SIBIU, Romania (Reuters) – Thousands of people gathered in the Romanian city of Sibiu on Friday for the funeral of self-appointed Roma king Florin Cioaba, who died at the weekend.
They lined the roads in silence as Cioaba’s coffin was driven in a convoy 7km (4 miles) from his home to a cemetery, with riot police and private security guards in attendance.
TARGU SECUIESC, Romania (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of ethnic Hungarians rallied in central Romania on Friday to mark Hungary’s national day, demanding greater autonomy and displaying their community’s flag which sparked a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
More than one million ethnic Hungarians live in Romania, mostly in three counties in central Transylvania, a territory at the foot of the Carpathian mountains that was run by Budapest until 1918 but is now far from the Hungarian border.
CLUJ, Romania (Reuters) – Romania’s suspended president Traian Basescu called on voters in one of the EU’s poorest and most corrupt countries to defeat efforts to impeach him, rallying supporters in the Transylvanian city of Cluj on Saturday against what he called ‘a coup against the rule of law’.
The European Union has criticised leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta for his campaign to oust Basescu, his long-time political rival. The issue is due to be put to a national referendum on July 29.
By Radu Sigheti
As I prepared pictures to submit to a contest I could not stop thinking that all these past years the main photo contests chose their winners from among the pictures depicting wars and conflicts. I think that this year will be the same, due to the many bloody events around the world.
I do not know why those pictures are still chosen, they show horrors. They show the pain of the helpless victims and the joy of the gun-toting bullies. They show, some in a dignified way, some in a gruesome way, humanity at its worst, people killed by other people. They will haunt your memory; they will be published again and again. The photographers took great risks to shoot those images; we praise them for their pictures and courage to be where others do not dare to go. There were amazing photos depicting war and those photographers deserve to be praised for their work. But do their images really belong to a pictures contest? Does anyone think about their impact in the future, about their impact on young photographers? Was Susan Sontag right in her last book, “Regarding the pain of others”?
Since my return to Romania in January 2009, I longed to cover the pig festival.
My colleague Bogdan Cristel had covered it in past years. But I could not as I was assigned to edit and process the World Ski Championship, which takes place during the same period. Last year, I again edited skiing and thought that this year would be the same: me editing and Bogdan covering it. In January however, I was surprised when the organizers changed the date, providing me with the possibility to go and cover this story.
I remember as a child I once saw a pig being slaughtered, but my memory is blurred. As a city boy, living with my mother on the third floor and my grandparents on the first floor of an apartment block, I never experienced what was normal for village folk. For villagers, pigs, cows, chicken, ducks and geese were slaughtered in the backyard to provide food for the entire family. For me, all livestock came from butchers or supermarkets, frozen or fresh, nicely labeled and packaged.