacked an important detail in the eyes of any patriotic Romanian. Our dead. Or, pray, he might never missed them, but this wouldn’t look good. It wasn’t too obvious. And the dead are known for being vengeful: what if they casted a spell on him because of laying for so long underground without concrete over their heads? What if he was not re-elected, through the intervention of spirits? In an area where people leave their homes rather than die, it’s good to keep the dead close.
The road from this mystic lightning to deed was short, especially since the Mayor did not ask anyone. Not even those who visited the cemetery all this time – what the hell, how to ask the Hungarians, is it not known that the Rrrrromanians are masters everywhere? Not even the few institutions that should have given opinions: the Ministry of Culture, the Constructions Inspectorate and other institutions of the Romanian state.
Our man went to the cemetery (which was not locked in that time) and quickly erected the crosses. He wrote proudly on them: Unknown Romanian Hero. So, as from a live hero to a dead hero.
Ten kilometers away, another mystic lightning was embodied in a quickly awakened civic movement, as a response to the Romanian crosses. The Hungarian leader of the County Council and the mayor of Sânmartin also saw the potential for heroism of the situation: however, on the other side, that of the fight with the Romanian invader who needs to be challenged to show his “true face,” as Mr. Hunor says – and he also knows that he is wrong.
As such, our local heroes have decided to appropriate the cemetery. They declared it a battlefield and locked it. Not completely but selective: Someone visited it last week, a gentleman, some minister from Budapest. The key was found for him.
Do you understand? It was locked, but only for the Romanians.
Read the above phrase about three times. Is it annoying?
Well, that was expected as much: to make everyone angry. Emotion among Hungarians, indignation among Romanians.
At first there were some extremists from both camps, in a great harmony with each other that you would think they come from the same mother!
Then the scandal reached the normal world. Honestly, both sides. So many people now that those who planted the seed of hatred (some simply extremely stupid, not extremists themselves) are no longer to be seen. The little matchstick is now a huge fire. And the fire threatens to burn not only the crosses, but a construction more difficult to be restored:
The wooden bridge between the two ethnic groups. It’s in flames, like the Notre Dame. But the firefighters are still not seen.
What is to be done?
First we have to pour water, not brandy. This means that both sides must understand a simple thing:
The cemetery is for the dead.
They are already twinned, with their bones connected under the ground. They died fighting with each other, but they rest together.
Do we want to die as well? Do we want to bring this story to an end that some people dream of, a civil war that would tear Romania apart?
Then we have to leave the dead in peace. And let’s start loving more those who are alive, even if their name is not Ion, but István.
We have to tell the Romanians, through their leaders, including the Mayor of Dărmănesti, some simple facts:
The Hungarians are part of this country. The Romanians are not their masters. They can’t go to Budapest, even if some suggest they should go, just as those from Braila can’t move to Galati: since they are not from there.
On the other side, we expect the same politeness: the Romanians are not the worst kids in the cemetery yard. This can be easily demonstrated: ask any of the top 10 Hungarian political leaders to read two or three code lines written by a Romanian programmer from Cluj. Sure, “you have Dăncilă,” they would answer. And I am sure that from that moment we can laugh together.
However, after that hilarious moment the time has come for the Romanians and those leaders who want peace among the ethnic groups to speak out loud and with respect of the Hungarians. For that of the weaker, as it is fair and honorable for those stronger in number.
And on the other side, concerning the common Hungarians and their leaders: it’s time to ask ourselves whether…
… whether, no matter how implausible it seems, we have here a more democratic and freer homeland than the plain and oppressive alternative for democracy in Budapest?
100 years ago, Hungary lost Transylvania because the Hungarians wanted to be the only masters. Because in the Parliament in Budapest, the Romanians were called traitors as they demanded their rights. Those who spit and cursed them committed the sin and the mistake of arrogance. A historic mistake for this nation, that it has been mourning since then.
Let us not commit the same mistake.
The practical solution is simple:
This cemetery belongs to some heroes. Let the Ministry of National Defense take care of it, since it has experience in the field. The Hungarians should enter the cemetery freely. The Romanians as well. Politicians on both sides should take a vacation in Greece until I call them. The place should be restored as before the scandal – as the lack of the original Romanian authorizations would entail.
As far as the concrete crosses are concerned, they should eventually inaugurate a new Romanian plot. Everything, by common agreement between the two ethnic groups.
Compulsory, but really compulsory, the Mayor of Dărmănesti should personally mow and paint every cross in the other cemetery, the Romanian one.
Weekly, until his mandate ends!