On the way to Ukraine, our route to Suceava leads through Bukovina, a landscape where a variety of ethnic groups lived for a long time, including Germans and Jews. For many centuries the region was characterized by diversity, which almost completely fell victim to the conflicts and wars of the 20th century. Today, on our way through the Carpathians, we only cross small Rom:nja settlements, meet traders with honey next to their beehives, berries or wild mushrooms.
Meanwhile, in the towns and villages, people are already celebrating the second day of the Assumption in bright traditional costumes and parading through the streets with icons. In the process, we encounter colorful folk festivals at several stops. In addition to regional specialties, we also have the opportunity to attend traditional dances. People ride through the villages on festively decorated carriages and horses.
Under these impressions, the question arises in our minds to what extent traditions are a support that give us a feeling of security and home, especially in times marked by countless upheavals. Are it not also such rituals and customs that offer protection and security in people’s lives, which are politically, socially and economically – also in view of current events – determined by all-embracing transformations?
In any case, we were grateful to be able to participate in the festivities. We were very impressed by the many people and their joyful and life-affirming way of celebrating.
Text: Tobias Schwessinger
Photos: Christian Faludi