Monday, 16 April 2018

Religion in the Public Square

I can't abide stupidity.  It makes me cross. Stupidity is for adults, children are not stupid. Children simply misread the logic of situations and get frustrated with their inability to comprehend.  Children learn quick. In adults stupidity involves wilful disregard for reason, study, and carefulness, it often manifests itself in empty moral self-righteousness, humourlessness, indignation and tantrums. So on Saturday morning at 6am when I looked at the newsfeeds of the missile attacks in Syria, I could only see the stupidity of this and was more than a little glad that I'd booked myself on a train to Braşov in Transylvania. I felt dangerously close to becoming a stupid adult full of all those qualities I so dislike in others. I would be internet free, I would not look at the news.  There are times when one actually sees a situation more clearly, and is able to pray for a situation more clearly when one is away from all the "facts". Indeed, on Sunday Braşov echoed to the sound on the only Fact that matters.

Out here it was "Thomas Sunday" and in that city it was the Sărbătoarea Junilor which has been held every year for about 200 years.  In commemorates the time when Braşov was a Saxon town and Romanian speakers had to live outside the city walls. They were only allowed in on certain occasions. This colourful event marks Romanians entering the gate to the citadel. Basically it is just loads on Romanian men and boys on horseback riding into the city in groups, each with their own distinctive dress.  Some dress the horses beautifully, others themselves. And they shout the Easter Greeting and the assembled crowd shout the response back loudly.

Hristos a înviat! 
Adevărat a înviat!

And that is all that is said apart from the riders singing the Easter Hymn is a tuneless, enthusiastic, blokey, chanting-at-a-Third-Division-football-match way

Hristos a înviat din morți,
Cu moartea pe moarte călcând
Și celor din morminte
Viață dăruindu-le.

A little bit of Latin and you will understand the first two lines, especially of I tell you  călcând means trample.

There are no priests, no overtly religious banners, no fanfare. This is an entirely secular and  civic event but even then without the presence of any civic dignitaries. Nor does it seem to be put on for the tourists.  I could only hear Romanian being spoken in the crowd. Yet it rings out with the Faith, it rings out with the only Fact that matters. And the people say it  like they mean it!  Indeed, it seemed to me that if the riders say the greeting in anything like a half-hearted manner, the response is subdued.  If they say it boldly and with confidence, then the crowds respond with exuberance.  There were some quite young boys on horses and they were learning what to do, it was gratifying to see.

                                           Some men and horses posing for the cameras.

I can't help thinking that if the politically correct got hold of this event the exclamations would be different so as not to offend non-Christians and some loon would pester until women were allowed to ride too.  But this is Romania.

Long live Romania!!! 

I was thoroughly refreshed by my weekend.  It felt like the Sunday after the Resurrection should feel. We must not underestimate the supernatural power of the public proclamation of the Faith.


1 comment:

Jim said...

Love this post from top to bottom. I want to go to Romania!