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Photographer's Note

As the Christmas celebrations were winding down, Romanians, especially those in rural areas, were busy conserving the leftovers. What does that really mean?... and what's the big deal about it?... some of you may wonder. Well... traditionally, Romanian families slaughter a pig for Christmas and almost nothing gets thrown away. By the way, the slaughtering is not a religious ritual. The only religious connotation I can think of, might be that the Christmas feasts are based on pork products. The smoking, marinating, frying or drying of all that meat and those fat slabs is what I called conservation. Some families use some of this stuff well into the summer months.

Last Christmas, Romanians could still do what they had been doing for hundreds or thousands of years, but on January 1st this year this tradition was practically outlawed once Romania joined the EU. The slaughtering of animals can now be performed only by authorized personnel, in authorized facilities, by employing humane techniques as described in EU legislation.

It was the third and last day of the Christmas celebrations, a couple of years ago, when I took this shot. This man was working with his wife outdoors, in a small shack filled with smoke, deep-frying and grilling sausages and chunks of marinated meat. The deep frying was only partial and the product was then jarred in that mixture of sunflower oil and pork fat used for the brief deep-frying. The grilling was intended for that night's dinner.

Maybe, I should post a few shots of that food too, but browsing my archive of Romanian photos, the light of the light bulb in this photo caught my eye. The shot was taken in the small village of Valea Putului (Eng: The Water-well Valley). The electricity reached this village located only 15 km (9 miles) or so away from the city of Buzau about 15 years ago. The phone lines still didn't get there but now there are cell phones available in the city for those who can afford one. More importantly, the village had no running watter at the time I took this shot and the water-well of this family had run dry. Today, this European family collects the rain water running off the roof of their house for their daily needs. Friends and relatives help them get potable water for drinking and cooking from other water sources, so they're not in a desperate situation, at least not yet.

Both this family and this village are a happy case, as other villages are still waiting to be connected to the national electric power grid. The water and phone lines are a problem in other villages too. Nevertheless, practically all families have at least a battery operated transistor radio and they did hear that their country is now a member of something called The European Union. And I'm sure those people out there, on the back side of some mountain, are very happy to hear there's now somebody else who tells them what they can and cannot do.

That's what came to my mind when I came across this picture and I wanted to share it with you too.

trinko, verje, syd1946, jrj, sadeik trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Iulian Rujan (Iuli) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 134 W: 120 N: 221] (838)
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