Bistrita-Nasaud County has several important communities where more than 90% of the population are of Hungarian ethnicity. These are Jeica, Tonciu, Cireşoaia, Strugureni and Viţa.
In the case of Cireşoaia, Braniştea commune, known for its cherries, the proportion of the Hungarian population is overwhelming. At the level of the 2002 census, out of the total of 1,570 inhabitants, only 17 declared themselves Romanians. At present, the town has no more than 1,400 souls.
The latest investment in Cireşoaia is a social boarding school and cost 100,000 euros, money coming from Hungarian government funds, one quarter being covered by Braniştea City Hall. These are modern accommodation places, with their own kitchen, dining room, refrigerator, bathrooms equipped to European standards, all in a building glued to the educational institution where only 150 Hungarian children learn in grades I- VIII.
Braniştea City Hall is the only territorial-administrative unit in Bistrita-Nasaud that is headed by a UDMR mayor, and this has been happening for some time. The current mayor, Tamás Martonos, has been involved in the project funded by the Budapest government with its 25% financial support, as well as the project itself, but no more than that, because once the institution will be put in to function, everything will be the responsibility of the Hungarian financers.
“The design was made by us, by the City Hall. It is a boarding school where more children come from all over the country. That was our only task, the rest was of the Bastya Association in Vita. It has not yet been put into operation, we have yet to receive a notice from the ISU, as soon as possible “- commented the Mayor of Branistea, Tamás Martonos.
The director of this center, Enikő Balla, explained to stiridebistrita.ro the need for such a center, boarding school, being children, 18 in number, brought from several parts of the country: Bacău, Braşov, Cluj:
“Because we do not have enough children in the school classes from the locality, and in order not to dismantle this school, given the steadily decreasing demographic trend, we started bringing children from the country, especially from Transylvania, needy children, thus completing the places in the classes “.
In other words, in this center are brought children who have little chance in the communities they come from, and here, in Ciresoaia, they find irrespective of their nationality, free home and meals, plus education in Hungarian, so they can get a good acquaintance in foreign language after only one or two months in this system.
Even though to the building of the boarding school that is located in the yard of the Cireşoaia General School (the only school with exclusive teaching in the county language) contributed Braniştea City Hall as well, the rest of the expenses of operation, supply and salary of the four employees come from Hungary via the Bastya Association from Vita.
In Bistrita-Nasaud County, according to an online cadastre of national minority institutions, there are 25 such entities out of a total of 33, the remaining eight being associations of Roma, Jews and Saxons.
The Bastya Association was founded in 2007, the year when the first social center of its kind, financed entirely from Hungarian government funds, was born in Vita village, Nuşeni commune. Zoltán Kerekes, president of the Bastya Association, told stiridebistrita.ro that the investment from Cireşoaia was completed in 2018, awaits only an approval from the firefighters and will open its gates as soon as possible. Until the real estate is actually put into use, the children are housed in a family house in the locality. But the boarding school of Cireşoaia is not the only one of its kind in the county:
“At Vita there has been such a boarding school since 2007, and here we are talking about the school year 2018-2019, we have 24 children staying in Viţa, where we have 6 employees, four teachers, a cook and a cleaning lady, all of which are paid exclusively from funds coming from Hungary, from the Hungarian state, and that is where the necessary money comes from for the functioning of this center, as in Cireşoaia, in fact the same project, including everything related to child care, food, current expenses, and so on. There is still no involvement on the part of the Romanian state or the Bistrita-Nasaud County Council “- said Zoltán Kerekes, president of Bastya Viţa Association.
The Hungarian boarding-house from Cireşoaia will be opened soon and will join the Viţa project. There are 42 pupils in this year who will be educated and cared for in the spirit and grace of the Hungarians beyond the borders of Romania, a Romania that rarely does this for their own children. A Romania in which even students are sick of administrative impotence, where “education” is a gamble played by ministers changed year after year and who think they resolved everything with the covers of the unique textbooks.
Meanwhile, other ministers in Budapest inject euros in Transylvania with aroma of forints, and what is absolutely legally done in Bistrita-Nasaud is just a peak of an “ignored” iceberg by those who should guard national identity.
In 2017, Victor Orban’s government supported Transylvanian organizations with more than 100 million euros. We are talking about huge sums of money for the Hungarian community, given that the Hungarians in Romania have received from Romania’s central budget about 5 million euros per year. Both fundings in 2018 and the one received two years ago from the Hungarian government were largely distributed to the Reformed Church, although last year the list of beneficiaries was diversified by adding some organizations.
Source: Stiri de Bistrița (Translation TFP)