About my roots, where I come from  

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Note July 2.

Although I will keep this post for historical reasons (and also to explain the szekely in the history of humankind, my views on my personal roots has in the meantime changed. If you are interested in what way and are not offended by notions like reincarnation, past lifes, souls, then you can read this post on my other blog.

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I've had a short discussion today with my friend Alex about a new style of business card and banner that we are working on (so far ideas only) for me. Alex said it would be great to have something, a symbol that represents me as a Hungarian, my origins. Of course, the first thing came to mind was Dracula *grins*. But joke aside, I remembered that a lot of people keep asking me over and over again 'so what are my roots anyway, where am I from, and what am I', particularly that I lived in a few countries so far.
First of all, everybody thinks that I am Romanian, because this is where I am coming from. Or Hungarian because usually this is what I say to cut the story short. But actually I am székely.

So here in short a small history lesson about Székely, currently a minority in Romania. What are székely's and where do they come from?

They are the original inhabintants of Transilvania, and their history is quite long on those lands, pretty much for over a thousand years. Although debated, it seems that székely descended from the Huns (think Attila the Hun and you're right there). In 1867 Transilvania was united with the Kingdom of Hungary and it remained as such until around 1920, when it sadly became part of Romania. Briefly for the time of the WWII, Transilvania became again part of Hungary. So Transilvania is only for a relatively short time part of Romania, while during its whole previous history it was either part of Hungary, or independant, or part of the Austro-Habsburg Empire, all of which suited much better the székely lifestyle, culture and society. Romania's culture is quite different, mostly with Byzantine influences, and the culture clashes between the two could never be resolved, they are too different. I've been living in both worlds all my life, and the two are nothing alike. Even the language is so different, it's scary. Hungarian is one of the most difficult languages in the world because the grammar is very complex, and because there is not another language in Europe or around that even sounds similar. If you speak Romanian, you will understand Italian and Spanish very easily or with little training, but speaking Hungarian doesn't help with learning anything else :)

So although I was born in Romania, having a Romanian citizenship, my ancestors were anything but Romanians, thus like all other székely in Romania, I consider myself székely by origin (and Hungarian by language, since both the Hungarians and Szekely use the same Hungarian language).

Some more information about Székely and their hymn: http://www.webenetics.com/hungary/szekhimn.htm
and a wiki about szekely: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sz%C3%A9kelys

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Just a side note, today as I was google-ing around searching for the sun/moon symbols, I came across another blog by a fellow szekler, who is struggling with the very same problem of people in other countries not really understanding about his real background. Had a giggle when I read his (not because it would be funny, but because I'm struggling with the same misconceptions as well, lol. Here is his blog: http://pixi.myaiesec.net/2006/11/szkelyek.html


4 comments: to “ About my roots, where I come from

  • Andreanna
    May 11, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

    Wow that is really cool. I never knew that about Transilvania.

  • Aquilifer
    May 11, 2008 at 12:05 PM  

    I'd at least heard of the Szeklers, relatives of Hungary's Magyars, living in Transylvania. Never studied the language, but I learned a little Finnish & have seen the claim that it's about as far from Hungarian as Russian is from English.

    How you came to be in Cyprus might be an interesting story in itself.

    If I might offer a suggestion, maybe you'd like to incorporate the Szeklers' sun & moon, which also appear on the Transylvanian coat of arms, into your symbolic design...

  • Marika
    May 11, 2008 at 12:17 PM  

    You're right, the sun and moon are the symbol of the szekely (szeklers as the Germans call it), here is a picture of it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Napeshold.jpg
    I forgot to mention that in my post :)
    Yes, I might add one day a post about how I came to Cyprus. Or even how I managed to escape from Romania, and the dangers me and my family went through it in the process, that could be a book in itself to write...

  • beadexplorer
    May 13, 2008 at 8:53 AM  

    Cool, I did not know about Székely. So, I learned something new again. And yes, Romania sounds a little bit like Italian. I have noticed this fact recently ...

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