0054 Romania's Merry Cemetery

Jun 17, 2015, 03:19 PM

This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Abroad from the KU Centers for East Asian Studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Far to the north in Romania along the Hungarian border lies the tiny village of Săpânţa, home to one of Romania’s most popular tourist sites. Cimitriul Vessel, or the Merry Cemetery, is unique because its graves are not marked with traditional gravestones, but rather with beautiful, hand carved wooden crosses, radiant with blues and reds, each inscribed with an original poem that captures the eternal spirit of the grave’s inhabitant. Begun in the 1930s, the cemetery now contains over 700 graves featuring witty and poignant poems that celebrate infidelities and alcoholism, wisdom and good deeds. While often irreverent, the poems never mock. They represent the true lives of Romanians, both the good and the bad, as well as the universal truth that there are never any secrets in a small town. 

With thanks to Adrienne Landry for this text, from the KU Center for East Asian Studies, this is Randi Hacker. Wish you were here.

#Romania #CREES #Hacker #Landry

"Merry Cemetery, Maramures holiday 2011" Image courtesy of Remus Pereni. Released under a CC BY-2.0 license.